My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK—It is a remarkable thing how one piece of carelessness can give you and all those around you any amount of trouble! I calmly wrote in my date book that I was to make a speech this morning at eleven o'clock, but failed to note where I was to make it or for whom.

I was a little late in getting ready for breakfast and had a guest which is a bit unusual for me, but there seemed to be no other time today when I could see the gentleman, so breakfast seemed to be the only possible chance for a talk. He arrived on time, I was ready but somewhat breathless. After a rather leisurely time, he left and I casually asked Mrs. Scheider where I was going to speak. She looked perfectly blank and said she had no record of it.

After searching through all the letters which had any bearing on engagements for this week in New York, we still could find nothing about a speech on December the eighth. She insisted that I had confused it with a speech to be made next month. However, we telephoned to every one we could think of who might be expecting me and finally made up our minds that I had put down a tentative date and forgotten to scratch it off. This took up almost an hour!

The rest of the morning was calm and peaceful enough. I went through the mail, I paid my bills, I drew a great many Christmas checks and before I knew it, Miss Mary Dewson, Vice-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in charge of women's work, had arrived for lunch. We talked together until three-thirty and then I dashed up to Seven East 38th Street where an exhibition is going on showing the work done on the Index of American Design. If you are interested in architecture, clothes, furniture, textiles, copper, silver, ceramics, glass, in fact in anything that has to do with life in this country in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, don't fail to drop in, for work is being done here which will be of great value to students, artists, designers, industrialists, in fact to every one interested in American life past and present.

Here is an art project I have been hearing about and been interested in for a long time, yet I had no conception of the really valuable work which is being done there. Some of the people working on it never held a pencil in their hands until they started these drawings. Some were turned down on other projects because of some physical handicap and yet they made good here. One of the best drawings they have was made by a man who had been a blacksmith. A particularly interesting exhibit from the point of view of the development of the worker is one where a man is trying to draw glass. His first attempt might be a piece of pewter but in the end his drawings are exquisite, and always give you a feeling of the texture of the glass itself.

TMsd 8 December 1936, AERP, FDRL