FEBRUARY 24, 1954
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Our two days in Sarasota, Florida, were peaceful but uneventful. The first morning I was visited by the press and explained at length my interest in the American Association for the United Nations. There were some nice people who came to lunch and in the afternoon a number of acquaintances dropped in. I made a recording for a noon broadcast today, dealing with the U.N..
Sarasota has great interest in the arts and I was interested to hear that one of the young painters in the neighborhood is a relative of Gauguin and another one a relative of Matisse. Many people come here because of health and that brings a great many older people. However, a number of younger people are settling here and for business reasons.
In the afternoon we saw a very charming lady of 76, Mrs. Fesser, who still manages to come for five months to Hyde Park every summer and run the Vanderbilt Inn but who enjoys the other seven months here in a much more relaxed environment, living in her own little house on a quiet street. She served us the most delicious "snowballs" which are a type of cupcake covered with coconut and soft inside. Mrs. Fesser reminded me she made these for the King and Queen of England when they visited us at Hyde Park.
My uncle, David Gray, has a remarkably good arrangement for music on the radio and for record playing and I have heard more good records and good music in the last two days than I have heard in a long time. I have also done considerable reading.
One pamphlet in the public affairs series called "Medical Research May Save Your Life," by Gilbert Cant, who is the medical editor of Time magazine would, I think, be of interest to anyone who would like to know what progress we are making in research. It also tells how much money is being made available in different ways to combat the diseases which take the lives, or cripple the lives, of many American citizens today.
These diseases are: cancer, heart trouble, arthritis or rheumatic troubles, virus diseases like polio, and mental health. Polio, because of the research which has been possible, is on the verge of being conquered and by many other advances we have added to the life expectancy of every citizen. There is still much that can be done through research, however, and this little pamphlet will give you a brief but illuminating picture.
I have received from an economist, Mr. C. Rockwell Pettes, of Santa Ana, California, a complete "solution" for any evils that may occur in our economic system. He calls it a "Proposal for Economic Stability" and as a subtitle, he adds, "Preventing depressions and saving the free enterprise system." I am not an economist but I would think the proposals were a very carefully planned economy which left very little freedom or leeway for the vagaries of human nature, or even of nature itself. However, I will pass it along to better qualified judges.