FEBRUARY 6, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—This morning I attended an 11:00 o'clock breakfast at the Congressional Women's Club. They were very wise in building the addition to their clubhouse before the war, so now they have a beautiful kitchen, out of which came a delightful breakfast.
The lady next to me had never seen hominy grits before. She explained that she came from the Middle West where that was not one of the accepted morning cereals, nor was it used in many ways that most of us brought up on Southern cooking are familiar. She liked it so much that I asked her if she knew the even coarser hominy known as samp, which is one of my husband's favorite dishes. I hope that her family will be richer for this discovery.
Gradually, I shall learn to look at the signs on buses and now know where they are apt to take me. On the way back from the breakfast, I suddenly found my bus turning off at 16th Street and knew that I was going further away from the White House than nearer, so I got off at the next stop, realizing that my luncheon guests were all waiting for me.
Miss Thompson had, however, started them in to lunch, and I did not face the hungry and impatient guests I had pictured to myself. I had to explain to them, having just had a very sumptuous breakfast, I could not eat lunch, but it gave me more time for conversation.
Every time I pass the Stage Door Canteen here, I am reminded of the contribution which the various artists in the country and the management in the entertainment field make to the general spirit of our people. I understand they are not classified as an essential industry, and that probaby is as it should be.
Yet, the need for entertainment must be great, or one would not see such packed audiences when one attends a theatre, a concert or an exhibition of any kind. More people are looking at pictures, more people are craving music, the drama, the movies. I imagine this is due to the fact that we must have some lessening of the strain, and the only way to get it is by losing ourselves in somebody else's expression of thought or feeling.
Many artists, of course, are now in the armed forces and some of them are making a very practical contribution through the development of camouflage. The record of all we are going through must be someday told by these artists through the medium of their particular art. That is the way they will contribute, not only to the spirit of the people living in this period, who must actually win the war, but to history and the education of those who must profit from the record of the war.