JANUARY 19, 1955
NEW YORK—When I was in Odessa, Texas, last Friday, at the tail-end of my trip, the sky was gray and rain began to fall. And this rather commonplace phenomenon simply delighted everyone; rain or snow or moisture of any kind is looked upon with joy in every part of Texas.
We were met in Odessa by two very young ladies who were sponsoring the meeting for the American Association of University Women. I thought they were very young to have undertaken so much responsibility, but in the course of conversation I found that Odessa is the home of young people. The average age of the male members of the town is 24!
Odessa was once a center where people came to buy cattle, but today it is an oil center where supplies for the oil fields in Midland and other neighboring places are produced. There are no ranches or farms in the area. Everyone, it seems is in the oil business.
Our two young hostesses invited us to lunch and we talked over the plans for the evening meeting, and also decided it would be possible for us to catch a late train to Dallas and board our plane for New York there.
There was a good audience at the evening lecture. People drove in from over a hundred miles away in spite of the rain, and the reception after the lecture also was well attended. I just barely shook the last person's hand when I was whisked away to the station.
Fortunately, the train was a little late, so we got on very comfortably and Saturday morning in Dallas we took a taxi to the airfield and had breakfast before getting on the plane to come home.
We started a half-hour late but arrived on the dot, and I shall never cease to marvel that time can be gauged so accurately when so many things enter into the possibility of making one a little bit later or even a little bit earlier.
On the flight home I read all the things which I had had sent to me and which I had started the trip meaning to read little by little. At least I am beginning a long stay at home with the feeling that nothing is unfinished so far as the things I took with me are concerned. And I spent Saturday night and most of Sunday cleaning up my desk, which was filled.
Sunday afternoon I joined for a few minutes a very learned group of distinguished scholars who discussed anti-intellectualism in America today. My visit was short, for I am certainly not qualified to add anything much to such a discussion!