OCTOBER 19, 1955
NEW YORK—When I first reached New York on Sunday morning the full implications of the rainstorm did not dawn on me. And I was certainly alarmed when my son, John, phoned to say that at Hyde Park we were threatened with as much damage as we had had in the August hurricane.
He said he had installed four gasoline pumps in the cellar to forestall damage, if possible. At the time, however, the water pump, the lights and telephone were intact, though the contents of one of my food freezer units had already been ruined. In comparison with what the poor people in Connecticut towns were suffering, though, this seemed a very minor inconvenience.
I was expecting to be called for at 2:45 to drive out to Pleasantville in Westchester County and speak for the opening of United Nations Week, but the people there called me to say that the parkways were flooded and would I please come by train. The timetable showed there was one train I could make, even though I had people in to lunch. So I hurried my guests a little and made the train, and my niece Amy Roosevelt, and Mme. Jules Moch, who wanted to go out with me, decided they would brave the train trip also.
We reached North White Plains, which was the last stop the train made, and, fortunately, the road to the high school was clear. I confess, however, that I expected very few people would come to the meeting. To my surprise, rather more than 500 people showed up, but in a hall that seats nearly a thousand it looked like a scattered gathering. However, I thought they were valiant to come at all.
Afterward we went to Mrs. William Hard's house for a short reception and then back to the train only to find that the one we expected to take wasn't running. We did manage to get a little later train which got us back to the city a little late for my dinner appointment and Mme. Moch's appearance at the New York Herald Tribune Forum session.
The opening meeting of the Herald Tribune Forum must have been a most-interesting one because it took up the subject of atoms for peace. I wish I could have been there, but I was still not quite caught up with the work that remained undone here because of my few days' absence, so I came home after dinner and spent an hour or two at my desk. When I finally went to bed I realized that I had dressed just 24 hours before, and while I had slept a good deal on the plane I began to feel that bed would be an attractive spot.
On Monday morning I visited an exhibition of photographs by Bette E. Barber of Campobello Island at the Art Gallery in the Barbizon Plaza Hotel. These are charming photographs and show many views from the island, and on the island, as well as some of the houses. I was particularly interested to see a picture of the house which Mr. and Mrs. Victor Hammer bought from us, which my husband and I had owned for a good many years. Of course, this house has a great many of my husband's belongings in it and shows his many interests because of his long association with the island.