JANUARY 18, 1958
NEW YORK—Because for the last few days I have been writing about certain ideas I wanted to put before my readers, I neglected to tell about a number of things which I have done.
Last week in New York City I saw a play called "The Rope Dancers." It is beautifully acted, but it left me with a sense I had been steeped in gloom for the whole evening. I will not deny that there were many realities in the picture placed before us, and perhaps we need emphasis on the sordid and gloomy side of life, but it does not make for a pleasant evening. I came home feeling that I had seen fine talent make good use of several situations, but I was left drained by depressing emotions.
I also went to a concert of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, with Leonard Bernstein conducting and Misha Elman as the violin soloist. Two of the numbers were entirely new and one of them, called a "Fusion," by Macero, I feel sure would have been better understood and enjoyed by the younger generation in my family. Leonard Bernstein told me that even he was not sure he understood it. The evening was very interesting to me and I enjoyed it very much.
I started off for Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday and there met Clark Eichelberger and Miss Patricia Baillargeon and spent from noon until Monday morning at the state university in Chapel Hill.
I knew this university first when Dr. Frank Graham was its President, and I am always reminded of him when I go there. It seems to me he left an indelible mark on the young people, even though some of them there today may never have met him.
The young people had planned well for all our time with them which Mr. Eichelberger called "planned chaos." We talked with a number of groups in the afternoon and then attended a reception at the home of the President, Mr. Friday, a dinner, and finally we spoke at a large evening meeting.
We were on our way to Raleigh at 8:30 a.m. Monday and there we met all day with chapter heads of the American Association for the United Nations and possible new chapter leaders from other parts of the state, as well as the heads of other organizations.
At 5 o'clock we started out for the airport, fully expecting that, in spite of the rain, we would reach Nashville in the early evening, spend the night and then a busy day there on Tuesday. But the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry!
We were told the plane had generator trouble in Charlotte. So we waited until 10:45 p.m., got on the plane and taxied to the takeoff. Then we were informed that the weather ceiling was moving up and down and for the time being it was too low to take off. After half an hour, we returned to the ramp, it having been decided that the ceiling would stay low the rest of the night.
The began a search for beds for the night. There was a convention in town, and at first it seemed as though we would sleep on chairs in the airport. Several people were more than kind and offered to take us home—one kind gentleman actually called his wife and planned to move his child out of his bed so he could take us all in. But finally the airlines produced a single and a double room, and we slept briefly but comfortably.
We awakened at 6:15 Tuesday morning and finally, after having one light cancelled, we got off a little after 9:30 a.m., this time to Atlanta, where we changed and reached Nashville at noon. Our AAUN chairman there, Lang Wroton, had shown extraordinary calmness and had carried on the morning meeting without us. He took me directly to a TV interview and from there to the afternoon meeting. Meanwhile Mr. Eichelberger addressed a Civitan luncheon and then joined us for the afternoon session.
From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. we attended a reception, then a pleasant small dinner, and finally we addressed a large meeting in a well-filled auditorium where the audience not only stayed through the speeches but even waited for a short question period, On Wednesday we got up at 5:15 a.m. to start on our journey back to New York.