OCTOBER 12, 1940
HYDE PARK, Friday—Autumn colors seen from a plane are quite extraordinary. It is like seeing a brilliant and beautiful old Aubusson rug spread out beneath you. Yesterday, during part of our trip to Syracuse, the land was obliterated by ground fog, so we drifted a little to the west. However, we arrived on time and I was glad to see some old friends on the dock to greet me.
We drove first to an NYA pottery making project, where the young people are really learning pottery in a way which will make them valuable to the commercial pottery companies in the neighborhood. These companies have been most cooperative in helping the NYA to set up this project, which produces plates, cups, saucers, tea sets and pitchers to be used in resident projects throughout the country.
From there we motored to the Onondaga Reservation, where the young people have built a community house which will contain a library, recreation room and craft room for girls. There is also a kitchen where the girls may take courses in home management. An old Indian chief greeted me here and presented me with a lovely Indian basket and leather pouch. Most interesting is the close cooperation achieved here between the unions and NYA. They have provided the skilled labor and have undertaken to evaluate the work of the NYA boys, and later will guide them in the work they are capable of undertaking in the future.
I was also very pleased to see, before I left, my old friend, Mr. Leo Casey, who drove down to the yacht landing for a few minutes chat.
Our next stop was in Cooperstown, N. Y., and I am most enthusiastic about the NYA rural center at Hartwick Seminary. I have never seen boys and girls more enthusiastic about their work, and I think the young man in charge deserves great credit for the spirit of those working with him. They are acquiring pride in what they do, and an understanding of the dignity of labor.
From there we went to Utica, where a small resident project is operating in a really delightful house. The boys run it themselves, as they do all resident projects. Their work is in connection with aviation and will shortly expand so more boys can be accommodated in this center.
We were back in Hyde Park before dark. I had a happy feeling of having seen young America in the process of training for greater usefulness, in a life which may be difficult, but which is still full of hope.
I spent a quiet evening with the usual quota of mail waiting to be done. Today is glorious and I had a ride. Now I am starting to motor over to lunch with Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr. in Fishkill.