FEBRUARY 9, 1956
WINTER PARK, Fla.—On Sunday evening in Sarasota I had the great pleasure of listening to some very fine musicians playing together. It was the first time that they had played together and watching them was most interesting as well as delightful. Two of them I had known in Hillsdale, New York, a long while ago, and it was a pleasure to hear them again. I am glad my uncle, Mr. David Gray, has such delightful neighbors, because he gets so much pleasure out of these musical evenings.
We left Sarasota on Monday right after lunch, in what seemed to be nice weather, but before we had gone very far the blackest cloud I have ever seen appeared on the horizon. I thought we were in for a thunderstorm, but it turned out to be only rain—good, hard rain.
Monday was the day of the great festivity in Tampa—Gasparilla Day—and everything was drenched, I am sure. However, rain is much needed there and I suppose that even though it upsets a holiday, the festivities can go on in spite of it. We, however, had rain for the whole drive over to Orlando and Winter Park.
We arrived here a little late, but found ourselves welcomed very kindly in spite of being late. My old friend, Mrs. Von Hesse, awaited my arrival with a few guests and we had tea. Then we had time to rest before the dinner given under the auspices of the Orlando Chapter of the American Association for the United Nations.
There were 350 guests, which filled all the dining rooms of the new Hotel Langford, and it was really a very lovely sight. Having the dining rooms with glass down to the floor on one side made it seem as though we were actually out-of-doors. A young girl from Winter Park sang "America the Beautiful" and, later, a "United Nations" song very charmingly.
Our state chairman, Dr. Franklyn Johnson, who is a professor in Rollins College, presided, and Mrs. Von Hesse introduced me in a very few words. After the speech I shook hands with as many guests as chose to come by the reception line, and that was the end of my day.
Tuesday morning I started with a press conference and then went to Rollins College to speak to the students on the United Nations. They asked very good questions and I enjoyed my time with them very much.
Afterward Dr. Johnson had a large reception for me in his home and I think I should be flattered by the fact that his small boy took a taxi home from school in order to be sure not to miss seeing me. From there we went on to a small luncheon primarily composed of the committee that had worked for the AAUN gathering, together with a group of Mrs. Von Hesse's friends.
It was all very delightful and we ended by taking a short drive to see where Mrs. Von Hesse proposes to build her new home and to enjoy the scenic drive around Winter Park. There are so many lakes that you are constantly coming upon a water view and, of course, the orange groves and live oaks with Spanish moss make a somewhat eerie, but very graceful landscape.