DECEMBER 13, 1955
NEW YORK—It was fun to drive up last Friday afternoon to Hyde Park and find the evergreens powdered with snow. They were so pretty.
And it was even more delightful to come into the social room at Bard College at 6:00 p.m. and find the fire burning on the hearth, with only candlelight in the room except for the one lamp by the chair in which I was going to read Dickens' "Christmas Carol" for such students and members of the Bard faculty as wished to attend.
This was the beginning of the Christmas season for me and a very nice way to begin it! It is rare to have the opportunity to read the whole of "Christmas Carol," but they gave me an hour and a half before dinner. Then I went over to dine with Mr. and Mrs. James H. Case Jr. and a few members of the faculty, and we returned to the social room and read again for an hour and a half.
I was delighted to have one of the young men come up to me at the end of the evening and say that he had never before heard "Christmas Carol" in its entirety and that the depth of its meaning had never before been so evident.
It had been some time since I had read the whole of it, and now I am very busy trying to think how best to cut it when I read it for the staff at the United Nations, for my time will be limited.
I find it difficult in a few words to create the background and atmosphere of this story and then read only certain striking parts in it.
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I started my day on Saturday with a visit by a high-school girl from Wappingers Falls who wanted me to tell her everything about UNESCO. Of course, I could have told her a great deal, but I thought it would be better for me to get her information direct from UNESCO representatives at the U.N.
Two of the Nottingham Scholars, who come every year from Nottingham, England, spent the day with us in Hyde Park Saturday. They visited the library, walked around the place with my son and the children taking photographs, and had lunch and tea with me. It was a great pleasure to see them and I am happy that they will be here until Friday and so can visit the U.N. and lunch with me again before their departure.
These young men are already in business in Great Britain and come over here to study American methods and make friends in the U.S. Other former students told me last year when I saw them in Nottingham that they had found their experience very beneficial. One of the present students is in the bicycle business, the other in the chemical business. They have traveled widely since they arrived here in August and they feel the trip has been of great benefit to them.
On Saturday evening I spoke at a Hyde Park victory dinner where the successful candidates on the Democratic ticket and the county chairman rejoiced together over their November elections!
After church on Sunday we were joined at an early lunch by Mr. and Mrs. Worthington of Kent School who brought Alan Paton the South African author of "Cry, the Beloved Country." This was a great pleasure to me, but, of course, one is saddened to hear of the racial tensions in that country.