My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. , Friday—It was still the middle of the night as far as I was concerned when we started off this morning. The household was aroused at 5:00 a.m., and much to my surprise, instead of being half asleep, we behaved as though it was really daylight. But the stars were still shining at 6:00 when we left Sarasota.

We were all sorry to leave, for we had spent a good part of yesterday on the beach at Treasure Island, had gorged ourselve on the most delicious oysters cooked by Mr. Gray, and I, for one, felt that I could quite well have been lazy for another week.

The sunrise was very beautiful and the drive from Sarasota to Daytona Beach was through lovely country with a succession of lakes. We passed Mr. Bok's tower, which reminded me of very pleasant contacts with Mr. Bok years ago. He was a most interesting man and I always felt he had a drive and a force which accounted for much which he had done in life.

From Daytona to Ormond we drove along the beach and I know none to compare with it on this coast. There is something very exhilarating about driving so close to the breaking waves. Then we went back on the Ocean Shore Boulevard and on the Marine Studios at Marine Land. For the benefit of those who have never visited this place, I must tell you that I first heard about it when Mr. Matthew Hasbrouck showed me the photographs of the work which was being started there. He had built our swimming pool and knew that I would be interested in this undertaking. Two enormous tanks have been built in a place which was once upon a time an Indian camping ground before Ponce de Leon landed in this country. The little mounds all about are made of the shells which the Indians threw there, and one pottery vase which was buried with some dead member of the tribe, has been found intact.

The two enormous tanks approximate as nearly as possible the conditions at the bottom of the ocean. They have living coral and rocks, and even the part of the hull of an old ship to afford the fish the same kind of protection they would find in any other water of the same depth. The most interesting fish from the point of view of display, are the mother porpoise and her baby which swims right under her tail. We walked around first inspecting all the fish from the floor of the ocean and then went up and saw the mother porpoise jump for her food.

Fish are much more intelligent than I ever supposed, for when they wish them to eat, they ring a dinner bell. At first they were all so terrified they fled to the bottom, now they understand perfectly and come at once for food.

The largest shark in captivity swam around for our inspection and seems quite healthy. He is eating well and they hope he will continue to thrive. The diver went down and fed the jewfish for us at the bottom of the tank and even patted the great creature which many Florida fishermen think the most dangerous fish in the sea. Apparently even fish can be tamed.


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

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Jacksonville (Fla., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 3, 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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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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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.