JUNE 21, 1956
HYDE PARK—We reached Hyde Park Monday afternoon in very good time to greet the Finance and Commerce Minister from Nigeria, K. Ozuomba Mbadiwe, and his party.
There were nine in his party. They apparently spent a very pleasant time at the Memorial Library and then came over here, where we gave them a buffet dinner before they started back to New York. I was very glad to see them and to hear of the many things that are happening in Nigeria. Now, more than ever, I am anxious to make a trip to Africa.
On Monday evening we went to the opening performance at our Hyde Park Playhouse and saw an amusing, light play called "The Champagne Complex." There were only three people in the cast—Neil Hamilton, Rawn Harding, and John Conwell—and all of them were good.
The night was too cold for comfort, but after the hot days we have had, we should be glad of this change and certainly not complain!
George Quick, the director of the Playhouse, promises us an interesting season of plays.
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Two deaths have occurred in the past few days which must have brought sorrow to large family groups and, in each case, to many friends.
One of these was the death of Thomas J. Watson, chairman of the board of the International Business Machines Corp. and the IBM World Trade Corp. IBM is well known in this country, but it also is well known in many other parts of the world.
Mr. Watson made it his pleasure to acquire friends as well as to encourage the arts in every country where he did business. And anyone with an interest in international goodwill grieves for the loss of this influence.
Death also took Vanderbilt Webb who, although many years younger, was a very vital part of his community. He was attorney for the Rockefeller Foundation.
Mr. Webb was a classmate of my brother in school and he married the former Aileen Osborn, who has been a moving spirit in so much that has been of value to the arts and crafts in our country.
In both of these deaths, men that meant much to the life of the country have gone and, while extending sympathy to their families, one also must regret the loss which their passing means to our communities.
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Tuesday was a most beautiful day in the country and six of us motored to the Hotel Thayer at West Point, N.Y., for luncheon and the 20th annual summer meeting of the Hudson River Conservation Society.
This society has done a great deal toward preserving the beauties of the Hudson Valley and I was very glad to be present when the award was made to the Dutchess and Orange County Garden Club.
I never do anything with our garden here that would make it worth visiting, but I am always conscious of the beauty of other people's gardens and my daughter-in-law, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., is becoming a real landscape gardener, successfully making lovely arrangements of flowers all over their country place. She keeps color around her house all the time, which is something I have never been able to achieve.
As a rule, I have too many flowers of one variety in bloom at one time and then none at all at another time!
We took our young people for a little tour of the West Point grounds and the chapel after lunch. I love the windows in the cadet chapel at West Point. They are among the loveliest, I think, of any in the United States.