Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Staff/Personnel
Alice Cobb – Travelogue 1946
The fund-raising journey of Alice Cobb in 1946, was an extensive marathon which she recounts with humor and sometimes biting wit. As in her earlier fund-raising trips in 1941 and 1942, she takes no prisoners. Her observations are astute, sometimes defensive, and sometime deprecating. Yet she can always be counted upon to give warm credit to those she deems worthy of admiration.
She starts her fund-raising in the midst of the flu or a very bad cold in Asheville, NC, where she is re-connected with the new Luigi Zande family, formerly of Pine Mountain, and takes several days to recover from her illness. She is then on to Black Mountain College [Academy] where she finds the program and the students confounding. Then by train she travels to Moorestown, PA, on to New York City, NY, to Plainfield and Orange, NJ, and then to entertain the “Boston Brahmins.” Also in the Boston area she visits Wellesley College where former PMSS staff member, Evelyn K. Wells, is teaching and then on to S. Undley, Concord, and Poughkeepsie, NY. Her last stop is in More, PA (Westown), and then a return by train to Pine Mountain.
She is away from the campus from January 20 until March 25, 1946. Her observations of the Northeastern cities are often pulled into sharp contrast with the life she is living at the School in rural Kentucky. Her earlier years in Greenwich village and her life which she recalls with the “pink radicals” of New York are given sharp reflection as she makes her journey into the rapidly changing post-war cities. Her travels are both a journey of self-reflection and a journey to find funding for the Settlement School.
TAGS: Alice Cobb ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; travelogs ; publicity ; fundraising ; students ; slide shows ; Asheville, NC ; Luigi Zande ; Caroline Zande ; Berto Zande ; Frony Zande ; Mrs. Baird ; Bainbridge [“Bunty”] Bunting ; Black Mountain College ; Thomas Wolfe ; Allenstand ; Winfield and Charlotte Cornett ; Mrs. William H. Pouch ; Bertha B. and Ernest Cobb ; New York, NY ; Boston, MA ; Plainfield Association ; Margaret McCutcheon ; Evelyn K. Wells ; Jessie Munger ; chicken pox ; pink radicals ; transportation ; Mr. and Mrs. Percy B. Lovell ; Angela Melville ; Mrs. Fahs ; Elizabeth Lyman ; Society of Kentucky Women in New York ; H.R.S. Benjamin ; Miss Kilborne ; Dr. W. Lipphard ; Daughters of the American Revolution ; D.A.R. ; York Club ; Mrs. Mansur ; Wellesley College ; Mary E. Abercrombie ; Miss Katherine Pettit ; Mrs. Ethel de Long Zande ; New Englanders ; Fenn School ; Gertrude Smith ; Burnham School ; Miss Edith Canterbury ; Burkham Schoolhouse fire ; Dorothy (Olcott) Elsmith ; Tremont Temple ; Lorna Wearing ; Bates College ; Bertha Cold ; Addie Cornett ; College Club ; Dr. and Mrs. Merriam ; Pine Manor ; Paul, Elizabeth, and Jean Cressey ; Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Scoville Jr. ; Friends School ; Mrs. William A. Pouch ; Mary Margaret McBride ; travel budgeting ; Zande letters ; Mount Holyoke College; Smith College ; church groups ; schools ; women’s organizations ; Professor and Mrs. Robert Seward ; Lida Newberry ; Dr. Victor Merriam ; Mrs. Arthur Kendrick ; Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Barry ; Mr. and Mrs. Francis Collier ;
GALLERY [Note: Pages do not flow properly though they are numbered correctly.]
TRANSCRIPTION [Note: The text has been lightly edited.]
Page 01. [cobb_1946_travelogue_001.jpg] – ASHEVILLE, NC
[handwritten above title] “Alice Barry also helping in publicity”
Travelogue for Pine Mountain, January 20 – March 25, 1946
[handwritten below title] “Asheville, Black Mt. Acad., Moorestown, PA, New York
Plainfield, Orange, Boston, Wellesley, Hadley
Concord, Poughkeepsie, New York, Ardmore, PA (West Town)”
Sunday, January 20. Had so tragic a cold that could hardly make up my mind whether to start out or send a wire calling everything off at Asheville, and concluded to let the Pattersons decide for me. If they should come I’d go, if not I’d stay. To my great disappointment they came, and I went with them. Was taken all the way to the hotel at Harlan [KY], where the entire management proceeded to take care of me, and I went to bed with all the comforts including iced orange juice, about 6:00 P.M.
Monday, January 21. Up at 6:00 A.M. feeling considerably better, but hardly in a mood to catch a 7:00 A.M. bus. Got it, though, and got to Knoxville [TN] in fairly good condition — but from that time on, the denouement took place and arrived in Asheville [NC] about 7:00 practically dead. Caroline [Zande] met me, we went home, and in a bad dream dressed for dinner. Mr. Z[ande] looked wonderful, and they were both just as always. Put to bed early, last conscious thought was better enjoy this comfort while I could because I’d never be quite so comfortable again.
