SEPTEMBER 3, 1938
HYDE PARK, Friday—I want to begin today by telling you about a book which I think will interest you if you know the countryside along the Hudson River, particularly the part of it just above Poughkeepsie. The book is called "Crum Elbow Folks," by P. R. Barnes. My mother-in-law, Mrs. James Roosevelt, wrote a rather wistful little foreword. The book, with its description of the Quakers in this neighborhood and their lives so long ago, evidently made her remember some of the beauties and joys of her own youth, which must already have been very different from the days described in the book, but which still are nearer to the past than anything we have today. The book describes a day long past, but it is still a picture of the joys of country life we may savor today. Fundamentally, the heart of every tale is the story of some human love with its trials, fears, tragedies and joys, and this is no exception to the rule.
I am also reading with a great deal of pleasure a book called "We Too Are The People," by Louise V. Armstrong. This is the story of a county in the state of Michigan, of its people and their struggles through the past few years. It is written with the obvious intention of making the nation realize that people on relief are still people, even as you and I. Some of them have a harder time over a long period due to circumstances which even you and I might not have met any more adequately. On some of them disaster has descended suddenly in a way it might descend on us. Added to the interest of the picture the author paints of the locality and its people, is the interest in the character of the writer, which merges without any apparent intention on her part. That character and personality must prove interesting and helpful to any of us.
As if it were not enough for us these days to read in the papers of the disasters which man himself brings upon this nation or that, we find every now and then that nature takes a hand as well. Yesterday, I read the account of the typhoon which struck Japan. In these tragedies which nature occasionally brings to various nations, the Red Cross usually is able to give the most prompt and efficient service. This should remind us of the fact that all who interested are in alleviating human suffering in any part of the world should give their constant support to this agency.
I returned from New York late yesterday afternoon and was very glad to be back in the country. I had a pleasant visit with a member of my family whom I had not seen for a long time, and did one or two necessary things. This is a glorious day and we are off to ride in the woods, which are free at last from flies and mosquitoes.