MARCH 8, 1958
NEW YORK—I am still a little overcome by the success of the Young Democrats' meeting at Oklahoma University. They had 1,300 people for dinner, the greatest number of people ever served there!
Oklahoma is a Democratic state, of course, but the university is nonpartisan and the week before this dinner the Young Republicans had staged a dance which apparently did not have quite such a turnout. This is, of course, understandable in a Democratic state.
I was delighted to hear President Truman's lecture on the duties of the Presidency, and in a few brief moments he ran through all the Presidents of the United States, with little remarks on their adequacy or inadequacy thrown in. That he succeeded in doing this in 15 or 20 minutes I thought most remarkable, and I think everyone was both interested and entertained.
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I have just received the notice telling me of the exhibition of Sir Winston Churchill's paintings in New York. They are now on exhibition, through March 30, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They already have been shown in Kansas City and in Detroit and afterwards will go to Toronto, Canada; Washington, D.C., and Dallas, Tex.
For an amateur painter, this is quite a tour, and I think the exhibition will attract a great many people who are interested in the man as well as in his paintings.
I am hopeful that, now Sir Winston has recovered, he may come over and be here for the exhibition at the Metropolitan, but I have heard nothing definite from him. I imagine Bernard Baruch will be his host, but I have heard nothing definite from Mr. Baruch, either.
As long as we are talking about paintings, I would like to mention a poet whose third book of poems, "The Seven Hills of the Dove," has just been published. His name is Scharmel Iris.
After a great many discouragements—poets are not easily accepted in these days—he is proud to be the one American poet who will be represented in a fine art book of 52 drawings, "Augustus John."
The Graphic Society of Greenwich, Conn., is bringing out the American edition of this beautiful book at a cost of $30 a copy. It is interesting that a poet in this country who has had such a hard time to gain recognition should be the one American included in these drawings.
I hope that this book will gain wider recognition than was given the second one, "Bread Out of Stone." Many publishers have recognized the force of Mr. Iris's writings, but it is not easy to overcome the general apathy about poetry today.
I have an idea that Mr. Iris's autobiography, which he has decided to call "Shuttlecock," will sell far more easily than the books of poems.