JULY 30, 1949
HYDE PARK, Friday—There was a fascinating picture in the papers yesterday of a little one-year-old jumping off a 10-foot diving board, feet first, in Dallas, Texas. He has been leaping from a low board for three months.
It is interesting that a boy only nine months old could be trained by his father to jump as he does into the water. It certainly is a good idea and I think we are proving it here in our local pool. With the example of our older children and the supervision of an expert swimmer, very small boys and girls can lose their fear of the water and learn to keep themselves afloat. Before most of us realize it, they become really excellent swimmers!
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There is no doubt that every mother is worried over the increase in the number of polio cases, and what concerns me is that there are certain areas of our country that seem more prone to have a very high percentage of polio every year. It is extraordinary that we cannot find out the reason why this disease appears more virulent in some places than in others.
One thing we do know, however, and I think it must allay some of our fears. More doctors are alert today to the signs that point to the possibility of a child's having polio. Therefore, they recognize it more quickly and probably our statistics are becoming more reliable every year. I also think more is known about the way in which one can try to keep one's children in good condition, thereby lessening the chances of their falling prey to the polio bug.
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I am so glad that the Ile de France received a gala welcome when she arrived in New York harbor. Having this ship back in commission will symbolize for the French a step accomplished in their recovery program.
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Tonight a motion-picture theatre, which is opposite the Memorial Library here at Hyde Park and which will be run by a local group of theatre people, is going to open for the first time. The evening is sponsored by the Hyde Park Lions Club and the proceeds are for the benefit of the Hyde Park Community Chest.
The builders of this theatre hope that its unique features will make it attractive to all of our neighbors, as well as to the passing visitors to the library. Sometimes to go a little out of town to a movie, so long as you have ample parking space, is pleasanter than being in town. I really feel that to attend a movie and then go on to Norrie Point Inn for an informal party afterwards is more gaiety than comes our way very often in the summer months.
The Hudson River has never been exactly a gay spot. Somehow, however, those of us who live here seem tied to the river in many ways—by our love for the countryside and also by our childhood associations.