JULY 21, 1937
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I left home at one o'clock yesterday to motor up to New Lebanon, New York. My friend, Mrs. Charles Fayerweather, and a group of her friends have been very active in starting craft work in that vicinity and this was to be their second exhibition. I arrived to find a great many cars parked outside the school, and as they were selling as well as exhibiting, I decided this was a fortunate day for them!
The most interesting work it seemed to me, was some iron work done by a man in Hudson, New York. There were two very simple little brackets, holding flower pots, for the wall which were very charming because of the graceful line of the scroll above and below the flower pots. Some very nice fire irons and a toasting fork. This last particularly appealed to me for I have so often either burned my face over an out-door fire or dropped whatever I was toasting off the forked stick on which it hung insecurely. This long handled fork will obviate many of my difficulties and certainly other people who like to eat out of doors must share these troubles with me. He had innumerable other very attractive things on exhibition.
I must not forget to mention the fact that one of the prettiest hooked rugs was done at the Hudson River Training School for Girls, and they tell me that some really artistic workers are being developed there.
They have not gone far with their weaving. Spinning and weaving was being demonstrated by two young women who are sisters, borrowed from the public school system in Saratoga for the occasion. They will I think, greatly improve the work done, as well as enhance the interest of the people in this type of work.
The knitting is quite lovely, some of the mittens being done in real Norwegian style, and if it had been nearer the winter season, I should have been tempted to buy some. I was interested to have the woman who is in charge of that department murmur in my ear: "Please tell Frances Perkins you saw me here, we were in college together."
Some interesting work is being done by a man who makes stools with tops of woven tape. He started out with the idea that he must put a finish on his wood which looks like the kind of gloss one puts on to hide defects in workmanship! He has now grasped the idea that a finish should bring out the grain in the wood and be soft and the stool which I purchased has real charm.
To compensate for an afternoon spent driving through lovely country, over some roads which were not the usual beaten track, I spent the evening at my desk catching up with the day's mail, which as is usually the case on Mondays, was particularly heavy.
This morning a very interesting visit from Mr. Bourjaily who brought Mr. Rihani to see me for a little while before he sailed to retire to his country place in Lebanon and write a book. I was secretly amused at the coincidence, spending yesterday afternoon in New Lebanon and today talking to a gentleman who was returning to a spot in his native land after which our modern village was named!