DECEMBER 17, 1958
CHICAGO—The vicissitudes of winter travel by air have already begun for me. I went to Boston at two o'clock on Sunday afternoon in order to speak at a dinner at Brandeis University Sunday night. Henry Morgenthau III, who lives in Boston now, invited some of my old friends as well as some of his own friends for tea in the afternoon, but after a series of delays we got there in fair time and also arrived at the dinner in ample time. And we found a most enthusiastic and large gathering of Brandeis supporters from the Boston area.
Brandeis gets much of its operating income from associate members and many young people have joined in the past year, so the report of membership was extremely satisfactory, and at least 800 people attended the dinner.
When I awoke Monday morning, however, the snow was falling fast and had evidently been falling for some time, for the cars in the street were covered with at least an inch of snow. I was to take a 12:40 p.m. plane for Chicago, where on Monday evening I was to speak at its celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The usual routine began of telephoning the airport to find out whether the flight would take off, and, as usual, the airport was cheerfully uncommunicative, saying that they fully expected to leave on time. I was called from New York and told that there was clear and beautiful weather and perhaps I had better take an 11 o'clock train for New York and from there take a plane for Chicago at five o'clock.
By that time I realized that I couldn't catch the train and a later train would have made it impossible to take the plane for Chicago so I was forced to take my chances on the Boston plane.
I left for the airport with the airline's assurances that it would leave but with a little doubt as to the time. The snow was still coming down, but the plane came in just as we reached the airport and though we took off a half-hour late we did make a smooth take-off and flew into clear skies. That was certainly better for us than for one of the other plenes, which had been due to leave at 9:30 a.m. and was still on the ground when I reached the airport.
We were given a very good lunch, since this was the plane that goes all the way to San Francisco, and I made the acquaintance of three young men who were on their way back to California for Christmas. They have spent a year and a half in Maine, where they have always spent their summers but they decided to find out what the winters would be like there as well. Their mother, who was with them, said that they seemed to like it very much, though she was not quite sure that it was not easier to live in California in winter.
Maine has a rugged winter climate but I think it has a hardening effect on people, and perhaps it is not a bad experience for these boys. They were charming and I enjoyed talking to them, and such friendliness means a very nice kindly spirit, I think, in any family. I have to confess that I have not quite grown accustomed to the younger generation greeting everyone they meet with a simple "Hi". But when it is accompanied by a charming smile nothing more is really needed.
I am almost growing accustomed to going without newspapers because of the strike in New York, but it was rather nice to come into Chicago on Monday afternoon and find one awaiting me. But the press conference greeted me, too, and I never felt less prepared to answer questions on current news.