NEW YORK, Friday—Yesterday afternoon I opened the church fair at old St. John's, at 11th Street and Waverly Place, keeping a promise I had made a long while ago. Anything in the neighborhood interests me because in walking about, at different times, I have seen so many of my neighbors, and yesterday I had an opportunity to meet them!
At 4:45 I took the train to Poughkeepsie because, again a long while ago, I promised to speak for the student council of the New Paltz State Teachers College. When I left here it was rainy and blowy, and when I got off at Poughkeepsie I found that snow had already been falling for some time. Mr. Haggerty, the president of the college, his wife and two small girls met me at the station and we had a snowy but pleasant drive to New Paltz.
I had dinner with the student council before going to the auditorium, and after the talk was concluded, spent almost an hour in a question and answer period. Since the college has a practice school which is attended by 450 children, and all children these days collect autographs, I found myself sitting down to sign a goodly number of programs.
But I soon noticed that there was some concern about our return trip. A kind gentleman was finally located whose car had chains, and we started in what seemed to be ample time. But by now the storm had taken on blizzard proportions. Every little while we had to stop to clean the windshield, and just staying on the road required all the concentration of our excellent driver. We reached the station ten minutes after train time, but luckily it turned out that the train, too, would be late. I finally prevailed upon my hosts to start back home, and I hope they reached New Paltz safely and did not spend the night in a snowdrift.
My train did not pull in from Albany until 1:15 A. M. The people on it looked a little worn and weary. Servicemen were plentiful and most of them fast asleep. A few woke up sufficiently to ask me to sign their discharge papers. The nice sailor in the seat with me, who was on his way back to Norfolk for two more years of study, said he was on Espiritu Santo when I was there in 1943. Somewhere around 3 A. M. we reached New York City. Hesitatingly I looked for a taxi and found a kindly driver who greeted me warmly and deposited me at my door at 3:20 A. M. I felt far from the usual gay spirits that one is supposed to enjoy when one returns at that hour in the morning!