JANUARY 13, 1956
BELLINGHAM, Wash.—The drive over to Mt. Vernon was all I had been led to expect. The sunset colors were lovely and the views of the mountains, the water, and the soft light that seems peculiar to this area made the drive a great joy.
Once arrived in Mt. Vernon I was greeted by a small group representing some of the county weekly papers, the radio station and the Mt. Vernon daily and weekly papers.
Then we proceeded to the home of the president of the University Women of Skagit County, Mrs. Byron Norman, where we met a large number of women and three nice gentlemen who were permitted to be present—the husband of our hostess, the dean of Mt. Vernon Junior College and one other gentleman whose claim to distinction I never did discover. Here we had a delightful buffet dinner, with more remarkable aspic salads than I have seen in a long time. I noticed one interesting thing at the dinner which I will try to emulate. There were two hot dishes—one wild rice and one string beans—and they were kept over boiling water in a covered chafing dish and so continued to be as hot as when they were taken off the stove.
This area of the world grows wonderful berries of every kind and bulbs and seeds in the valley around Mt. Vernon. There are dairy farms, and a good deal of hay is grown. I was interested to find that the cranberry and loganberry are easily grown here and have much the same taste that they have in the northeastern part of the country. On the way over we passed big oyster beds, and I was told oysters, clams and crabs were especially good here and that these oysters are larger than those found farther down along the California coast.
We all enjoyed our dinner and the talk at table and then proceeded to the auditorium of the college. There was a half-hour question period after my lecture, and then a reception.
We finally reached home—in this case home is my niece and nephew's house in Bellingham—somewhere around 11:00 p.m. I was glad to get into bed and found that, though I wanted to finish my book, sleep descended upon me.
I awoke in the morning to find a sunny day—and the most beautiful views of snow-capped mountains from both my windows.
We had breakfast in leisurely fashion and at 9:50 we were over at the university in Bellingham, which is primarily for teachers' education and much larger than the school in Mt. Vernon. It is coeducational, has a most lovely campus, and draws the young people from the whole western part of the State of Washington as well as from surrounding states.
The audience was as attentive as in Mt. Vernon and the half-hour question period was over so quickly that I could hardly believe it was time to leave the stage and go to luncheon. The luncheon was largely attended by faculty people who also had a half hour of questions at the end. Following that I did a short radio recording.
Now I am back in my niece's home preparing for the important event of the day—the christening of their four-month-old baby, who is being named after my brother, Hall Roosevelt.