SEPTEMBER 28, 1955
NEW YORK—Here I am back in New York and this is a busy day, but yesterday I had time to do many things which a housewife likes to attend to herself. Taking out winter blankets and putting away summer ones, sending some things to the Library and getting one or two things back which I had there on loan. Since being home I have heard a great deal about the damage done by the flood, and I have tried to find as many things as I possibly could in answer to a plea made by our rector in church on Sunday to HELP the flood-sufferers in New England.
I had time too, to read the beginning of President Truman's Memoirs. I fully agree with President Truman that it is a valuable contribution to history when Presidents can write about their own term in the White House. It is true that they cannot be expected to be particularly objective; they are going to tell how they felt, and what made them decide to do certain things, but historians will be glad to know what a man who is trying to be honest actually felt and thought about many complex situations. The one thing no President can escape is the burden of making the ultimate decision. Up to that time he can call on more information than any other man in the world, he can get advice from many sources, but the final evaluation and decision is his, and his alone. It is a lonely pinnacle, and what men think about when they are making important decisions involving a nation and its future should be interesting and valuable for people to know.
I always remember the tension in the White House on D-Day. That decision had to be made by the President, and thousands of men's lives hung in the balance. Until he knew whether it was successful or not all the tension and worry that he felt descended on the White House and no one could fail to feel it. I do not like reading books in installments and so I am hoping to get the first volume of President Truman's Memoirs as soon as they are published in book form. Nevertheless, I am glad that the Memoirs are being published in these installments as many more people will be able to read them than probably could ever afford to buy the book.
I had a little time to read poetry yesterday, something I have not done for a long time, but Bonaro W. Overstreet sent me her latest volume, called "Hands Laid Upon The Wind." I found myself turning from one poem to another with the same interest and enjoyment that I felt when I happened to discover a volume of poems which she wrote in the early days of the depression. I like particularly in this collection the poem called "No Room At The Inn," which begins:
There is never room
In the warm, well-lighted hostel for those who come
Poor, unrecommended, without connections
Seeking a place to bring a new dream to birth."
How true that is, and how unwelcome new dreams often are, even today! I sat in front of a blazing wood fire and read her lines entitled "In Front of the Fire," and they gave a new twist to my thoughts and I found myself "deep in wonder."