My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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CONNELLSVILLE, Pa.—That calm, unhurried get-away that I hoped for was not as placid under the surface as it appeared. Nobody seemed hurried but we all had to use every minute. I got up at seven and had breakfast at eight. I had finished the mail last night before I went to bed at one a.m. I had a hunch, however, it would be well to start in early. The unexpected always happens.

Yesterday afternoon I got a letter from young Peter Vaughan, the son of a girl I roomed with at school in England years ago. She is still my friend. His letter said he was here on his way around the world and wanted very much to see both my husband and me. His brother had stayed withus last year. I wired him at once that we were starting off today but if he cared to fly down last night, we would be delighted to have him. He arrived at ten-fifteen p.m., and this morning after a few minutes talk, we sent him out to call on his own Embassy, to see what he could of the city and come back in time to meet the President and go down and see us off on the train.

I arranged that he should do what sightseeing he wished the rest of the day. Luckily my brother appeared at the train and so he took him off to lunch. I left with a feeling that when I could do under the circumstances to give an old friend's child a pleasant day had been done, but it was rather breathless!

Before nine Mrs. Nesbitt, the housekeeper was with me and we decided on curtains for one room, the color of a rug to be dyed for another. Checks had to be signed covering certain very necessary expenditures in the house while I am gone. James's wife, Betsy, came in by the midnight train to start off with us. Mrs. Helm is back from Illinois and we had a brief few minutes together to discuss some things that have to happen immediately after election.

At ten I held a press conference. At eleven Mrs. Morgenthau came in to say goodbye. Last things had to be put in bags, the last letters had to be signed, telegrams sent. Somehow Mrs. Scheider was ready and so was I and the train pulled out at twelve.

The road bed is rough on this trip through Harpers Ferry and Cumberland and West Virginia, but it is interesting country. We have only made one five minute stop and a crow was out to greet my husband. At every little cross roads; along the tracks, and even in the houses on the hill sides, though no word goes out ahead of the exact time when the President's train will pass, people are on the watch and waving at him. Between "waves" he is working on his speeches.

TMsd 8 October 1936, AERP, FDRL