My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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We got off the train in Providence at eighty-thirty this morning. My daughter-in-law, Betsey, knocked at my door at eight and to tell me rather facetiously that she was going up to join her husband at the hotel and take a bath! The joke being that I am always the one who is leaving the train to take baths and Betsey thought she had one on me for not thinking of it here.

Mrs. Scheider and I went into the station restaurant to have our breakfast and the head waitress came up to us to point out the table where Louis Howe always sat and said: "If I'd known in time, I'd have put you at that table." I told her that my recollection was of sitting on a stool at the counter many times. I have come over on the same night train when the President was down at Westport Beach in Mr. Howe's cottage and the children were in a little cottage next door for a month one summer. It almost seemed as though I could see his little figure walking through that familiar station with the coat hanging from the sagging shoulders and the clothes looking so much too big for him.

I thought when they telephoned me yesterday they said the President would be leaving at nine thirty a.m. this morning from the train, so we held the whole procession up while we meandered leisurely down with our bags not realizing that he was to leave at nine. However no harm is done for we actually have arrived at the Fairhaven house ten minutes ahead of schedule time.

Large enthusiastic crowds all along the line and I think the warm sun which greeted us this morning must have warmed the hearts of the traditionally cold New Englanders for even the south could not be the demonstrative. The crowds however, have tried to press in toward the automobiles and I have been more troubled than usual for some child or older person will be hurt. It is a curious thing that makes crowds surge inwards, they really see no more than if they stood still, but there seems to be a desire to get as close as they can or to touch the person they have come out to see. This is all very well if the front rows are not composed of little children with a sprinkling of old ladies who start to faint from the pressure of so many people behind them. It is interesting to be back in this old house where I came first when I was engaged to my husband. The occasion was a family Thanksgiving reunion and he thought it was a good time to have me see more of his mother's large family! The house is filled with old memories and old traditions, curios and records of every kind. Every generation has found plenty of things in the attic to keep them busy on a rainy afternoon.

TMsd 21 October 1936, AERP, FDRL