JULY 24, 1939
HYDE PARK, Sunday—The days continue to be cool and beautiful, but the need of rain is growing more and more apparent. Nothing grows and some things are beginning to wither. My husband, after a tour of inspection of his young Christmas trees, planted this spring, found the percentage of loss appalling. They had tried to water them, but with a rather primitive watering cart which takes about a week to water the area covered by the young trees. Of course, that is not enough water for them to survive. Someone asked me not long ago to pray daily for peace in the world and I am beginning to think that I shall add a prayer for rain, and hope that many other people will do the same.
Yesterday we had about ten children romping in and out of the pool from 12 o'clock on, and it is fun to see children enjoy themselves. Mr. and Mrs. George Carlin brought up their five children, my cousin, Mrs. Alexander Grant, came with her father, Mr. Frederic Delano, bringing a very lovely 18 year-old daughter and two small boys, one her own and one the son of a friend. Our rector, Mr. Wilson, and his wife brought their three boys and to this medley of parents and children were added Mr. Alexander Woollcott and his secretary, Mrs. Francis Parkinson Keyes and our own guests with our cottage inhabitants and their friends.
I was a little nervous for fear that Mr. Woollcott would not enjoy eating his meals out of doors, but I discovered that he prefers that to being indoors, and a more delightful story teller I have never had as a guest. His fund of tales is endless and always varied and interesting. My cousin, Mr. Monroe Robinson, who was staying with us, had to leave right after lunch and our guests left us around 5:00 o'clock.
At 6:00 o'clock we drove down to Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau's home for their annual clambake, given for the entire party which comes up here with the President. As usual, the setting was very beautiful. The lawn, ringed about by hills with the shadows growing deeper as the sun went down and finally with the moon shining out above us, is a really unforgettable scene.
Three colored entertainers, headed by "Hughie," played and sang. Though there was less musical talent than usual in the company, we did get some general singing and were particularly fortunate in having Mrs. Archibald MacLeish, who arrived in the afternoon with her husband to stay with us. At Mr. Woollcott's request she sang "Oh, Western Wind" for us. We enjoyed the bonfire and later went into the house and danced. At last the Virginia reel seems to have become popular and we had a roomful doing it in a most enthusiastic fashion.
This morning, the President, Major Henry Hooker and I went to church. Basking in the sun with a dip in the pool seems to be the program for this afternoon. A thoroughly lazy two days!