Tuesday, January 22. Breakfast in bed with newspaper all complete. Felt grand, got up quite late and made some calls. Planned to meet the Sloops (Crossnore) at 6:00 at the S&W. Went to town and got permanent wave at Ivy’s. Asked the girl who was doing it if she knew Tom Wolfe, and of course she did, as does everyone in Asheville. She said her uncle was one of the councilmen in “The Web and the Rock,” Finished at 5:00 and went to S&W to wait for Sloops but waited until 7:00 and they didn’t arrive so took the bus home. Berto [Zande] and Fronie [Zande] were there. Berto looks exactly like the pictures of his mother [Ethel de Long Zande], very big and handsome and nice. Frony is lovely, not beautiful exactly but stunning, as Caroline said she has length in the right places. Wonderful dinner with butter and roast beef and then all went to Caroline’s mother’s apartment where there were several neighbors gathered to see the pictures. Mrs. Heintz is a perfectly delightful little person, just like Caroline. Has been quite ill. Quite a successful evening. Berto and Frony are very eager to get to Pine Mountain. Mr. Zande seemed quite thrilled.
Wednesday, January 23. In morning went to town, stopped at Allenstands and talked with Miss Blexton before going on to St. Genevieve’s School where I met Mrs. Baird, former nurse at Pine Mountain. She looks considerably older, wears glasses and is just the same, chattering inconsistent, very very friendly. Met several Sisters, one from Lexington, Kentucky, who knows Dr. Bullock. It seemed odd to find them quite human under their black veils. St. Genevieve’s is a beautiful, quiet restful place almost too other-worldly. Quite apart from the wear and tear outside. Lovely gardens formal, with the usual statues all about.
After lunch, etc., Mrs. B. seemed rather inclined to speed the parting guest so took my taxi and went back to town. Met Mr. Bannerman at the George Vanderbilt hotel and we talked for nearly an hour. I think he is simply fine. Was quite interested in learning all about how the Southern Mountain Workers’ Council is organized.
Back to Zande’s and met Bainbridge [“Bunty”] Bunting who was taking me to the Morgans to dinner in lieu of the Highland Hospital meeting which had fallen through. Have begun to feel that things don’t go his way — he is sort of unsuccessful or unlucky or something. The Morgans lived in the home of Dr. Caroll, the head of the sanatorium. Bob Morgan is a CO, and they stay there because Dr. C. is obligated to house the C.O.’s detailed to serve at the hospital.
Bob [Morgan] is from Iowa, I believe, and his wife Emily Morgan is an artist, working now on picture maps of the S. Highlands. They are about Bunty’s age, perhaps younger, lovely young folk. Bob is a Guidance major, and I did wish I could interest him in Pine Mt. but don’t think there is a chance since he wants to go into psychiatry. They had been in the pacifist group in NYC and we found many friends in common among the pink radicals, who, I must confess, have begun to seem rather stringy to me. But we had a grand evening.
Page 02. [cobb_1946_travelogue_002.jpg] – ASHEVILLE, NC, BELMONT, MA, ENGLEWOOD, NJ, NEWTON & BOSTON, MA, NEW YORK, NY & PLAINFIELD, NJ
At Asheville it was a delight to meet Berto Zande and Mrs. Zande, as well as [Mrs. Ethel Zande and Mr. Luigi Zande]. Berto has recently returned from the Fiji Islands, and is working now with his father in the Enka Rayon Mills.
Page 03. [cobb_1946_travelogue_003.jpg] – BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC
Very ordinary supper most of which B. brought to me. They seem to do their own fetching and carrying quite informally. He asked me if I didn’t think this was just exactly like Pine Mountain, but so far had seen little to remind me, and had a sort of homesick feeling, a sort of Jenny Wren among the macaws. The students looked like Greenwich village, doubtless Fifth Avenue on a holiday though, because they pay $1200 a year tuition. One student seeing overalls and semiformals all sort of mingled together remarked that one moment one saw a girl in jeans pitching manure, and the next she appeared in a Hattie Carnegie creation. It all seemed sort of cockeyed to me. The students looked very unadjusted most of them, sort of quixotic or erratic or something; probably all geniuses of one sort or another.
After supper met quite a lot of them, and began to feel more lonesome than ever, like the last conservative, finally made an excuse I wanted to look around while Bunty made his adieus, and studied the bulletin boards. On one was posted the complete budget including faculty salaries. Their budget I believe was about 50,000 a year — goodness knows what they spend it for. Salaries were quite small. Most of the money came in tuition of course, I think about $16,000 in gifts (These figures probably inaccurate as the original travelog record was lost, and this is being rewritten more or less from memory.)
