AUGUST 6, 1949
HYDE PARK, Friday—Early yesterday morning I went to New York City for my weekly trip, and I came very near to being an hour late for my regular engagement. I looked at the clock in the waiting room as I arrived in Grand Central Station and that showed it to be ten minutes before nine. I entirely forgot that as far as I was concerned and, for that matter, the rest of the world outside the station, it was actually ten minutes before ten. So I did two errands, patting myself on the back, thinking how fortunate I was to find shops open at such an early hour.
Then I calmly told my taxi driver to take me down to Washington Square. Fortunately, as I was driving down the ramp over 42nd street I looked at the clock on the south side of the station, which is also on standard time, but something reminded me that it was really an hour later. So I promptly changed my order and went straight to the broadcasting station where I arrived at two minutes before eleven. Everything went smoothly, both on the interviews and on my own talks, and then I did two extra "side shows" which had been asked of me.
Unfortunately, I was too late for two appointments that I had made, so I shall have to write and apologize for not being able to keep them and make them again next week.
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The day before yesterday a young cousin of mine from Boston, who is now a young newspaper reporter in a nearby state, spent part of the day with me on his way to visit his grandfather, Frederic A. Delano, in Newburgh.
It always interests me to see the enthusiasm with which the young members of the family go into their jobs. He asked a great many questions and I could easily not have answered them. But he looked so young it seemed a pity not to tell him the truth. This time my rule that I would give no separate interviews went by the board, and I have been paying for it. Or, rather, Miss Thompson has been paying for it. She has had to answer innumerable queries on the article he wrote!
On the way down in the train yesterday morning I read one of the many manuscripts that are sent to me. This is a narrative poem, which endeavors to make clear the uselessness of war and is intended to inspire the present generation to find peaceful solutions to every question.
The theme puts a man who thinks that we should arm to the teeth and be prepared to drop the first bomb in any war against the man who thinks that before one even makes any preparation for war one should get everybody around a table and do a lot more talking.
The poem points to all that we could do for people if we just gave up preparing for war—and no one can refute that argument. It takes as an enemy a man who is despised by all the others and shows how he can be dealt with more effectively without the use of force, hoping to show us that this treatment of an individual also can be meted out to a nation.
It is a fair effort to present a point of view, but I don't know how well the point is applicable to international affairs that reach the people, for whom it is intended.