My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK—My mail has turned up a letter that announces a laudable objective. It suggests a movement "uniting American women for decisive action against the threat of worldwide nuclear slaughter."

But I am afraid this letter and one that is enclosed and which is being sent to the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican national committees indicate that this is just another movement where the heart has outstripped the head. The dear ladies are demanding "immediate disarmament, a ban on tests and an honest, responsible approach to cooperation with all nations, by refusing to vote for any candidate of either party for any office who does not publicly support this policy."

No honest candidate can agree to immediate disarmament. He knows that political questions, which create sore spots in the world, have to be settled before there can be complete disarmament.

There must also be a total membership in the United Nations before any total ban on armaments can be effected, since one nation cannot disarm unless every one does. Would it be possible, for instance, to leave Communist China, outside the U.S., armed?

Such objectives as these ladies have are laudable, but "immediate" is a word that shows a total lack of comprehension of the problems involved. Sponsoring the kind of movement such as this is, no matter how well-intentioned, discredits certain women with other thinking men and women.

I promised to tell you more about Mr.. & Mrs. Irving Salomon's ranch in Escondido, Calif. It is called Rancho Lilac because there was once a little town there called Lilac, which is on the early California maps. There is the tiniest post office with 50 boxes, which sufficed when Lilac was a town.

Everyone in town was bought out some 36 years ago by a gentleman who decided that this was the one climate in the world that would cure him of his sinus and arthritis and, having enough of this world's goods, he simply bought almost the whole little valley. The place has changed hands only twice since then. The first owner moved nearby, being now 92 years old, and the next owner stayed only seven years. Mr. Salomon, the present owner, has now been there 15 years.

Mr. Salomon is raising pedigreed Herefords for breeding purposes, and at the present moment they are grazing in the hills, for California has had more rain than usual recently, and the cattle looked very attractive as we drove around a part of the ranch. He used to raise hogs but he has decided that that loses too much money. He has olive trees, but he can buy olives more cheaply than he can pick them. He takes keen pleasure in the fact that the milk and cream and butter and cottage cheese come from the ranch. All of these products are certainly very good, but I surmise also that they cost more than if he bought them outside.

The ranch house itself is charming, and the trees around it are the most beautiful old live oaks, with acacia and pepper trees here and there. I can well understand why Mr. and Mrs. Salomon love their ranch and I can also understand that Mrs. Salomon is happy that she can have a delightful penthouse in San Diego, too.

Being alone on the ranch a lot of the time would be a rather isolated life. Mr. Salomon is active in the American Association for the United Nations and is on the executive committee of the World Federation of United Nations Associations. Also, he occasionally takes on a government job that takes him to some other part of the world, and Mrs. Salomon cannot always go along. So the chance to take a couple of university courses and to study music in San Diego gives her a nice alternative to ranch life.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL