AUGUST 9, 1960
HYDE PARK—On Friday night of last week, as I told you, I went for the first time to Stratford, Conn., to see a Shakespeare play. It was "Twelfth Night," and I thought Katharine Hepburn was enchanting as Viola, and all the other actors and actresses were so good that I could not begin to pick out the best among them.
It began to rain on the way out, so the picnic supper that we brought we ate right in the car, and at the end of the play we had to drive all the way to Hyde Park. But it had been such an enchanting performance that not one of us even felt tired the next day, and I think all of us look forward to going again and seeing other performances.
I meant all summer, when in the city, to find an evening to see New York City's Shakespeare in the Park, which, they tell me, is most successful. But like many other things, my good intentions outrun my achievements. Somehow Shakespeare's appeal has no age limits. I suppose that is because people and their real feelings are much the same at any age. In any case, I find that young and old have a good time at a Shakespeare play, and I am certainly grateful to those who have put over the summer theatre at Stratford.
The surroundings there are so lovely; everything about it gives one the kind of enchantment one needs now and then. Next to me sat a lady who said that she lived in Virginia, not far from Washington, and that she came up very often, sometimes once a week, just to go to a Stratford performance.
On Monday of this week I went from Hyde Park to West Shokan, where Mary Margaret McBride lives in a house on the side of a mountain. The house is built of redwood, and the porch looks out on the reservoir.
Mary Margaret McBride was her charming self, sounding as though she had really never thought till that minute of the things she was about to say, and yet never forgetting the thread of what she said or of what she wanted the person she was interviewing to say. I think she is one of the most expert interviewers I have ever known.
She had about 50 of her neighbors as an audience, and she does this local broadcast, with local commercials, just as she once did her New York broadcasts. I just have a lovely time talking to her, so I enjoyed every minute with her and was delighted to have lunch with her afterwards, sitting on her porch and drinking in the beautiful view.
She is one person who accumulates books just the way I do, so everywhere you go in every room of her house, there are books and more books. I was encouraged, for I never have enough room for my books and I felt I could now go on building shelves in many places I had not thought of before.
Someday I hope I will have the time to read the books I now have on my shelves, besides all those I know I will accumulate in the next year or so.