JANUARY 23, 1950
LOS ANGELES, Sunday—I dined on Thursday night with Mrs. Danny Kaye. Mr. Kaye had left for his engagement in Florida and we missed him very much, but we had a very pleasant evening. I was particularly interested in having a chance to talk with some of Mrs. Kaye's guests, one of whom is a well-known writer here and another, a psychiatrist from Germany, who found it wise to leave that country after he had analyzed some of Hitler's lieutenants!
Friday morning I started the day early by breakfasting with my daughter and Dr. Harry Friedgood. The latter brought us some very interesting material which we discussed for some time until the gentleman who was to make a recording for the March of Dimes appeared. They raised a large sum in this area last year for the drive and I find very widespread cooperation. The little nursery school which my godchild attends, for example, has put on two Saturday morning programs for the children, with the proceeds donated in full to the March of Dimes.
I lunched downtown with my son, James, and some of his friends from different labor groups. Then my daughter, Miss Thompson and I drove out to see my grandson, Johnny Boettiger's school. It seems an ideal spot for little boys. Next weekend they are going to ski in the mountains, yet flowers bloom in their garden. Mr. and Mrs. Harry James, who run the school, take a personal interest in each small pupil, encouraging their hobbies and planning their daily lives so they are full of interest, with plenty of responsibility and a calm and happy atmosphere. Johnny himself took us to see the buildings and I marvelled at how well the boys made their own beds and how neat and tidy the rooms were. I doubt whether at home we could ever achieve anything so well ordered!
I particularly liked the stress Mr. James laid on the reading ability of the boys. He told me he considered it most important for the future, for those youngsters who did not learn to read easily before their 'teens were handicapped when they got into high school. I have always subscribed to the Junior Library Guild books for some of my grandchildren and, as far as Johnny Boettiger is concerned, he reads and enjoys them all.
We stopped afterward at my son John's house and found his wife still in bed with a cough, but Miss Thompson, who had not been there on my earlier visit, had an opportunity to see the children. All three were home from school, and the only missing member of the family was Haven's dog, Rebel, who seems to run away on all occasions. Anna has a much more sedate dog in Duchess, who is a very large bull mastiff, but so affectionate and gentle that I think the children could do anything with her. She sits beside you and puts her head on your arm if you don't greet her when you come in. She spent her puppyhood in the White House, so she still recognizes me when I come to visit.
Saturday I had the pleasure of seeing my friend, Mrs. David M. Levy, who is staying with her children, Mr. and Mrs. Armond Deutsch. It is fun to see one's New York City friends so far away from home, but of course we were planning at once for things we would do when we meet again in our own part of the country! Everyone tries to persuade me that Southern California is the ideal place to live, but I leave here still unconvinced. I am afraid my attachment for New York State is too deep to make a change at my time of life.