MAY 26, 1939
ARTHURDALE, W. Va., Thursday—Oh dear, oh dear, so many people are worried that "the dignity of our country will be imperilled" by inviting royalty to a picnic, particularly a hot dog picnic. My mother-in-law has sent me a letter she received, which begs that she control me in some way and, in order to spare my feelings, she has only written a little message on the back: "Only one of many such."
But she did not know, poor darling, that I have received "many such" right here in Washington. Let me assure you, dear readers, that if it is hot there will be no hot-dogs, and even if it is cool, there will be plenty of other food, and the elder members of the family and the more important guests will be served with due formality. It might be possible to meet the desire of these interested correspondents if there were not quite so many who berate me for too much formality and too much courtesy. I am afraid it is a case of not being able to please everybody and so we will try just to please our guests.
We had the garden party yesterday afternoon for the women executives in the various departments of government and I think some of them must have been tired before they reached their very long line of welcoming Cabinet ladies. It seemed to be the biggest garden party of the year. The gentlemen who watch over the grass on the lawn requested that our receiving line move three times to keep the lawn from being ruined. At the close of the reception, the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company Glee Club gave us a short program of songs, which we all enjoyed.
Nine of us left Washington this morning on a trip to West Virginia. We are staying at the Arthurdale Inn, which takes care of any guests who visit the homestead. This little inn, situated on a hilltop, gives one a charming view of the countryside and a part of the homestead. It is a simple, comfortable place in which to stay. I have to begin, however, by taking our visitors to Scotts Run, for no one can understand what is being done in the homestead until they have seen Scotts Run as typical of the surrounding mining region.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity of talking for a few minute with Mrs. Christine Heinig, who was brought by Dr. Mary Davis to see me. Mrs. Heinig organized the National Child Research Center here in Washington, in which my daughter and I have always taken an interest because one of her children went there for a time. Because of her work, Mrs. Heinig was chosen by the Australian Government to organize a program there for the pre-school child. She says they have done a remarkable piece of work in caring for the child up to two years of age in Australia, but between two years and school age, nothing has been well-organized in the past. She is on her holiday, but she went to England to interest people there in the work in Australia and now she is here studying anything that she thinks will be useful. Mrs. Heinig left Columbia University on leave to go to Australia and I think we should be very proud of an American woman who is doing such an interesting piece of work.