MARCH 24, 1956
NEW YORK—I spoke Wednesday morning for the National Health Council which was considering particularly the problem of chronic illness. This problem has become much more serious, of course, with the increasing age of our population.
Mayor Wagner, who spoke just ahead of me, emphasized that in New York City much thought is being given this problem, which not only concerns the aged but also the young people, for the burden of support and care of an aging group, as well as that of children, falls primarily upon the young people.
On the way out of the meeting, I met Miss Jane Hoey, who spoke of the great loneliness of older people because they had been separated from their families. And housing problems in big cities make it almost impossible to keep families living together.
All of these things, of course, must enter into the discussions that go on. And I am glad that, at this meeting, the problem was discussed and hope that, for the recommendations that come out of it, forward steps will be taken.
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On Wednesday afternoon I went to Hyde Park. Last summer, when asked if I would repeat the reading of "Peter and the Wolf" with the symphony orchestra there, it seemed easy to do. But then there was no thought of a snowstorm at Hyde Park!
However, on Wednesday morning my driver called and said he could get out, so I went up that afternoon to rehearse. It also gave me a chance to see Anne and my grandchildren at dinner.
I came back to New York City Thursday morning in time to be at Rockefeller Center for the dedication of the 16 new United Nations flags. It will be a great satisfaction to see the new flags flying there and they are typical of the interest taken by the Rockefeller family in international affairs. The ceremony was planned to welcome the 16 new nations as members of the U.N.
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I wonder if you ever see the little quarterly magazine of poetry called Quicksilver, edited in Fort Worth, Tex., by Grace Ross and Mabel M. Kuykendall. I found some of the poems quite charming.
I also would like to mention that, at a dinner in Brooklyn Monday night, I was given a charming collection of prose and poetry. It is called "Bitter Sweet" and the author is Alexander Alan Steinbach. One sentence he has written stands out for me:
"Whenever your eyes light on a human being,
"You are scanning a pathway that leads to God."
That is a thought that it would be well for us to remember every hour of the day.