MARCH 22, 1956
NEW YORK—On Sunday afternoon I went out to speak in the evening in Englewood, N.J. A car came for me and we simply crawled the whole way. But the car was heavy and the driver was excellent, managing to keep control so that we did not go too fast down the hills.
I arrived on time to find that, in spite of the snowstorm, a full attendance was present for the dinner. The only thing that worried me was how, in returning, I could climb the hills I had come down. Another route was suggested to my driver and he took it successfully, bringing us back safely at about 11:30 p.m.
With my usual passion for fresh air at night—which, I am told, is quite out of fashion now—I could not resist opening a window before retiring and at 6 a.m. I awoke to find that the snowstorm was in my bedroom!
I got up and found a dustpan and pail, filling the pail with snow over and over again until my poor maid woke up and put the finishing touches on my efforts to remove the outdoors from my bedroom. Everything within reach of the snow was soaked, and from then on I kept my window closed!
I was supposed to go to Philadelphia for the whole day on Monday, for both lunch and dinner speeches. So I decided that if I could do nothing else, I could walk to 59th Street, get a subway and then shuttle across to Pennsylvania Station.
But the Pennsylvania Railroad would give me no assurance that the trains would be on time going over or coming back. At the same time, it occurred to me that in this weather there would be no audience in Philadelphia, so I called those in charge there and they promptly agreed, asking me to give them a "snow" check for later on.
I had a free day! Such a wonderful thing!
First, I took my little Scottie, who loves the snow, for a walk. Then I did all the dictating that has been accumulating for months, some reading, wrote letters, talked on the telephone with my snowbound son, Franklin, Jr., on his farm. I also talked with my son, Johnny, who had managed to get out of Hyde Park and catch a train down, but the rest of his family was snowbound in Hyde Park.
I called my office and asked if they really needed me and, if so, I could have walked there, if necessary. But I was allowed to stay home.
Then I was told that a grandson was marooned, unable to fly or catch a train to join his family in Florida, and I was asked if he could stay with me. Of course, I was delighted to have him.
All of this was pleasant, but I wish the snow were gone.
The superintendent of our building has just told me there is no oil for the furnace and we will have no heat except from our two fireplaces! I mildly protest that the oil should be allowed to get so low, but we are fortunate to have fireplaces and wood!