MAY 2, 1956
NEW YORK—My little backyard began to flower Saturday and Sunday, the first really springlike days we've had this year. Hyacinths came out along the border of the yard, and I saw buds on other plants that will burst forth in a day or two.
I am delighted to find that an azalea, which I transplanted after receiving it as an Easter gift last year, will flower copiously any minute. The buds are everywhere. It gives one such a pleasant feeling, after transplanting something with great misgivings, to find that it actually will bloom!
The publishers, Spencer Press, have just sent me through Hawthorne Books, Inc., their distributor, three volumes which I think any school or village library would be glad to have.
One of these is a collection of prose and poetry, chosen from the world's literature by Marjorie Barrows, and, on the whole, I find her choices delightful.
Then there is "One Thousand Inspirational Things," compiled by Audrey Stone Morris. This also is a collection of prose and poetry, dwelling on subjects that will give the ordinary individual "strength, courage, confidence, beauty and inspiration" in meeting the stresses of everyday life.
The third book contains selections of poetry and prose compiled by Hugh Graham and is called "One Thousand American Things." Here are stories and poems, essays and speeches, ballads and legends—all a part of America's heritage—that should not be forgotten by the young people of today. So it is good to have them in a volume together.
A letter came to me the other day bringing up a problem that never had been put to me before.
There apparently is a difference between the amount that can be deducted for elderly dependents on the Federal income tax and the amount that is allowed as a tax deduction to those over 65 years of age who have incomes of their own.
This letter says that these more fortunate persons are granted a $1,200 deduction each for husband and wife, or $1,200 as an individual. And their medical expense deductions are not restricted to the excess of three percent of their income.
Those who provide for elderly dependents, however, who for some reason have been unable to earn social security and do not receive pensions or have other income of their own, or who receive insufficient pensions or aid, are granted only a $600 deduction for each of their elderly dependents. And they can deduct medical expenses only if they exceed three percent of their income.
This seems to be a curious and rather unjust quirk in the Federal income tax regulations and I think it might well be examined.