October 9, 2011

If They Can Find the Time...

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I learn the darndest things in the most unusual places. Though I already knew Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a major philatelist from an exhibit at the National Postal Museum, it took me a trip to the Hummingbird Inn to discover how thoughtful the 32nd President of the United States and his wife really were.

During FDR's first term in office, following the textile workers' strike of 1934, Eleanor Roosevelt went to inspect conditions at the Stillwater Springs textile mill, nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, in the town of Goshen. A brief visitor, Mrs. Roosevelt spent only one night in Goshen, as guest of Pearl Teter-Wood and her husband, Joseph, proprietors of what is now the Hummingbird Inn.

Upon her departure, the Woods sent a basket with Mrs. Roosevelt as a gift for the President. A short time later, the Woods received a pair of notes.

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It seems the basket found its way to the President, and he appreciated it.

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From Mrs. Roosevelt's account, the President appreciated the basket a bit too much, as she was caused to "promptly take it away from him." In addition to kind letters of thanks, Mr. Wood received a call to lunch with the First Lady, and to meet the President.

If the First Family can find the time - in the midst of the great depression - to write thank you notes, surely any of us in the 21st century can do the same.

4 comments:

Julie (O-kami) said...

Hi Stranger

Welcom Back!!

unhalfbricking.net said...

Great to see another post from you - and a very good point. I need to remember this when I tell myself I "haven't had time" to make a blog comment or reply to an email. It takes even less time to show your appreciation now than it did then!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thr Roosevelts knew first hand the power of the written word. An interesting and heartwrenching book called Down and Out in the Great Depression: Letters of the Forgotten Man by Robert S. McElvaine is worth a look. This book is a collection of letters written by men, women, and children during the depression to the Roosevelts and other government officials. You can feel the power of the written word and the raw emotion coming from these simple letters. Very emotional, but a worthwhile read!

James said...

Thanks for the welcome, everyone! And, to Anonymous, I'll make not of that great book recommendation.

James