OCTOBER 24, 1938
OMAHA, Neb., Sunday—I have just finished a book called: "Five O'Clock Whistle," by Ramona Herdman and I think everyone will find this an interesting story. It is real life in many communities of the United States. For example, only a day or two ago, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Director of the NYA projects brought a young boy to see me. The boy carried three or four carvings he had made and, while I am no expert critic, one of his figures seemed very interesting. When I asked him what he wanted to do, his answer was unhesitating: "I want to go to art school." But, how is he to get there?
This, in a nutshell, is the theme of "Five O'Clock Whistle." The mother is no unusual heroine. There are many of them in countless villages and towns who forget themselves in love and hope for their children. I am afraid I closed the book with a sigh, for it is true that there is much talent in the world but comparatively little genius. I wonder if the girl who made her belated decision to stick to the boy, proved strong enough to be the wife of a genius or the prop to a man who had to give up his hopes and change his career.
In Green Bay, Wisconsin, I was given a book called "Alluring Wisconsin," by Fred L. Holmes. It is a readable book made doubly interesting by the very delightful photographs. One has a desire to go to see all of its pretty spots and if ever I have the time I think I shall take a car and go exploring in Wisconsin.
We had a little time in Chicago and dined very pleasantly with some friends before taking the train for Lawrence, Kansas.
The University of Kansas offers its young art students a laboratory which I think would be rather hard to duplicate. The collections I had time to glance at in their museum were so beautiful and interesting I longed to spend hours there instead of a scant few minutes. The glee club chose the museum as the place to sing for me and the combination of the setting and the young men's voices made it a really stirring occasion.
We stopped for a few minutes at a girl's dormitory run on a cooperative plan where $15 a month covers all living expenses and, at the same time, the girls receive excellent training in housekeeping. To remain in the house they must have better than a "B" average in their school work. This means that the leaders of the future are probably going through on this basis.
We had a very pleasant lunch with the members of the board of the Womens' City Club, which sponsored the lecture, and a very delightful dinner with Chancellor and Mrs. Lindley. It is always a joy to see Senator Capper and Mr. and Mrs. William Allen White, and we were glad to find Mrs. Huxman, wife of the Governor of Kansas, there also.
We made the train back to Kansas City in our evening clothes and my chief occupation was signing autographs for my fellow passengers. The night train brought us from Kansas City to Omaha, Nebraska, this morning.