OCTOBER 12, 1956
NEW YORK—I must tell you of a unique housing project which I saw in Chicago last Saturday. It is an integrated project, with 12 white family units and 28 colored.
One building of several floors is occupied largely by older people—either older married couples or single people. The apartments are entered from the outside and there are no inner corridors.
Younger people live in the corner apartments, and in the development there are a number of apartments with only two floors for young families, both colored and white. The landscaping is not quite finished but there will be some, and I think there will be room for the children to play without crossing any streets.
The rents are adjusted to the income of the apartment occupants, and an effort has been made to get the cooperation of all the welfare agencies so that the older people can have medical care and, when they are ill, a housekeeper service furnished by a welfare organization.
It seemed to me that organization of all these different services would make this a rather complicated development to operate. The idea is somewhat similar to one I had seen in Sweden, but in that country the organization is state-operated and does not take all this close cooperation of many groups.
In Chicago I was struck by the fact that the slum areas through which I drove have been cleaned up in the most remarkable way, and I was told this was due to the present Mayor. He certainly deserves praise, for the change is quite electrifying to a casual observer driving through those areas for the first time in many months.
There was an amusing little note in our New York newspapers earlier this week on the difference in the travels of the two chief campaigning personalities.
Adlai Stevenson complains because he has to shave twice a day. He is also bothered by a preference for broadcloth shirts instead of the quick-drying ones that most people use for travel.
But none of these things seem to bother the President, for whom everything is smoothly planned when he travels. That is as it should be.
We who are not candidates but unimportant cogs in the campaign machinery may not complain of Stevenson's shaving trials, but we have a few of our own!
One of mine is the weather; particularly when I fly. Somehow there is nothing I can do about it, and I have to develop a philosophy of accepting the inevitable and disappointing audiences if necessary.
The other thing is the people who want autographs when I am trying to shake hands with a thousand people in the shortest possible time! I prefer to sign autographs sitting down, and I find it most difficult holding up a whole line of people to sign autographs, usually on the soft surface of somebody's handbag!
Outside of that, I am afraid I can't complain of many trials and tribulations, but I was glad to be back in New York until today, when I start out again. Fundamentally, perhaps one's real worry is whether all this traveling brings any results.