On another board the various jobs were posted, and students were signed up for them such as garbage, milking, etc.
Finally went back over where Bunty was talking to a Jewish boy who looked degenerate. B. introduced us and this Bob just grunted, didn’t stand up. That was the last straw, and I felt through with the queer lot. The inference was that they were all so far beyond the amenities that there was no need for them. Goodness knows I’m no stickler, but there are limits, and those boys did seem perfectly crass — not shaved either. We went over to the study Hall which the students built. Bob called it a white elephant and a fire trap, his first intelligent observation, and I agree with enthusiasm, taking another nose dive in Bunty’s estimation, but didn’t mind because he was already at the bottom in mine.
In this Bob’s cubicle where we stopped longest there was a grand mixture of tempera paints, whisky bottles, tea cups and weaving apparatus. I couldn’t be sure which of all those arts he was specializing in, but apparently the latest hobby was weaving and he showed us a couple of belts he had made, rather uninteresting in color and design although B. thought them wonderful. I noted several packages of Rit and Putnam dye and asked if he’d done anything with vegetable dyes. He hadn’t heard of them, but showed a faint flicker of interest, so I recommended he see what they have at Allanstand. At the mention of poor little conservative Allanstand he turned quite cold, and said of course that would be no help at all. Said “We look at things from an entirely different point of view!”
So we went on, B. trying to explain to me politely in spite of extreme irritation that these were artists. The idea was not to make anything useful or even beautiful, but to express their own personalities. Self realization and self expression are the purposes. I thought lots of the self-expression would be embarrassing to the individuals expressed — if it really did express them, but didn’t say so. He remarked that this Bob doesn’t have to think of making anything to please anybody because he’s so rich. Well —
So we went into another department where there were trays of oddments — little heaps of tobacco, ashes, bits of string, dry leaves etc., all supposed to relate themselves to each other and express something (shallow naiveté, I though, but didn’t say so). By this time B. so disgusted he couldn’t even speak any more so we went in silence…
Page 04. [cobb_1946_travelogue_004.jpg] – BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC
…through the snow (it was snowing by this time) to the house where the chickenpox girl lived. Anna was very poxy, in bed, but perfectly delightful, and I thought she and her husband a former CO friend of Bunty were the nicest people I met there. She had just taken her exams for transfer from Junior to Senior form, which lots of students never do at all. It’s a matter of choice, and only special ones choose. I saw the exam papers and read them with mingled horror and glee. It was a general comprehensive over everything, and divided into subjects. The ones I could judge at all — Latin, English — seemed very tricky and difficult but not very basic. I pounced with homesick satisfaction on one lonely straightforward question “What is a noun? Give an example.” and wondered if that was stuck in as a joke. Anna hadn’t answered that.
In philosophy there were two which seemed intriguing “What is your conception of Time? and “What will people be laughing at 20 years from now?” Asked Anna what her answer was to the last and she said “Oh the church of course. Don’t you agree?” I said I thought it was more likely people would be crying. She gave me a strange look and I saw myself fatally marked as the missionary type. I don’t think Black Mountain students are very subtle.
Anna is from Glencoe, knows Gertrude Smith. (When I told G. about her she said it all tied in. Anna was a problem child and would find Black Mountain a soul home). Dick, her husband, had come from China, and his people are there now. B. told me afterwards that he’d met Anna and was about to fall in love with her some months back, took Dick out to meet her and she and Dick had a whirlwind courtship ending in a very speedy marriage, leaving Bunty as usual unsuccessful and out in the cold. I weep tears for him.
Went to the library — quite small and the part I could judge not very good. Probably the art and music sections were very good indeed….
Another taxi back to the bus which must have broken B’s purse and heart, but even he didn’t suggest walking because the snow was two inches deep by this time. There was a real blizzard. Got home and C. had coffee and cakes ready. But Bunty was terribly uneasy and left early. I think our discussion of education on the bus home had upset him. He seems to have dropped into this kind of school sort of innocently and is unable to judge it from any mature standpoint. His own education was quite formal apparently, and he feels that it didn’t help him to find himself, which he’s just beginning to do. I can well understand that, and also his feeling for B.M. — I felt the same about Greenwich Village and the pink radicals, and am thankful to have covered that ground several years younger than he. I think it’s sort of pathetic to sow your social wild oats in the middle thirties.
Friday, January 25th.
