NOVEMBER 16, 1937
CLEVELAND, Ohio, Monday—The Kansas City people have long memories, and they welcome one with great cordiality, so that one cannot help but feel very much at home in their midst. As we walked into the hotel yesterday afternoon, a woman stopped me for a minute and handed me a box. In a hurried murmur she said something about my having written her story and being happy now. I was swept into the elevator and it was not until we got into our rooms that it dawned on me that she was probably the woman who had telephoned the last time we were there to thank my husband for the fact that she had work and could meet her obligations. The cake which she made for me was a delicious one, and I only regretted that there was not some way I could share it with my husband!
A trip of this kind brings you a number of strange coincidences. One occurred at breakfast in the station in St. Louis the other day which made me realize that the most improbable fiction is probably founded on truth. A woman came up to me saying she had written sixteen letters to people in the White House and while she had had answers none of them brought about the result she desired. Finding herself near me in the station, she took the opportunity to tell me all about the problems of her locality because she said I was a woman and would surely understand. I do understand the difficulty, for it is one of those problems which doesn't fit exactly into the work of any government agency, and there are various interests involved which make the solving of it more difficult. But, she had faith that telling it to me would at least bring about an impartial investigation of conditions and I sincerely hope that it will.
Another amusing thing which happened was a letter delivered to me in a hotel during the past week. It was unsigned but it begged me to praise all those in the country who had found jobs for themselves and stuck to them. Then rather naively came the personal touch. I was told that in my hotel there was a young man who had done just this and with his earnings was helping to support a widowed mother and several sisters and the letter added: "All the praise he gets is advice to get married!" Quite evidently that advice was not considered good by the writer of the letter!
We had a little time before our train left last night so we drove past the new City Hall in Kansas City, which looked dignified and yet simple. We then drove up near the Memorial from the top of which a burning fire always sends forth its light and smoke. That memorial impresses me as striking and beautiful and I think must have a certain influence on people who see it daily.
We changed trains this morning in Chicago and are now on our way to Cleveland, Ohio.