JUNE 19, 1956
HYDE PARK—The meeting of the African groups at New York's International House on Friday morning seemed to be very successful and those participating told me they all enjoyed hearing Chester Bowles the day before. Their motto is "Unity in the Family of Man," and I was particularly impressed by the type of questions asked me.
We Americans have much to learn about other peoples of the world, and I think we know less about those on the African continent than anywhere else. It is impressive and encouraging to find so many of their students over here and able to compete on a high intellectual level with our own, in spite of differences in their educational backgrounds, particularly when they come from the areas of South Africa.
The young woman who came for me was from South Africa and had been in this country for two years. No one could have asked for a more charming, gracious and poised person, and her introduction of me as the speaker of the morning was beautifully done.
As I left International House, I drove straight to Hyde Park where everything is now lush and green, perhaps even more beautiful for the slowness of spring. We have jumped quickly into summer. I picked rhubarb and asparagus Saturday morning in the garden, and many flowers are beginning to be available for the house.
At tea time, Abdelhadi Sbihi from Morocco came with his daughter, who is studying in this country and will return to her homeland next autumn. Several other persons were with them and all spent a little time with me before going over to the Memorial Library to lay a wreath on my husband's grave.
Dr. Nyozekan Hasegawa, an 80-year-old Japanese professor, in this country on the cultural exchange program sponsored by Columbia University, came with his interpreter for dinner and to spend the night.
The children were fascinated by the Japanese kimono he wore and the way he wore his hair, which made him look somewhat like our own Walt Whitman. He told us he once was called the Japanese version of Tagore, the Indian poet.
We found him an altogether delightful person and only wished he could have stayed longer, but on Monday morning he left for New York after I had taken him over to the Library.
Dr. Yasaka Takagi persuaded Dr. Hasegawa to come for the visit, and the latter has the same gentle philosophy and charming approach to life which endears Dr. Takagi himself to everyone.
The interpreter who came with him from Japan was taken ill Sunday. He is 30 years younger than Dr. Hasegawa, and the professor twinkled when he mentioned this difference in age.
Dr. Hasegawa has a delightful sense of humor and was particularly pleased to see my youngest granddaughter, Joan, at breakfast. But she would not approach him very closely, being, I think, awed by his hair and his clothes!
He told us that when he was young he hated to go to the barber, so he found a way that he could cut his own hair and he never has been to the barber since!
After an early lunch on Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lash and I drove up to Newtown, Conn., for the marriage of Mrs. Lash's son, Peter Pratt, and Miss Elaine Egee. It was a perfect June wedding and let us all hope that, having started life under such delightful auspices, the young couple will continue to have good health and happiness.