DECEMBER 9, 1955
NEW YORK—On last Monday morning I left home early enough to catch a 7:40 a.m. plane to New Orleans, but my plane was an hour and 20 minutes late in starting. Of course, I was late in arriving in New Orleans.
I found my hostess, Mrs. Frances Parkinson Keyes, waiting to take me to a much-delayed luncheon. Her main interest was not so much the luncheon but in having me see the beautiful house in the French Quarter which she has been gradually rescuing from decay.
Lately she has bought two lots, which were once the side garden of this lovely house in which Beauregard lived and which bears his name today. It is one of the few houses that has both a patio with the slave quarters at the back and a side garden. It really will be enchanting when all the repairs have been accomplished.
There is spaciousness in these old houses, and the woodwork is beautifully carved. You can sense that living was very gracious here in the days when people had more leisure time to spend in their own homes.
In the evening I attended the dinner for which I had come to speak. On Tuesday morning I took a plane at 8:00 for Chicago. This time I was on time and enjoyed a restful afternoon, with a friend coming to tea with me before going at 6:00 p.m. with Judge and Mrs. Fisher for a delightful dinner.
I spoke at a forum on the United Nations and its first 10 years and had ample time to change and pack and read for a couple of hours before catching what has become my habitual plane out of Chicago—the 2:45 a.m.
I was back in New York at 6:30 a.m., but on my way to Philadelphia by 9:30 to speak at a lunch for Brandeis University.
These trips have given me an opportunity to read some of the manuscripts that have been sent me in the past few weeks. One was a story about myself written for teenage girls. I confess that I find these biographies a little difficult, because it is really almost impossible to be objective and truthful about a person who is still alive. But I suppose there is some value in telling the facts as you know them, even though to me some of these facts do not seem to convey the real inner truth of what occurred.
* * *
I want to say a word about the delightful and very memorable dinner which Mayor Robert F. Wagner gave in honor of George Meany and Walter P. Reuther last Saturday night.
The fact that these two leaders have worked out a way to bring their great unions into cooperation is a matter of great interest to all our citizens. It will strengthen the influence of labor and the opportunity that labor will have also will carry with it greater responsibilities.
In the speeches of both the union leaders one sensed their realization of these responsibilities. And labor's increased influence represents a very broad segment of American life which is conscious of specific problems and will not allow these problems to be overlooked.