FEBRUARY 15, 1957
SANTA ROSA, Calif.—Our 100 mile drive from Sacramento to Chico was interesting because I had not realized before that this was one of the great peach growing areas in the country. There were miles and miles of peach trees and I wished it might have been blossom time for it would be very beautiful. The whole country a short time ago suffered the cold spell which we felt in N.Y. and they felt out here. In South West Washington they told me it had been 24 below zero and while it was still above zero in Chico it was colder than usual and people spoke of it with some surprise. I noticed Wednesday morning, however, in driving out of Chico some narcissus blooming in a sheltered spot and even some lovely pink camellias were picked by a very nice young man and put in my room at the hotel, so whatever cold they had in Chico was not too devastating. The town itself centers about the college and has only about 15,000 inhabitants but it serves 15,000 more who live in the agricultural areas round about.
On Wednesday morning Southwest airlines stopped four times before we were down in San Francisco! Here we are back in the airport which we have come to know quite well and will know better in the course of the next few days as we seem to go in and out from here to all the various small places where I am speaking. Wednesday night it will be Modesto.
Chico I had visited before some four years ago but I am not sure about some of the other places where I will be in the next few days.
It is interesting to find that the San Francisco paper which I read this morning also has an editorial on the need for Israel to withdraw its troops at the request of the U.N., but they strongly back no withdrawal until both the U.S. and the U.N. can give assurances that the Aqaba Gulf will be kept free for Israeli navigation and that the Gaza Strip will not be reoccupied by the Egyptians.
There is a report in the morning paper that the Secretary General of the U.N. suggests the strengthening of the peace observation forces and says that that would be acceptable to Egypt. If this meant a real strengthening to the extent of being able to watch the whole Gaza Strip it would have the same effect as moving in some of the U.N. police force but it might have the advantage of saving face for the obstinate Egyptians. At this point I don't think the people of the US as a whole are very much interested in these maneuvers. They are interested in the practical results. They would like to see no aggression along any borders anywhere in the Near East.
I was interested to meet in Chico an American of Danish descent who had come to this country at the age of 17. His parents went back to Denmark but he has stayed here. He belongs to the family in Denmark whose large estate the Minister of Agriculture was kind enough to take us to visit last summer, as an example of the biggest Danish landholdings. Beautifully run as an estate it is a good example of Danish farming on a large scale. There is a very old house part of which is only occupied in summer because it has none of the heating facilities which have been added in the new wing. The kitchen, however, has remained just as it was and the lady of the house told me she and her maids much preferred the enormous old-fashioned cooking stove and bakery to the modern gadgets, though they had put in some electrical gadgets for quick use.