The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Sunday—During the President's stay in Warm Springs, he has one meal with all the patients. All other guests in the hotel have their meals early on that day and then the dining room is filled with patients in wheelchairs or on moveable cots. Those who are able to get about on crutches or with the aid of braces, usually push some other less active patient.

This time it was a luncheon and the chef out-did himself in preparing delicious cold dishes with hot rolls and hot coffee. The children, of course, had their glasses of milk and I marvelled at the dexterity with which those youngsters handled their plates of food and their glasses of milk, despite handicaps of all varieties.

One of Major Bowes' troupes happened to be in this vicinity and came by to entertain the patients. The children gave a play. Several of them were in wheelchairs. They had written it themselves and it was a lurid mystery play. Then everyone filed by the President, giving their names and the state or country from which they had come. The President shook them by the hand and wished them well.

After it was over, I noticed a young man, clear-eyed and in apparent good physical condition, sitting in his wheelchair quite near us. I asked him where he came from and he answered: "New York." His home was in New York City, but he was taking his master's degree in forestry at the University of Syracuse when he was taken ill. He was working his way through and doing personnel work with the freshman class.

Since he has been in Warm Springs he has earned his way by teaching in high school and in one of the grades. He is just being allowed to use crutches and I have a feeling that after he has accomplished his two full time jobs here, getting well and teaching school, handicapped or not, he will be of real value to an employer.

Yesterday was cold and clear. Elliott, who arrived late Friday afternoon because of stormy weather, left yesterday noon by air and expected to be with Ruth in New Orleans by early afternoon.

After lunch was over yesterday, I thought there was nothing to do before going to the train, but my husband blandly remarked: "I think we will call on Miss Pardee."

It seems strange to go to Mr. George Foster Peabody's house and not find Mr. Peabody there. He was such a personality that he still pervades the house. It was pleasant to talk of him for a few minutes with Miss Pardee. Mrs. Waite was still away, but she had left behind a spaniel puppy which I gathered up at once and took out to my husband in the car, for I knew how much he would enjoy this little wriggling ball with floppy ears.

Puppies, like children, may be very annoying and the maid told me that a few days before he had ripped out most of the lining of the sofa. But you could see that the entire household enjoyed his wickedness and revolved about him, just as we do about anything young.

Then we paid a call on the President's cousin, Mrs. Forbes Amory. At 4:00 o'clock we were on the train and waved goodbye to Warm Springs and the men of the party waved goodbye to a real holiday.

I wonder if I would ever have the courage to go back to work if I went back to the unravelling of such tangled skeins.


(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 4, 1938

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.