MAY 24, 1948
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I came back to Hyde Park Friday night to find that all the rain and cold weather has kept the spring from moving along as fast as usual. My lilies of the valley are out and my lilacs are beautiful, though when I shake them they fall to the ground. My tulips and azaleas are in full bloom. The azaleas came to me last autumn from Dr. Herman Baruch's nurseries and somehow I did not expect that they would bloom so luxuriantly this spring. When I went out and walked around yesterday morning they were an unbelievably lovely splash of color against the gray stone of the house and the dark evergreen hedge.
On a certain part of the road through the woods I saw my first little red lizards, tiny delicate things so small that I almost walked on them. The dogwood is not in full bloom, however, and many of the trees and shrubs are just breaking into leaf.
* * *
My two little dogs were glad to see me and we had a wonderful day, even though at noon I had to desert them and go down to Vassar College to meet with the members of the Regional Conference of the North Atlantic States of the Association of American University Women. I was asked to tell them something of the work of the Human Rights Commission and I described some of the troubles of the Drafting Committee, which came to an end on Friday afternoon.
Now that we are finished discussing principles and are down to actual wording, every word and every shade of meaning has to be weighed with a view to expressing the same thought in five different languages, and to having the legal phraseology meet the requirements of all the legal systems represented around the table. What will happen when, instead of eight representatives, we have 18 is something I cannot even imagine, and I look forward to the next few weeks with considerable anxiety. On Monday the full Human Rights Commission meets at Lake Success, and then there will be serious arguments!
* * *
There came to me from Kansas the other day a letter with a story about the St. Francis Boy's Home in Ellsworth, Kansas, which is run by an Episcopalian clergyman, the Rev. Robert H. Mize. The letter was sent because this column had mentioned Wiltwyck School, where youngsters between the ages of eight and 12 are sent from the New York City children's courts. St. Francis' is a home for delinquent boys which accepts them and lets them take part in the normal life of the town. The only difference is that at all times the St. Francis home knows just where its boys are. Apparently "Father Bob," as he is called, who runs this home, has a gift with boys and they are having a fair success, according to the account given in the Virginian Churchman.
Of course, our boys at Wiltwyck are probably a little bit harder to bring back to normal conditions because their home situations are usually so bad. I am encouraged, however, by the fact that there are so many things being done nowadays which show a realization on the part of more and more people that, when things go wrong with children and young people, it is the fault of the elder people and the society which we have built—and not the fault of the youngsters.