MAY 22, 1956
NEW YORK—I drove out on Saturday morning to a part of New Jersey with which I am not very familiar. It is lovely country with many hills and streams. Everything was so green and dogwood and other bloosoms were everywhere.
I went there to see the home a friend of mine developed from a little fishing shack along a small trout stream. He has had the property for six years and told me it was a jungle when he bought it. Now it is showing signs of civilization—a tidy little lawn with flowers growing in great profusion, transplanted trees and stone–bordered drives and flower beds.
As needs arose, additions were made to the house and, although it is not architecturally perfect, it has a charm all its own. It meets the needs of my host, who likes to entertain many guests but who lives alone and really has become a good cook and bottle-washer!
We strolled along the little stream, which has great charm and which, incidentally, attracts many fishermen during a weekend, although I didn't see them catch any trout.
Next door, we visited a precision toolmaker and his charming wife who had built their own home. He even made much of their home's furniture and hardware, as well as the window shutters. It has been great relaxation from his precision work, he said.
Martha Graham and some of her friends joined us Saturday afternoon and evening, delighting us with her impressions of her 'round-the-world tour. There is no doubt that if you like people and go to foreign countries with a desire to learn as much as possible, the people in those countries like you in return and you get much from your visit.
Miss Graham has come back from her travels full of stories of the kindness and cordiality she met everywhere. She also evidently gained a deep understanding of the needs and longings of people in the Far East and Middle East.
It is wonderful to have a medium of expression through your art which draws people nearer to you, even though their languages and their artistic expression may be completely different.
Many of my host's neighbors dropped in to chat during the afternoon and among them were two young men who have revived the general store in New Hampton, N.J. They have made the outside of the store look as much like the original building as possible. Inside is the old cracker–barrel, filled with old-fashioned water crackers made especially for them.
There, you can get country farm products, including an old natural cheddar cheese known as "Old-Fashioned General Store Cheese." It is made from whole milk and aged for almost two years. I certainly shall have some of this cheese this summer, as well as one of their sugar-cured hickory smoked hams and some smoked chipped beef.
The store has all sorts of old-fashioned jellies and jams and even sassafras tea. You may not like this tea very much, but former generations knew it well and valued it for what they considered its health-giving qualities in the spring.
If you like an old-fashioned country store, this is the place for you to visit.