AUGUST 16, 1947
HYDE PARK, Friday—For nearly a month I was in a place where the telephone simply cannot reach you. We had a good many telegrams but I talked on the telephone only once in the whole four weeks, and if I had not gone over to the mainland to do so, the stars would not have fallen. My business and everybody else's went on as usual.
However, when I reached Portland, Maine, on the way home, I had hardly got into my hotel room when the telephone rang, and it continued to ring every few minutes until I went out again. Even during dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. David Gray, I had a call.
The newspapers were after me and at first I could not imagine what it was all about. I remembered having seen in the papers that someone in Tennessee had left me $25, and I thought it was rather a sweet gesture of remembrance from someone who admired my husband, since I had never heard of the gentleman. By the time I reached Portland, it was an estate of $25,000, which included a farm in Tennessee, a church which I was to be required to keep up, and a house in which a niece of the gentleman was to be allowed to live until her death. In addition, I was to erect a monument, not to cost more than $200. I had never heard a word directly about all of this, and have not to this day.
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This morning the New York Times, which is usually reliable, informs us that the lawyer has decided that the niece retains the estate until her death, and then it reverts to me—which I imagine means that, if there should be anything remaining at that time, it may revert to me. He makes the suggestion that I may not agree with his interpretation of the law, but as he has never communicated with me, I do not see that I have to worry about it.
On arriving at Hyde Park, I found six or seven letters and telegrams suggesting ways of disposing of this estate—this mythical estate which no one has even offered me as yet.
Somehow it strikes me as amusing, and a good illustration of how really unimportant are most of the things that we telephone and telegraph about. If each of us took the trouble, we could probably cut down on our "urgent" communications by several hundred messages every week, and I am sure that no one would suffer.
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All of us who live in the East know that the past few days have been pretty warm. Here at Hyde Park, both the dogs and the children are conscious of it, and so we have spent considerable time in swimming and everyone is getting back to hot-weather routine.
I was interested to find that Campobello Island is cooler than the coast of Maine, and if I am going to take the trouble to leave home in summer, the certainty that I am going to a really cool spot, even though fog may hang about, is something well worth considering in favor of our island.