NOVEMBER 30, 1957
HYDE PARK—The other afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting Edward G. Robinson, Jr., whose book "My Father My Son," written with William Duffy, is a young man's autobiography that describes what can happen to a "poor little rich boy" whose parents love him but are so busy with their careers that there is very little real chance for a home and a child's normal development.
The sad results are chronicled with honesty, and one understands what happened to this young man. Fortunately, he seems to understand the love which perhaps was sometimes mistakenly given, and to have no resentment but a determination to start using his many inherited talents for his own happiness and the happiness of others.
His photograph is still that of a young man whose character lines are not very defined, but there is charm and sensitivity there, and now that he has attained what he always wanted—even though it was through a prison—he should be able to shape his own life.
He wanted to be recognized for himself. He was accepted by his fellow prisoners. Now he is out in the world again and has written this book to explain his past and, I believe, to register his desire and determination to build, on his own, a life that is worthwhile not just to himself but to the community in which he lives.
All of us who understand what a decision of this kind means will wish him luck and watch his future with great interest, hoping that he will be able to continue in his new life without any handicaps from the past.
Earlier this week I saw "Jamaica," the new musical in which Lena Horne is starred. It is a pleasant play, light and amusing. The dancing is certainly excellent, and some of the voices are beautiful. I think the proverbial tired businessmen will find it delightfully enjoyable.
Someone has sent me a poem written some years ago by Robert Brooker Hunt and published in the Saturday Review, It is so applicable today that I want to quote you the last part of it:
"The dead who slumber in the deep house of the past,
alone, with God.
"The simple dead who now can see with scorching truth
the thinning gaps of time between
and his all-too-powerful Machine.
"Wish as we may,
The Machine is here to stay.
The question is,
Is Man himself to stay?
"The dead should have their say.
"The dead shall have their say."