FEBRUARY 17, 1955
WATERLOO, Iowa—The drive from Madison, Wisconsin, to Janesville on Monday was very pleasant. The snow had melted sufficiently so that the road was clear.
Janesville is not a big city but a charming, quiet place with a good deal of personality. The hotel was being done over, but I was given what I am sure was the manager's suite because there were so many things around that indicated people really lived in the two rooms I occupied for a few hours.
We went to the Women's Club for dinner, and it is a very imposing club for a small city. Between 30 and 40 people had dinner with us. Mrs. Todd Townsend who had motored over for us was a very delightful hostess.
The History Club, which I addressed in the Congregational Church, is the oldest one in the state, I was told. The club board has had moments of discouragement because so many people preferred to stay home and watch TV than attend a meeting, no matter how good it might be. However, their last speakers, Dr. and Mrs. Harry Overstreet, had praised the club's activities. So, the board decided to continue, but with a modified program. Instead of having five meetings a year, they would have three with emphasis on the quality of the program to induce greater attendance.
The church was filled Monday night, with people even seated in the organ loft behind me. I was troubled about that for fear the latter would not be able to hear me but was reassured when, at the end of my speech, a question came from that group.
I sat next to a remarkable man at the club dinner who had had a pretty tough case of polio, but he manages to get around quite well and he told me he ran a successful pheasant farm and shipped stock all over the country. He does not sell his stock for eating but only for breeding and he told me that last year 1,000 chicks had gone to Cuba without the loss of a single one, which is an astounding record.
I wish I had had time to go and see his farm. He said he might never have made a success of it except for his illness, which forced him to stay indoors and write letters to take care of that end of the business, so he had built up a really good clientele. I was reminded of Dale Carnegie's column in one of the Sunday news magazines in which he urged people to count their blessings.
After my speech and the question period we went to the very charming home of a Mr. and Mrs. Nutley for a small reception. I thought the questions had come rather reluctantly in the church but here they poured forth and I felt almost as though I were giving a second talk, though in the latter situation there was opportunity for discussion.
I was pleased to meet there an old friend of Mr. D.V. Sandifer, and, earlier in the day, a friend of Ruby Black. It is interesting how many connections one finds as one moves around the country.