NOVEMBER 1, 1952
EN ROUTE TO CHILE, Friday—It has turned cold again and I can hardly realize that for the next week I must think in terms of living in a country where the spring season is just beginning! The time is just the same here as in Chile, since we are really on approximately a straight line. But autumn here is spring there, and I found it very hard to think of what kind of clothes I should take on this trip where I will spend so much time at official functions and still hope to be given the opportunity to see some of the projects the United States and Chile are carrying on together.
Since I mentioned in my column that I am to have the privilege of representing the United States at the inauguration of the new President, two people have written to me asking that I try to see their sons.
One is an old friend who lives in the State of Washington and who tells me that her son and daughter-in-law have been stationed in our Embassy in Santiago and love Chile and the Chilean people as well as their chief, Ambassador Claude G. Bowers. I shall look forward eagerly to talk with young Mr. and Mrs. Overton Ellis and on my return I shall hope to write Mrs. Ellis Sr. the latest news.
Another lady, living here in New York City, wants me to try to see or at least telephone her son. She writes: "For many years all my dreams and plans were toward a trip to Chile to visit my youngest son, Stefan, whom I have not seen in seven years. But somehow my plans and dreams so far could not be carried out. Stefan's wish to visit his parents and with his own eyes see this wonderful country of which we wrote him so much also seems to remain a mere wish and dream.
"If you...during your visit would find just a few minutes' time to call my boy on the phone and say hello to him for me, Stefan would know what we mean when we talk about the wonderful American people, and I, too, would be the happiest person later on to receive a note from you...telling me that Stefan is well and now more than ever anxious to visit the U.S.A."
I shall certainly try to carry out this request, too. It is much less arduous going in peacetime than it was when I took a trip in wartime. Then the requests to look up men were numerous and when I came back everyone in the White House offices went to work to write letters telling mothers and wives and sweethearts about the men who had given me cards with addresses and asked me to telephone or write when I got home.
Judging from the schedule which I now have of the activities during my time in Santiago, I shall not have many spare moments. One thing interests me, and that is the hours seem so different. All the dinners begin at the earliest at 9 a.m., and receptions are at 11 a.m. So I realize now why it is that our eating habits and early hours seem so strange to our Chilean friends when they first arrive in the USA