JANUARY 12, 1956
BELLINGHAM, Wash.,Wednesday—I am struck by the fact that this Northwest coast is very similar to the Northeastern part of our country. The coastline is indented with many bays and little islands and the evergreens grow right down to the rocks.
On our flight from Seattle to here the sun was struggling to come through, which made some rather beautiful cloud effects. I am hoping that the sun, which finally battered its way through the clouds, is going to stay with us, for we are about to drive 28 miles to Mt. Vernon and it should be a beautiful drive along the water. The mountains will be very close to us on the other side.
Mt. Baker can be seen on clear days from my niece's house where I am staying. The family of her husband, Daniel Walker, has long lived in Bellingham and the young people have now come back, bought an old house and done it over into a completely modern interior. It is on top of a hill with a view of the water on two sides and of the mountains on the others.
I am fascinated at the way my niece and her husband have arranged their house. There are areas on the first floor for dining, for sitting around the fire, for the baby to play in, but the only separate room is the kitchen. On the second floor there are bedrooms.
Their baby boy, only a few months old, is completely adorable, with pink cheeks, and chubby and fat as all babies should be.
It is rather pleasant that I am going to spend two nights with my niece even though, because of the Mt. Vernon trip, I won't see much of her during the daytime.
Mt. Vernon is a small community with a junior college of the same name. There are about 270 regular students in junior college courses and 1,500 taking special courses, since they offer vocational training as well as academic courses. They tell me that about 65 percent of their regular students go on to some other college or university and are here studying pre-engineering, agriculture, education, and business administration.
The dean, Mr. George Hodson, says that in engineering it is a question of weeding out people who would like to become engineers but who would perhaps be better as highly trained mechanics of some kind. Like so many areas of teaching, guidance, I imagine, is one of the most important things and one of the most difficult.
People are most kind when one is traveling. Mrs. Siebert Baillargeon, mother of one of my secretaries, and her two sons met us in Seattle and had flowers and fruit awaiting us. Then Mrs. Baillargeon came on Monday morning to take us to our plane.
Who in New York would be so kind to travelers passing through? I wish we sometimes were less busy there and gave a little more thought to the pleasure we might give by meeting our friends and seeing they were comfortably settled in their hotels.
Seattle is a charming city and every time I go there I see great changes, just as there are in all parts of the U.S. We certainly are a growing nation.