Packed and left for the train. Found I was sharing lower 3 with a beautiful girl I’d already seen three times in Asheville in different places. Upper 3 was a young man from New Jersey, who had been to Asheville to a Mica convention. Said this trip was on the company and he was traveling in style (we had that in common). By the time they got the births [berths?] straightened out we were all pretty well acquainted. The girl was a John Powers model. I wondered what she’d look like without her makeup — dead white, and noticed next morning she was really very pretty underneath. Awfully nice too and told me all about the profession of being beautiful. we spent the evening looking at Vogue while she told me the private lives of the Camel cigarette girl, and others. She had to “fill her chair” and be careful not to sit in an “S.” Was very conscious of having sat, stood and lain in an “S” most of my life. The Mica boy told us about Mica and I talked a good deal about Tom Wolfe, which seemed to put…
Page 05. [cobb_1946_travelogue_005.jpg] – MOORESTOWN, NJ, & NEW YORK,NY
…the conversation on quite a high intellectual plane. The model said she had read a part of Moby Dick once and thought it was very good, and Mica said he had read a book too but had forgotten the name of it — all seemed to get quite a lift out of being literary.
Saturday, January 26th.
Arrived Philadelphia in the morning and debated whether it would be wiser to go straight on out to Moorestown [NJ], but decided to wait till afternoon, since the first appointment was dinner. Took taxi to the bus connection. Rather odd experience. The other passenger got off at a big hotel without luggage, gave the girl a dollar and disappeared while she was counting change. The driver was worried for fear it was a frameup and she would be accused of driving off without giving his change. I gave her my name as a witness in case she should be “called up.” She said this happens quite often.
Long ride on bus to Moorestown, rode most of the way with a social worker from Camden, N.J., who pointed out the important places — Whitman’s chocolate factory, etc. Got off at the proper corner, and finally found the Lovells’ home. Mr. Lovell met me at the door, a stout kindly sort of man who seemed a little shy, but assured me how glad they were to have me come. Mrs. Lovell came out of the kitchen to greet me. She is a little crippled, kind, quite, so pleasant, and I went upstairs to rest before dinner. Lovely old fashioned room with hand braided rugs, beautiful quilt. In the adjoining room were twin crocheted bed spreads.
Dinner was mammoth, the kind I love and should never indulge in, just before making a talk, everything from soup to ice-cream on an ancient red damask tablecloth from hundred of years back, and I was so full I could hardly stand up when we were ready to go. Talked with Mr. Lovell while the guests were arriving.
The living room was a joy forever — old furniture of course, and every piece in the room simply loaded and groaning with books and magazines. My idea of ideal decoration — old and new, bright and dull — all kinds of reading matter. Later on they called my attention and was charmed to see bits of things from here, there and everywhere, old dandleshades, fire irons, etc.
The people who came seemed to be mostly Quaker, several from the Moorestown School. Mrs. Walton, Mrs. Richie (Tom Richie’ mother), Wm. Bacon Evans, a writer of some sort, and others. The most interesting ones I met where the Colliers, Adelaide and Francis, who told me about their aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cobb, at Newton, authors of Clematis, and Arlo, which I had read as a child. Fairly successful meeting I thought although as long as I live I shall find it difficult to talk to Quakers. They seem to listen from another world of their own, I suppose the inner world of sacred concern. There were about twenty people there.
Sunday, January 27th.
Arrived New York City in the afternoon, settled in hotel, and called Miss Dutch and Miss Kieckhoefer. Miss Dutch still hasn’t been satisfied about the calendars, and although I have her letter with order witnessing the correctness of what we sent, it is too bad. From what they both said on the phone, had an idea it might be rather a difficult kind of crowd in the evening — Washington Heights Club. Like a mystery novel it all revealed itself gradually.
Went up town on the subway and had a freezing walk to the place, seemed to be close to the river, and faced an icy wind from the subway down about three blocks, so was frozen when I got there and hardly expected anyone else to make it. Surprised to find a group of about thirty already sitting in chairs, and everybody very nervous for fear the speaker wouldn’t find her way through the big city. Miss K. met me rustling in a long scarlet taffeta evening dress…obviously an artist of some sort. The two…
Page 06. [cobb_1946_travelogue_006.jpg] – NEW YORK, NY
…big ones connected with a double door seemed to be filled with grand pianos and old fashioned carved furniture, massive and sort of shabby, reminiscent of past glory. The plaster walls were cracking all over — what weren’t covered with postcard prints of good paintings, sculpture, etc.
While I was setting up my machine, which was done in quite a flurry of excitement, Miss K. stage whispered to me asking if I would make the talk as unreligious as I conscientiously could. She gestured toward the audience and said “You see there they are!” And there they were all right, chiefly Jewish group. Assured her we had no religious favorites, and were most liberal, and she was relieved. Then the program began with some piano numbers, extra good I thought. Thought this must be an art and music group, which turned out to be right. Miss K. and her two sisters were quite well known concert artists and teachers, violin cello and piano.
Three of the numbers, one a country dance arrangement, were given by the composer, a handsome young Jewess, pupil of Miss K. While this was going on a late guest arrived, rather a portly lady. When she sat down there was a crash and a bang, and one of the arms of her chair fell off on the floor. She didn’t appear to notice nor did anyone else except me. When I was attaching the cord of the slide machine one of the men had to crawl under the davenport to do it, and came out quite dishevelled and cobwebby, and the davenport seemed very shaky, evidently having lost some support or other in the general moving. I felt quite happy, and Bohemian life in New York seemed much more delightful and familiar than the sloppy imitation in the eternal hills.
