OCTOBER 10, 1955
HYDE PARK—Friday night on the way up from New York I stopped for dinner and to give a short talk at the Cold Spring Institute. This is a rather unique haven for older people. It was formerly the old Fahnestock estate, with barns and a charming house high up from the river and overlooking the lake. For nine months every year, groups of people come there who are over 55. Some of them have already been retired; others are facing retirement. All want to discover new skills and prepare themselves to continue to live productively and creatively. There are shops, with opportunity for study and an atmosphere of helpfulness. Here is a place where experiments can be made which will be of use to the various national and state groups working with older people. I found those assembled there of great interest, and I will tell you more about their whole program in another column.
Yesterday I invited Mr. and Mrs. Jules Moch, who are the French members of the Disarmament Committee, to drive up for lunch and enjoy the autumn coloring on the parkway. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., with their guests, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Keyserling, came up from Beacon to meet the Mochs, and my son, John and his wife also came.
Most of my readers are aware of the fact, I am sure, that studies of the handicapped are going on all the time and efforts are being made to employ them. Great advances have been made in this field, and industries are becoming more cooperative as they see successful work accomplished by the handicapped. This work, however, has to begin very often with children, since many of our adult handicapped people are handicapped as children.
I think particularly the children with cerebral palsy start life with a handicap. This year the Federation of the Handicapped—which is helping to bring about recognition of the potentialities of those adults who have handicaps and still want to be independent and self-supporting—has given an award of merit to a child, and is instituting an annual children's camp award which will go to a child at the summer rehabilitation center in East Moriches, Long Island.
The award this year was given to Mary Ann Phillipp, who lives in Smithtown, Long Island. She is ten years old and has had cerebral palsy from birth. For three seasons she has gone to the camp. She has to use two leg braces and crutches, but she was selected as the outstanding child because of her marked improvement in walking, her determination to be independent, and her cooperative attitude in working with the camp staff. Needless to say, she is very popular with all her fellow campers. I think it is noteworthy that the older handicapped have started to try and encourage the children who have to face from birth the effort to overcome their disabilities.