JANUARY 5, 1960
NEW YORK —I think I must tell you of my experiences in some of the bad weather that we had just before Christmas. The reason I want to tell you about them is that I suddenly realized what a friendly city New York is. It can be really like a village and people, on the whole, often prove themselves to be so very kindly.
We had both rain and snow for several days and the city was crowded with out-of-town guests and shoppers, and taxis were practically unobtainable. I was standing in the rain one day, knowing that I had an appointment a mile or two away for a regular osteopathic treatment. Every taxi that came along was filled. Finally a small car stopped, a very charming lady leaned out and said: "Mrs. Roosevelt, can't I give you a lift?"
She was going in my direction and I accepted with alacrity and discovered she had come to my apartment one afternoon for tea with a charming English friend of mine, Mrs. Francis Hurst, who used to come over frequently to visit Mr. Charles Burlingham.
We renewed our acquaintance and I reached my destination and left her feeling very grateful. Then I walked only a block to my appointment. But when I came out three-quarters of an hour later I was faced with the same situation—no taxi to be had on Fifth Avenue.
This time it was a taxi driver who leaned from his seat and said: "Mrs. Roosevelt, the lady in my cab is only going a few blocks. Won't you get in and I will take you on afterwards?"
The lady leaned out and said she would be delighted, and here I was for the second time finding a way to reach the office of the American Association for the United Nations without too much delay and without having to walk what would have amounted to nearly a mile in the rain.
Incidents of this kind show a kindliness that warms the heart, but the kindest one of all the things that happened to me involved a number of people.
I was standing on Park Avenue near my apartment, trying again to get a taxicab to get way downtown by 7:30 p.m. Finally, a Carey car came along and the driver stopped and asked if he could not take me to my destination after he had left his passengers at a restaurant. The gentleman whose car it was kindly said that he and his guests were quite willing to have the driver do this, so I got in beside the driver and after the stop at a restaurant he drove me all the way downtown. We had a pleasant conversation, and when I tried to pay him he would take no money.
I record, therefore, these few incidents out of a goodly number to testify to the kindliness of the people of our city, to the essential friendliness that ties us all together and makes us willing to help others when we happen to be in a position to do so.
I am glad I live in New York City, I am glad I have so many kindly people to live among, and I wish I could do more than pay this small tribute in recognition of the warmth and the kindness which has been shown not only to me, but, I am sure, to many others in many different situations.