JANUARY 16, 1956
LOS ANGELES—Early on Thursday morning our kind hosts called for us at the hotel in Longview, Washington and drove us to the airport in Portland, Oregon. It took us about an hour and a quarter and it was a very delightful drive. At the airport, after checking in, I had a chance to talk with Penny Robinson, a young woman who had made a good place for herself on a Portland radio program and whom I knew when she was in New York City a little over a year ago. I was glad to see her again and hear of her plans, and I hope that someday she may come back to New York.
We took off at 10 o'clock and had an uneventful trip until we found ourselves circling over San Francisco, unable to land because of the fog and with seven other planes ahead of us. After a time I saw the flaps and the wheels come down and we were told we were landing in Sacramento. Those who were bound for San Francisco were told they would go there by bus, but some 15 minutes later they all returned to the plane when word came that now we could get into San Francisco. We landed there about two hours late, and when I talked with Mrs. Hershey Martin in Los Angeles on the telephone she informed me that the publicity man for the organization for which I was speaking had arranged a press conference at her home for 5:15. I had to tell her I would not be there, and this was fortunate because we did not arrive at the Los Angeles airport until 5:25 and did not reach her house until 6:15. The press waited, however, probably because the publicity man had insisted that they be given liquid refreshment.
I hurried through the interview as quickly as possible, but it was seven o'clock before they left us. Although I had to dress and have dinner before reaching the auditorium at 8:15, it was all smoothly accomplished. The evening went off according to schedule and apparently to the satisfaction of the sponsors.
These are the vicissitudes of air travel. They add to one's anxiety but, on the whole, one could never cover the same amount of ground if one did not take the risks attendant on air transportation.
I had the pleasure on Friday morning of breakfasting with Mrs. Martin's two little girls—the eldest of whom is my godchild—before they left for school. I left the house simultaneously with the schoolchildren in order to get my hair and nails done. Now Mrs. Martin is getting ready for a few friends whom she has invited to a very early lunch, since we have to make the plane at 1:55 back to Sacramento for a speaking engagement.
There is one thing I want to mention, because it is constantly on my mind when I travel in the Northwest. It seems to me that there is still not enough realization of the need for conservation. The big lumber companies are doing a certain amount of scientific cutting—that is to say, some of the biggest companies claim they are on a 100-year cycle. They plan to cut so that areas will re-seed themselves, and they also do a certain amount of reforestation. The smaller companies, however, still cut and move on without doing anything to restore the damage they create, and this is wicked, I believe, for the future of our country.