FEBRUARY 11, 1956
NEW YORK—While en route home from Florida we spent Tuesday night in a very comfortable motel, the Paloma Court, in Nahunta, Georgia. There were good, clean beds, and, somewhat to our amusement, we found washcloths in our bathrooms.
On the mirror in each little apartment there is a card that reads: "Courtesy Court," to indicate evidently, that these courts live up to certain standards. Also, they will notify other motels on your path of travel if you will inform them where you intend to make your next stop. Unfortunately, however, I am not good at deciding ahead of time just how far I will travel in a given day. The other night, for instance, we drove until nearly 11:30 because we could not find a place we liked well enough, or that had enough empty space.
There is a great deal of truck traffic on the Southern roads at night, and even in the daytime I was astonished how much traffic there was and how many small settlements there are along the roads through Florida and Georgia. Here and there you go through long stretches of unsettled country, but usually you go from one little settlement into another.
In Georgia, the first impression I got was of the tall Georgia pines. I always think of them as part of the landscape around Warm Springs.
I saw no signs of reforestation anywhere in Florida, but I presume there must be some. I can't imagine any state allowing lumber companies to cut its trees without some plan for replacing them.
I was very pleased in Winter Park, Florida, to see an old friend, Mr. James D. Reagan. For so many years he was an excellent counsel to the boys at Groton School, and had great patience with those who had particular difficulties. He will be 80 years old on February 24, but he hasn't changed much in recent years—being slim and trim and neat, and precise in his use of the English language. He asked after each one of my boys, so he has not forgotten his former pupils.
There is no doubt about it, if you want to associate with your contemporaries, when you have reached the serene age of 70 or 80, Florida is the place to go.
Mrs. Elizabeth von Hesse, on the other hand is giving lessons in voice regularly five days a week in Winter Park, and I am surprised that there are enough young people who are interested in learning how to speak! She encouraged me very much, however, by telling me that if you use your voice properly there is no reason why it should show signs of growing old.
My impression always has been that an older person's voice grows weaker and carries less power as he ages, but she insists there is no real reason for this to happen. In addition, she tells me that you can continue training your memory, and that the forgetfulness so many of us find creeping on us in old age is to a certain extent a matter of laziness.
I am afraid it is at times also a matter of lack of interest and that the real way in which people age is to cease being interested in the things that happen around them.