The talk went off marvelously. They interrupted every other sentence to applaud, roared at the parts which were supposed to be amusing, sighed at the pathetic parts and were a completely satisfying audience. I do think Jewish people are the most interesting in the world. Rather hesitated about singing to a group of musicians but they insisted, and even demanded an encore. Felt like Marion Anderson or somebody, and terribly expansive and pleased with Pine Mountain and humble self which latter as always went before a fall. At the end, and after considerable flourish on my part who should come up to shake hands but Miss [Angela] Melville, and the balloon promptly collapsed. but it was good to see her, even under these circumstances.
Miss K. was vitally interested, and with Jewish sound good sense was planning ways to make it all pay. Said several had suggested taking a collection, but she thought it would be more effective to have their names and send each one a separate appeal which would put them on our annual list of contributors. She suggested a kind of membership plan with $1.00, $5.00, and $10.00 memberships. Must follow this up.
During our conversation she was suddenly called to her sister on an upper floor of the house. The sister had had an attack of illness. I left.
Monday, January 28th.
Morning spent with follow ups, correspondence, etc. In afternoon went to see Mrs. Fahs, who asked me to send her a prospectus for mountain stories — she requested this sometime before, but I hadn’t done anything about it, and she is very eager to see something come out of it. Has apparently spoken to the Beacon Press editors, of which she is one herself. I feel quite pleased, but almost desperate, trying to think how to make time to get ready this thing. Feel I ought not to let it slide for personal reasons and also because this is just the kind of publicity which Pine Mountain can bear a lot of, and has never had, as for instance Hindman. Mrs. F. very much concerned also over the growth of the Child Evangelism program throughout the country.
Was a little late getting to Professor Swift. I saw him at the apartment instead of the office because Mrs. Swift was very ill, and he seemed to be half sick himself — everybody in New York is either down with flu or just coming down. He seemed most discouraged about everything, and I didn’t stay very long, or get very deep into Pine Mountain. It didn’t seem the time.
Page 07. [cobb_1946_travelogue_007.jpg] – NEW YORK, NY, & PLAINFIELD, NJ
Tuesday, January 29.
Met Mrs. Lyman (Elizabeth Lyman, Pine Mountain worker at time of Laurel House fire) at noon at Katherine Gibbs School, a very swank secretarial school. Mrs. L. didn’t seem to be having very gracious memories of Pine Mountain, and it occurred to me to wonder what in the world she wanted to invite me to lunch for…. Left her and went to meeting of Society of Kentucky Women in New York, promising to get back as soon as I could, and planning to be there by 4:00 time of meeting, according to her letter.
The Kentucky women were meeting at the apartment of a member living on the best block in Fifth Avenue, very elegant place. The hostess whom I hadn’t met or corresponded with, had broken her leg and was directing things from a wheel chair. Mrs. McGoughran, the woman with whom I’d arranged the meeting hadn’t arrived and the “committee” seemed undecided in all the elegance about our comparative status (in the land of the free and home of the brave) that is to say whether the visiting missionary was socially acceptable as an equal, or in the governess class. so I left them to flutter and began arranging my project in the “foyer” as they called it — I said hallway to be stubborn. It looked as big as Town Hall, and the evident wealth, Chinese screens and satin daises (sp) was cloying. But I didn’t feel this the time or place to debate the class system. Presently Mrs. McG. arrived, and she welcomed me with open arms, so they were all reassured, and I became an equal. Felt it was a sad indictment against human nature or something, and think it must be very hard to be so socially insecure and self conscious that you aren’t sure whom to receive graciously. We don’t have that in the mountains.
The talk went off splendidly, and they were almost as responsive in a very different way, as the group on Sunday night. I was just too wonderful — and rather disgusted with the belated adulation. Well anyway they said they would make a good contribution, and the Vice President of the Dixie Club was there. She presented a gift for Pine Mountain with a good deal of flourish, so I thought it must be quite a generous one, but it was only ten dollars. She must have noted that I wasn’t terribly impressed, for she paused a moment in her little speech and apologized because it wasn’t larger. Accepted it on behalf of Pine Mountain, Board of Trustees and Mr. [H.R.S.] Benjamin, with much aplomb feeling at least the contact with the Dixie Club was perhaps one of the important things which might come out of this meeting.
Get to K. Gibbs School at 4:00 as planned, but letter to the contrary notwithstanding Mrs. L. thought I should have been there sooner and was very stern. Said the girls were escaping by the dozens and she couldn’t hold them, and didn’t I know that in a city things had to move according to schedule. Didn’t have time to get her letter out of my purse, and then those girls stood around asking questions for nearly forty-five minutes longer. I certainly was provoked. Felt that regardless of whether or not I understood about city schedules I had certainly come a long long way at their invitation, not at their expense, and also understood that it was most unlikely that this talk would have any results for Pine Mountain in the way of support. One of the girls, a most attractive one, turned out to be a Western College graduate, niece of Professor Libby, who was one of my major professors there.
