FEBRUARY 17, 1959
NEW YORK—February does not seem to be the best month in which to travel in the Middle West. We started our little trip a week ago Monday in a heavy New York fog and then ran into almost blizzard conditions in Wisconsin. And throughout the week we had a combination of fog and snow and rain and ice.
Friday was fairly mild but throughout the day, until we were nearly in Columbia, Mo., the fog was almost like a London fog. We had left Topeka at 7 o'clock in the morning and on our 61-mile drive into Kansas City we saw little of the countryside.
We did, however, make good time on the turnpike, and though we could not get breakfast before leaving Topeka we did get some in the railroad station before boarding our train in Kansas City. The train landed us in St. Joseph, Mo., about two hours later and we faced [unclear term marked] another 50-mile automobile drive to Maryville, home of Northwest Missouri State College.
At Maryville, though, Mrs. J. W. Jones, wife of the president of the college, entertained us at a delightful luncheon before we went to speak before the student body. Unfortunately, Mr. Jones was away, so I did not have the pleasure of meeting him. The auditorium was packed, and I was happy to find great interest and a number of interesting questions from my young audience.
We had hoped to fly from Maryville to Columbia, where the University of Missouri is located, but that proved impossible, and we again drove through dense fog for five and a half hours, arriving in Columbia at 9 p.m.
Our drive was made as pleasant as possible by our kindly hosts, but considering the fact that we had begun our day at 6 o'clock that morning, had attended a luncheon and made a speech and had three long automobile rides through thick fog, we decided we were a little too late to join a group of journalists in the evening.
It was an affair we should like to have attended, celebrating the anniversary of the oldest journalism school in America, at the University of Missouri. But because of the late hour we went to bed instead with a feeling of gratitude that we had covered so many miles successfully and without accident.
The opportunity to join with other American women journalists was heartwarming to me, however, for I have always had the greatest admiration and respect for women in the writing field. They have courage and integrity and they hold their own with the men in a field that gives short shrift to incompetence and timidity of any kind.
I am happy to pay tribute to all those women journalists whom I have known, and particularly to those who have never neglected their jobs but who have managed when they were off duty to be warm friends and delightful companions.