My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

SEATTLE, Sunday—Anyone who knows Los Angeles, knows Olivera Street is a bit of Mexico. It is down in the old part of the city, right off the old square which fronts one of the city's oldest churches. Olivera Street extends for about a quarter of a mile. At one end is the booth of the saddlemaker, at the other, an old blacksmith makes iron locks and nails and funny little figures.

In between, are restaurants with native musicians, one of the oldest adobe houses, and innumerable booths for Mexican pottery and glass, wax candles, sombreros, gaily painted gourds, knick-knacks of all kinds, fortune tellers and photographers.

Three musicians came out and played some special numbers while I walked down the street accompanied by an over-growing crowd. Mrs. Scheider and Mr. J.F.T. O'Connor picked up my gifts and the one or two purchases I was allowed to make.

When I was in Los Angeles several years ago, I paid my first visit to this street. A year ago last Christmas, the entire street sent me gifts from their shops with charming Christmas messages, so my visit yesterday was in appreciation of their thoughtfulness.

It turned out, however, that their generosity in most cases would not allow me to buy anything, and so I returned to the hotel unable to pay my debt of gratitude. You will enjoy wandering through this little street if you are in Los Angeles and can find the time to be leisurely in picturesque and charming surroundings.

We drove to Long Beach last night for my lecture, and had a glimpse of the ocean drive and the circular pier. It is lovely at night with the moon on the water and must be equally attractive in the daytime. Back at the hotel, Miss Chaney and I had the pleasure of a call from "Amos" and "Andy", who were celebrating their tenth anniversary on the air and were kind enough to give us a little share in this auspicious occasion. We had only a few hours sleep when the telephone rang to tell us it was 6:00 o'clock and up we got, for at 7:00 we had to leave the hotel for the airport.

Mr. O'Connor, as cheerful at 7:00 a.m. as he is at midnight, called for us in his car and put us on the plane. It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles and we enjoyed the flight. From the air, it was possible to see how much certain areas were still flooded. When we reached San Francisco, we landed in rain and fog. I left Miss Chaney there last night to fly east, while Mr. Lester drove me to the flying field at Sacremento. It was flooded and planes could neither land nor take off. Therefore, after my lecture last night, I had to motor back to San Francisco to take off for Seattle, where I arrived this afternoon.