Wednesday, January 30.
Left fairly early for Plainfield [NJ] and arrived in good time via subway, ferry and train on the Jersey side, a perfectly frightful trip and one I always dread terribly. Was met at the last station by the Goddards, and taken directly to Hartridge, where some of the association people were already present. Miss [Margaret] McCutcheon was there, Mrs. de Forest, Miss Munger and others. Got machine set up and girls marched in about 150. Didn’t feel the talk went off wonderfully well but they seemed pleased. Tried to get in some tractor propaganda and don’t know whether or not they understood it.
Page 08. [cobb_1946_travelogue_008.jpg] – PLAINFIELD & ORANGE, NJ, NEW YORK, NY
At Belmont, Mass. I spent an evening in the home of Winfield Cornett and his wife Mrs. Charlotte Cornett. Winfield graduated from Pine Mountain in 1933, was sent to Boston to take a job in a restaurant, and is now buyer for the chain of very good Boston and Cambridge *Colonial Kitchens*. He has married a charming New England girl, and they have two very attractive little boys.
Two nights were spent at the home of Mrs. Wm. H. Pouch, former National President General of the DAR, and present National President of the Society of Patriotic Women in America. Moving about in this circle of organizational furor was decidedly a rare experience.
At Englewood, New Jersey, Mrs. McIlvaine, whose husband is minister of the Congregational Church where I spoke, became particularly interested in One Man’s Cravin’, and I was most interested to learn that Mr[s]. MacIlvaine is a sister of Dwight Morrow. Mrs. Morrow was a classmate of Mrs. Zande, and is a general annual contributor to Pine Mountain.
At Newton Upper Falls it was pleasant to meet “relatives” Bertha B. and Ernest Cobb, authors of literally hundreds of books for children. I remember reading some of them many years ago. These two charming and understanding old people wish to make a visit to Pine Mountain, and perhaps locate one of their books to come in this area. I am happy to say that they rank very highly in the educational world as writers for children, and am sure that anything which they might locate here would be a credit to us.
In Boston an emergency dental experience brought sufficient interest on the part of the dentist, a resident of Wellesley, so that the representative was invited there to show pictures of the school to a small group of neighbors, and a contact has been made which will bring in the Wellesley Congregational Church next fall.
In New York an overnight stay without hotel accommodations almost left me sitting in the station, [illegible handwritten notation] reminded me of a very old acquaintance in Mount Vernon, and the renewed contact produced a ninth hour gathering to see the pictures and hear about the school that evening, as well as lodging, and acceptance of Pine Mountain as the philanthropy for a new young people’s group just organized in a church there, of young returned veterans and their wives.
These are just a few of the interesting little things which happened. My tours bubble over with them, on trains and busses, in railroad stations, restaurants, churches, etc., and I always feel it is a pity when I make these reports not to give just a brief glimpse of some of the little extra which make the tours so fascinating, and which help to develop Pine Mountain interest along the way.
At Plainfield it was
really [crossed-out?] exciting to meet, following a talk at the Hartridge School, with about a dozen members of the former Plainfield Association, at a luncheon given by Miss Margaret McCutcheon, who typed the first appeal letter for Pine Mountain, at Mrs. Zande’s dictation. In this group of women were Miss [Evelyn K.] Wells‘ sister Miss Mary Wells, and Miss Jessie Munger, who was the donor of our Chapel and pipe organ. At the luncheon we discussed the advisability of reorganization of the Association, but it was decided that the purposes of such an association could best be carried on through a more informal relationship, with occasional meetings with the school representative from time to time, like this present one, and with an occasional appeal circulated among the interested people. Such an appeal was launched shortly after that day, with a good letter written by Miss McCutcheon and Miss Goddard. I understand that the results, which will go into the Centennial fund, have been very gratifying, but we have not been informed of the final amount.
From school went to luncheon for members of former Association in private dining room at a very nice tea room, all arranged by Miss McCutcheon. The most gorgeous luncheon I almost ever saw, but seeing was about all I could and that was as well for my figure, but it was like a fairy dream all sherbertish and elairish and pastry shellish. Miss Munger was on one side and Mrs. de Forest on the other, and I had to sort of seesaw back and forth, wondering all the time whether this was the thing to say or not, and wondering what I was leaving unsaid that ought to be said. Miss Munger seemed rather reserved, and as if she were afraid she might be asked for some money. Happened finally to think that she once came with her brother to Pine Mountain, so asked about him, and that seemed to unlock the door — she talked a stream about how she and Harry had done this and that together, and now he is no longer living but they still do things together in her mind, which seems very nice. I did feel sure that the luncheon was not unsuccessful from Pine Mountain’s view point, and their warm enthusiasm was not insincere. They did decide not to try to reorganize the Association on a formal basis, but will send a letter to the members and try to raise a gift for the Centennial fund.
