JUNE 3, 1959
NEW YORK—I spent the Memorial Day weekend at Hyde Park and Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas kindly came up to speak for us at the services in the Rose Garden. The Senator and Mrs. Johnson were very kind to make the trip, and since they had never seen the Memorial I was particularly happy that they had a few minutes in which to visit the house and library.
It was a warm day, however, and I am afraid it was very tiring for both of them. First they had to officiate at the dedication of a little plot where a new seedling oak tree was planted to replace one of the old ones which my husband loved and which unfortunately had to be removed after this past winter.
After the tree-planting Senator Johnson was gracious enough to award the Eagle Scout awards and shake hands with the boys, which I am sure gave them a memory to cherish. Then we went over to the Rose Garden, where the Senator spoke very well and left everyone, I think, with the feeling that this had been one of the best of our Memorial Day services.
There must be something wrong with our farm program when eggs sell to us at such high prices in the stores and yet we see pictures of egg farms being given up because of a slump in prices. Naturally, the egg farmer is looking for support of his prices, but this is nothing unusual when the other farmers are getting supports, and the sooner we have an investigation so that producers and consumers are not gouged in the way they are at present the healthier it will be.
In regard to the current strike at some of our hospitals here in New York, I am now being told that it has long been an accepted fact that while voluntary hospitals have not been required to have unions representing their employees, it still is acceptable for them to do so under the law.
I think, however, it would be well for hospitals to have their employees safeguarded in other ways than through union representation. For there is always the possibility, human beings being what they are, that there will sometimes be heads of unions who will lack the responsibility to represent those who are in an industry where large numbers of helpless people are at their mercy.
Nevertheless, the hospital managements here have been so slow to offer reasonable safeguards and plans that could be accepted by their employees that I am beginning to believe that the same reason that compelled us to put so much strength into union leaders' hands where industry was concerned is going to compel us to do the same thing where hospital boards are concerned.
I cannot understand why it should take so long for the able men and women on these hospital boards to come up with an acceptable plan both to safeguard the rights of the employees to be heard when they have grievances and to give them all possible consideration in their demands for a decent living wage and good working conditions.
I had the pleasure the other day of seeing the wood sculptures of Berel Satt at an exhibition sponsored by the American Jewish Congress. I would have loved to take home the lovely carving of the sower sowing his seed, but the whole exhibition had been bought to be shown throughout the world.
I am told that this type of carving is not very fashionable just now, but I have a feeling that all things that are good survive fashion. If you have something that has value to you, even though it is not the fashion at the minute, it should not matter to you. This artist loved the people in his carvings, and they are so true to life that many who have such carvings may feel sure that they have precious possessions.