DECEMBER 19, 1944
WASHINGTON, Monday—I forgot to tell you that while in New York City I spent one evening of delightful and frivolous enjoyment. We went to the theatre and saw "I Remember Mama," by John van Druten. This play is adapted from Kathryn Forbes' "Mama's Bank Account." It is beautifully directed and acted, with Mady Christians, Oscar Homolka and Joan Tetzel in the principal parts. The story is slight, but each individual scene stands out as a perfect little cameo by itself. There is humor, there is sweetness, and there is pathos, and one very valuable lesson for young writers!
I happen to have been in contact with a few of them lately, who think they can write masterpieces about things of which they know nothing, before they have even lived or experienced any of the tragedies and joys of life. So that particular little item of advice to the young and aspiring author in the play struck home, and I felt that I would pass it on many times!
Just after I reached home yesterday I received word that my aunt, Mrs. Stanley Mortimer, had died suddenly the night before in New York City. Mrs. Mortimer was very little younger than my mother, but even with age she kept her beauty and her charm. She never seemed to me to be quite living in the world of today, with all of its realities; but her world was an interesting world, and I loved going to see her and feeling cut off for a while from my everyday surroundings. My children were all fascinated by her and enjoyed her whenever they met.
I think perhaps she was happier the last years of her life than she had been for many years before, because she discovered her own country as a result of the war, and because of new friendships which she had made. Instead of feeling sad that she could not visit her old haunts in Europe, she began to enjoy new ones over here. I think her only remaining sister, Mrs. David Gray, and I, as well as her children and close friends, will find the world not quite such a colorful and gay place without her.
Thomas J. Kehoe brought his group of veterans again yesterday afternoon from Walter Reed Hospital, and there seems to be such an interest in Fala that I am going to show them next Sunday afternoon the first movie which was done here in the White House of that busy little dog. During the afternoon I had three other appointments, followed by a quiet Sunday supper and not too busy an evening.
I had a press conference this morning, and at 12 o'clock I saw a lady who is up here from the island of Antigua, British West Indies, and who came to bring me a message from our soldiers there and to take one back to them from me when she returns.