A Mrs. Miller talked with me very earnestly about getting funds from mine operators and owners. When I told her about the letters written to them by us she said the place to put pressure was in the eastern offices. Don’t know who she was but she spoke with authority. Thought I’d look her up on the mailing list afterwards and found there were three Mrs. Millers listed. Will have to find out which one she was and follow this through.
Started to Orange driving with Miss Macbeth, a young teacher and readhed[?] colored district of South Orange when we crashed into an empty truck which had loosened itself and slid backward down a steep little side road into our path. Miss MacB. called the wrecker and a taxi for me, and I finally reached the Kilborne‘s in such a state of jitters that Miss K. put me to bed before I could even see what she was like. Slept steadily till supper, right through tea at which she perhaps planned a group, although she assured me that her plans were very fluid and it was quite all right. After supper showed pictures to her and her sister, a small but very worthwhile audience, as I later found. They live together in this beautiful big house, apparently quite well to do. Peggy Twichell‘s aunts. Old furniture, everything in exquisite taste, and comfortable besides. To bed late in a perfect room — the kind I dream about when in hotels.
Miss K. is responsible for our having the de Long library, and she is really an old friend of the school, and especially of Helen de Long.
Thursday, January 31st.
Rode from Orange to New York city with Miss Rosamond Kimball, a writer of plays who has sent some things to Pine Mountain. Went to Congregational Board, and made appointment from there with Dr. Lipphard at Baptist Board. Had lunch with Mrs. Grace Lamb of 287, saw a few other people there, and then went over to 158 Madison (Baptist) where I had quite a nice little visit with Dr. L. He is the editor of Missions Magazine, the national Baptist one, and knows Mrs. Benjamin. He asked for an article dealing with different religions in the mt[?] area near us — a rather delicate kind of thing to do and something we will have to think about for a long time.
Met Miss Kipp (Dr. Lerrige‘s secretary) and she wants to come to Pine Mountain this summer. She will be a fine friend for us to have. Put her on the mailing list.
From there started to Presbyterian Board walking, and found I’d forgotten my New York because it was miles, but finally got there to find Dr. Morse out of town. So that was that, and it was all very disappointing.
Page 09. [cobb_1946_travelogue_009.jpg] – NEW YORK, NY, BOSTON & WELLESLEY, MA
Friday, February 1st.
Spent morning getting ready to leave New York, writing a few letters, packing, etc. Went to station and checked bags, then returned to DAR meeting at York Club. This was the group suggested by Mrs. Lyman. I was there quite early, and apparently they had a luncheon first, because there was no one in the room, and I waited there alone for quite some time.
Finally Mrs. Erb, who seemed to be in charge arrived, a youngish woman, very pleasant but not too friendly, and suffering with a very bad cold. Some time passed before the others came, among them I later learned Mrs. Lyman’s sister, but she didn’t present herself to me. After they finally got started quite late, they spent exactly an hour discussing the Hazel Scott incident, reading aloud clippings from newspapers, and refuting the things which the newspapers said. A school in New Jersey had refused a DAR medal because they considered the DAR’s “un-American.” Would have been annoyed at the long wait, but was really much interested in all this. There were only about twenty-five there, and they very critically told me that I should have let them know I had pictures — of course I had let the chairman know, but apparently I was supposed to manage the publicity for the meeting as well. They do make me tired. Made the talk, and didn’t feel that they were too much interested. (Later received other invitations to speak to other groups on account of the interest in this one, so perhaps it was not too bad).
Went to station, and had time to kill so went to a movie, and took late train arriving in Boston at 6:00 A.M.
Saturday, February 2nd.
Went to bed as soon as I reached Boston, and slept until 10:00. Message from Mrs. Mansur saying her son would call for me at 12:00. Was not quite ready when he came (before 12:00) but got off in fairly good time. Mr. Mansur rather a bored young man doing errands for his mother. We went after two or three others all old and tottery, so young Mansur put me in the front seat and the rest in the back, and became very sociable while the ladies chattered, about inconsequentials.
Found quite a crowd of Daughters of Revolution (as opposed to D.A.R.) gathered there at the Mansur home, two chapters, the Dolly Madison and the Eminence Monroe. One daughter had brought her new Australian daughter in law. After a long wait dinner was ready — a square meal which I enjoyed in spite of all the framed certificates, pledges to the flag, and a picture of Josiah Upham, relative of Mrs. Mansur, and composer of the original salute. It seems they have changed the original words “pledge allegiance to my flag” which might mean just any old flag, to “flag of the U. S. of A.” so there can be no mistake.
