MARCH 31, 1960
SAN DIEGO—Last weekend I went up to Hyde Park on Friday afternoon and on Saturday evening we had the pleasure in the Roosevelt High School of a really delightful concert given by Nyrna Ruiz.
Miss Ruiz was born in Santiago de Cuba, a Cuban seaport town, only 24 years ago, and at the age of 11 she made her debut there on the concert stage. In 1953 she entered Bennington College in Vermont. Later, in 1958, she played as the piano soloist with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra and also under the auspices of the New Music Quartet in New York City.
Her program was delightful, but I think the four impromptus, including Opus 90 by Schubert, stood out as being her best medium. I have never heard them played better. She gave this concert in Hyde Park through the interest of some friends who were working there for the Hyde Park Recreation Commission, and the proceeds went to that group.
But the evening also was in my honor, and I certainly enjoyed Miss Ruiz' kindness in appearing. I was glad, too, that the community turned out in substantially large numbers, which is quite unusual as our neighbors are not concert-going people as a rule.
On Sunday evening I spoke in Spring Valley, N.Y., on my way into the city, and on Monday morning, bright and early, Miss Maureen Corr and I caught an American Airlines jet flight for Los Angeles.
Our day actually began at 7 a.m. and by our time it was 4 a.m. when we went to bed on Mr. Irving Salomon's Rancho Lilao in Escondido, on our way to San Diego.
On Monday the change in time made it possible for us to arrive in Los Angeles at 12:40, so that we lunched with my friend, Mrs. Hershey Martin, and to my complete surprise my son James appeared. He was out there unexpectedly for a hospital meeting.
I looked in for a few minutes after lunch at a party being given to raise money for television and radio time for the Democrats in California to use in the national election campaign.
Then I dressed and had a brief rest before leaving at 5 o'clock for Wilmington, Calif., where I spoke for the Harbor Junior College. This is one of seven junior colleges in the Los Angeles city area.
We dined with the young director of the college, Mr. Wendell Black, and Mrs. Black and Mr. Edward Robings, chairman of the Forum Committee. Mr. Robings told me that they were trying to bring to the community greater knowledge of the world by having movies, music, and lectures, in fact anything that would make the rest of the world seem more real in their community.
Harbor Junior College gives vocational courses as well as academic courses, and some of the students go on to the university while others go directly into some form of work. But this extra two years gives them a much better opportunity for training and for general education.
After the lecture and the question period, which was over at 10:30 p.m., Pacific time, Mr. Salomon picked us up and drove us back to his ranch, which is in a most beautiful little valley lost in the mountains. I must tell you more about it in another column.