AUGUST 10, 1939
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—The President has always greatly enjoyed his trees and the acquisition of land up here. Now the bug for rearranging houses has bitten him. Every time he sees an old shack or an old barn, he begins to wonder what could be done with it to make it habitable. Of course, it is perfectly fascinating to do over buildings into living quarters and then to see what people will do with the shell you have provided when they move in. I find that the original work never ends and that you have to keep on indefinitely to maintain any house in working order.
I begin to think that we should always rent with the understanding that our tenants will do all the improving, otherwise, since we are really interested in keeping up our property, every penny of rent seems to go into the upkeep. This is perfectly all right so long as we don't have to count on any of that cash to live on ourselves, but most people have to get some small cash return out of their investments besides the amount they put back into the business, whether it is an industry or a real estate proposition.
The President spent yesterday afternoon as usual, going around the place. Mr. Sidney Hillman, who was with him, at least saw a good deal of the countryside. Whether he had an opportunity to talk about the things he wanted to talk about is quite another question.
We were alone in the evening except for our sister-in-law and our daughter-in-law, Betsey. I was firmly told by the President that he could make no appointments on this visit, but when I left the house this morning after my ride to come over to the cottage, there were three gentlemen waiting for him, and they all looked as though they were on business bent.
A few people are coming to lunch, among them Mr. and Mrs. Charles Taussig. Mr. Taussig is Chairman of the National Advisory Committee of the National Youth Administration and is planning for a meeting of that Committee here in early September, when the President is back from his cruise.
I have just received a most interesting notice from the World's Fair Housing Bureau, Inc. They tell me that they have listed over 100,000 rooms for World's Fair visitors, ranging in price from 50¢, $1.00, $1.50 and up. I hear so many complaints about the cost of coming to New York City that I thought I should pass, on this bit of information to my readers. They can write ahead to the World's Fair Housing Bureau, which is the Mayor's official committee in the Chanin Building, 122 East 42nd St.
I find there is so much in the Fair that can be seen free, that one can probably obtain more entertainment for less money than in the usual places that many of us frequent when on pleasure bent. Children find so much of interest at the Fair about our own states and other nations, that I can imagine no better way of developing both a national and international interest in the youth of the country.