APRIL 3, 1956
HYDE PARK, New York—I am always delighted to find new cookbooks in my mail. And one in particular, called "Melrose Plantation Cookbook," seems very interesting to me with lovely photographs of the plantation itself and of primitive paintings by its owner, Clementine Hunter.
The recipes sound perfectly delicious and I shall see if we can't try out some of them. The other cookbook comes from much nearer home, and is compiled by members and friends of the Poughquag Methodist Church.
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Easter Sunday was bright and sunny and, for the first time, one felt he could leave the door or the window open and not be too cold.
Three of the young girls staying with me accompanied me to church. The church was filled with people, most of them in what looked like summer dress, for every woman at least tried to wear a spring bonnet.
For the first weekend this year, my family was able to ride the horses and they—both horses and family—certainly needed the exercise!
As the snow melts, we are going to be deep in mud. But when I went out before breakfast Sunday morning to exercise my little dog, I found the ground completely frozen. So spring is still not entirely with us.
A red-winged blackbird flashed out of the swamp and we flushed a pheasant as we were walking along. He flew away right under Duffy's nose, much to my dog's indignation.
I saw little shoots coming up through the ground where the snow was melting and, before we know it, daffodils and tulips will be here.
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The United Nations disarmament conference in London seems to be bringing forth some real suggestions.
I gather that we are going to read all of the Soviet proposals with extreme care. But the idea of "freezing" all armies, than making reductions, and putting off all new atomic tests for a time may be a way of beginning. It certainly is not a complete plan of inspection and disarmament, but we have reached a point, I think, where taking some steps as a beginning would encourage the world.
Real disarmament, of course, depends so much on mutual confidence that it is difficult to see how we can arrive at any real progress until we come to a meeting of minds on how the Communist and free world are going to live together.
The crux of the matter is whether we can come to an agreement on the kind of propaganda in which each should be permitted to indulge. We are afraid of course, of Soviet infiltration and teaching of Communist ideas without being aware of it, whereby the Soviets make headway because we are not preparing a response to their arguments.
The Soviets feel it is legitimate to move forward in any way they see fit, and we fear that this means an increase in Communist party membership in this country—membership which we now consider tantamount to advocating the overthrow of our government by force. This makes us very uncomfortable.
This situation will have to be resolved, I think, before we come to any agreements for more stable and peaceful relationships between the two countries.