My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Tuesday—I was deeply grieved yesterday on my arrival in New York to hear of the death of Mrs. Maud Swartz. She was brought up in Europe and had a fine education in various countries which gave her a knowledge of languages which proved valuable in her work here. On coming to this country she allied herself with the cause of labor. She worked hard, was a devoted friend, had the saving grace of humor, and a certain balance which made her judgment and advice valuable on many occasions. To her family and near friends we want to extend our sympathy. To all those who knew her, there will be a real sense of loss, we grieve not only for the loss of a companion but for the loss in the work to which she devoted her life.

When I telephoned my husband this morning he told me of the death of Congressman Buchanan which will be a great loss to the government as well as to his family and friends.

Miss Dickerman and I celebrated with the staff of the Todhunter School our tenth anniversary last night. We dined at the Cosmopolitan Club and I had a birthday cake sent up from Washington with ten candles. We observed the usual birthday rites and together blew out the candles with an unspoken wish for the success of the school. They had suggested a number of plays which they would like to see and we finally chose "High Tor" by Maxwell Anderson with Burgess Meredith and Peggy Ashcroft playing in it.

I have been so little to the theatre this winter and I have not had the opportunity even to read many of the criticisms of plays, so I went without any idea of what the play was like. Perhaps having lived all my life on the Hudson River and having grown up with the legend of Hendrik Hudson's men playing bowls in the Catskill Mountains whenever we had a thunder storm, this fantasy all seemed quite natural to me! I have an especial affection for the palisades, in fact for all the spots up and down this River and I have always resented the inroads made by human beings on the beauties of nature. After all the creatures of our imagination are often more real to us than many actual things that happen. There are wonders all about us no less fantastic than the haunting of High Tor by the ship's crew! Throughout the play humor and philosophy go so well hand in hand that I spent a pleasant and amusing evening. Oh, for more people who feel like Van Van Dorn!

We have spent the morning in our little apartment telephoning and catching up on mail. The usual price one pays for playing hookey! It is a peaceful, calm place to work and I enjoy it more than I can say.

In a few minutes a young friend of mine will come to lunch with us and then we must be off to New Haven where I make a speech this evening.

TMsd 23 February 1937, AERP, FDRL