DECEMBER 16, 1958
CHICAGO—That was an interesting and charming photograph, published the other day, of the visit paid by Governor-elect and Mrs. Nelson Rockefeller to Governor and Mrs. Averell Harriman in Albany. These men and their wives have known each other for a long time, and pleasantly. But these visits can be difficult occasions. In this instance, however, I'm sure it was an easy and comfortable one.
The ladies are always interested in how the government house, in which they are going to have to do not only private living but a good deal of public entertaining, has met the needs of the previous family. The old mansion, which my husband and I lived in, has seen many changes since our day, but basically it has not, nor cannot it be, changed a great deal. It can be a warm and satisfactory family house as well as adequate for the kind of entertaining that falls to every governor's lot.
There have been governors who made this entertaining formal and apparently felt it was rather burdensome. But, on the other hand, there have been many who enjoyed it and found it relaxing to get to know not only their colleagues in government service but also many Albany citizens.
I look back with pleasure on my immediate neighbors. At one period in the summer when some religious festivals would be observed our neighbors kept us awake till late at night. But, on the whole, this was part of our environment that we particularly enjoyed. I hope Governor and Mrs. Harriman will look back on their years in Albany with as much pleasure as my husband and I did, and I feel sure that Mr. and Mrs. Rockefeller will find the old Dutch town hospitable and agreeable to live in.
The responsibilities of government have undoubtedly increased and become more complicated, but that is just part of the whole increase in the complicated life of this nation. Our city problems are greater, our state problems are greater, and our national problems are far greater at home and in the rest of the world.
I am sure it was not pleasant reading for New York State residents the other day to see that Mr. Rockefeller sees a rise in the deficit and the need for increased taxes in our state.
A little book has just been sent to me which I want to mention. It is called "Ward Brothers, Champions of the World."
These brothers belonged to a very large and famous family and they were our first world champion oarsmen and established rowing as a sport and almost as a profession.
The story, as told by the granddaughter of one of them, "is the story of four men in a boat who rowed their way to fame. It is also the story of one man in a boat who set the world record as single sculler, and it is the story of a magnificent family by the name of Ward who have left their mark in the world."
I am sure you will enjoy the story and for those who live on the Hudson River, where the Ward family lived, it will have a particular interest. The fact that my husband had a connection with them was of pertinent interest to me. I am sure this was one of the reasons that he was always so interested in rowing and encouraged his own boys in the sport.