MAY 21, 1937
MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Friday—I have just been asked to attend a fair to be given for the benefit of "House of Calvary." This is a hospital taking care of patients suffering from cancer without regard to race, color or creed.
There is, of course, nothing peculiar about my being asked to visit a charitable institution but the letter which accompanied this invitation struck me as particularly interesting. It said in part that: "Almost fifty years ago a small group of widows decided to forget their personal sorrows and devote their lives to the care of the poor who suffered from cancer." They began with a visiting nurse service, "personally calling at homes of the poor and ministering to their afflicted ones."
As friends watched their work they were given money and they bought first one little house and then another, until finally they have a two hundred bed hospital. The guiding spirit of the institution is a woman eighty-five years old and the only surviving member of the original board of twelve young widows who began the work.
From what little acorns do great trees grow! Those first twelve young women probably never dreamed the amount of good which would eventually be done because of their early efforts. How much better it was instead of sitting down and living over their sorrows to use their time and strength in this remarkable way. I hope all who come after them show the same spirit of self-sacrifice and courage.
Just before I left New York I had an amusing time with a taxicab driver who, as he deposited me at my destination remarked: "You are the fourth member of the President's family I have carried in my cab. I have had his mother, his son, his aunt and now you!"
I told my mother-in-law yesterday that I thought my husband had inherited his good radio voice from her, and with her usual family she replied: "My husband had a very good voice, but Franklin's voice is like all the Delanos!"
We reached Washington about seven p.m. and I had only one appointment before a quiet family dinner. Last night I left with Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., on the night train for Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where we met ten members of the post-graduate class of Todhunter School which has been studying government agencies during the winter. We visited today two homesteads - Westmoreland in Pennsylvania where I have never been before, and Arthurdale, West Virginia.
There is no space today to tell you of the trip in detail or to give you the impressions which have been made on us, but in my next column I will try to tell you more about points of particular interest.