JULY 18, 1955
HYDE PARK—I think I can say that Thursday was for me rather a waste of time. I went for a physical check-up to the Rip Van Winkle Clinic in Hudson, where a most comprehensive and thorough job was done in what I think would be considered record time. Yet, is there anything duller than doing things about your health when you feel completely well and, as far as you can see, are completely well! They tell me, however, that when people reach old age they should go and have periodic physical examinations. Since this is the thing to do, I suppose I should feel satisfied that it is over, and perhaps I will never have to do it again.
At my last visit to the Hyde Park Playhouse we had the pleasure of seeing Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof in "Cyprienne." This play is by Dorothy Monet, based upon the French by Sardou. It has retained its French flavor, is light and entertaining and gave us a very amusing evening.
I received a letter the other day from a man whose business problem is one that I think deserves attention. The writer tells me that he and his wife cared for his parents and a sickly brother until they died, and then went ahead to build a family of their own. But wages were low, so he started a little store in the place where he lives in Florida. He had enough money to pay for his equipment, rent and overhead, but then found that he did not have enough capital to replenish the stock of goods on his shelves. The local bank said they could make a loan only on real estate, but since his store is outside the city limits they had to deny his request. He has written to the Small Business Administration office and to the President, but so far has had no suggestions.
This man is sure that he would soon be able to repay the loan he needs, if only he could keep the goods on his shelves that his customers are asking for. He is now 55, an age at which it is difficult to find employment by someone else, and that is why he is trying to become self-employed.
There must be agencies that make loans of this kind, and there must be firms that would provide merchandise on a commission basis. But I do not know enough about these problems to advise the man, and I think in a way it is one of the things in which government is falling down. They are not telling people where to go to get the help they need. That means that good people who might well be successful if given a helping hand are going under in a period of great prosperity for many people in our country. It seems to me that somewhere something is wrong. But I don't know where, and I would be grateful for information as to what would be the proper procedure for a man faced with the problems I have outlined here.