Dinner quite an undertaking, managed really by Upham‘s (Mrs. Mansur’s son) wife, a nice young thing. After dinner the two chapters convened for separate business meetings. I was cordially invited to either or both, but decided it would be less uninteresting to help Mary in the kitchen so we washed dishes, got through all those quantities, with the rather limp assistance of the Australian Bride, long before the business was over. Then they all came together again, for the program, and after the usual saluting and “Star Spangled Banner”, I talked. The Upham baby created a diversion so wasn’t sure how much they were going to take in, but they seemed wildly enthusiastic, and both chapters made contributions, so it seemed OK. Later Mrs. M. took me home in her car, and by the time we got to the CO I was ready for bed again. Talked with Miss Wells on the phone.
Mrs. Mansur really is a great person — a sort of general as good as any of her revolutionary forbears. Fine supporter for Pine Mountain, and big national officer in both the DR and the DAR. The difference is that the DR’s are the pure lineal descendants while the DAR’s are sort of polluted. They even adopt daughters, as one of the DR’s told me with a curled lip. Seems the DR’s get special privileges too, since being pure they are also small, and they get invited to the White House as a body. Mrs. Coolidge was DR.
Sunday February 3rd.
Went to Wellesley at noon, had dinner with Miss Wells, and spent the afternoon, which was grand for me but must have been terribly inconvenient for her, when she’s so terribly busy.
Page 10. [cobb_1946_travelogue_010.jpg] – SOUTH HADLEY & CONCORD, MA
Monday, February 4th.
Early appointment with dentist, and then ready to keep appointment with DR. She was unable to come so went to beauty parlor, had hair done, and back in time to dress for meeting at Baptist Home for Aged.
Arrived in good time, but even so found everyone waiting in the chairs, and the music started. They seemed rather aflutter over whether I’d make it. Aunt Abbie (Mrs. Mary E. Abercrombie) looks more frail than last summer. She came to Pine Mountain with Miss Pettit before any houses were built, and lived in a tent for a while. Now she is past eighty, a fine, forceful, but gentle old lady, one of the saints who will have the front row in heaven. And how firmly she does believe in that heaven.
Got things fixed while the old folks fluttered about trying to help and getting in the way, bless them. Aunt Abbie introduced me with a fine little talk about her time there. Apparently she had gathered together several mountain books and all her Pine Mountain leaflets and made them required reading, a sort of course of study in preparation for the lecture, so they were all primed and did so enjoy it. I never expect to have a greater appreciation shown anywhere. Kept me talking until “curfew.” Met Mr. Benjamin’s friend from China.
Aunt Abbie then insisted I must come for a cup of coffee which she made in her room. She tried to be very quiet so as not to disturb anyone — it reminded me pathetically of a midnight spread at college. The other guest was the youngest member, only seventy-two, quite a child. Aunt A. spilled the milk in her excitement, and forgot the sugar — had hard work to keep tears back, she reminded me so much of mother. The youngest member insisted on taking me across the street to my street car, and carrying my projector, which seemed awful to me, but she would have been terribly hurt not to be allowed to, and it really isn’t very heavy.
Tuesday, February 5th.
Left about 11:00 for South Hadley [MA]. Met by Virginia Mathias at Holyoke, and we drove to her apartment where I had some lunch, then drove to the place where the lecture was to be, an art auditorium, very attractive, seating about 150, I should say, then to Amherst, to get Don, her son and Lee Patterson, whom she is interested to have come to Pine Mountain. Don is really a choice boy, very witty, yet very gentle too. Lee is a fine young chap, a good deal more mature, of course much older, poor eyes, working on Doctor’s thesis in Sociology. Much noise, Victrola playing, popular dance tunes constantly, Bill the other son, who has visited Pine Mountain, and Don making a good deal of clatter. Scarcely knew when or how supper got cooked, but it did and it was wonderful, and all great fun. Nice to be back in a collegiate sort of whirl. Then to the meeting. On the whole it was quite successful. The room was full, a mixed group from all over the college, staff and students. I thought Virginia must have done a good job of publicizing. Then home and head of personnel Miss Voorhees came with us to ask more about Pine Mountain. Lee Patterson also came.
Up fairly early the next morning. Virginia took me to Holyoke, and I got a train to Concord.
Wednesday, February 6th, to Concord.
Left Holyoke 9:50 arrived Concord 1:25. Went to Concord Inn, too late for lunch so found my way — over glare of ice so slippery one could hardly stand up — to nearby restaurant. Returned and given use of ladies’ room to wash up and change. Very courteous proprietor. Had a nice talk about world affairs, and Pine Mountain, and I bought some maple sugar. Offered to pay for use of the room, but he said buying the sugar had paid for that. More and more I wonder at the term “cold New Englanders.” It seems to me they are very friendly to strangers and very talkative and curious — sometimes too curious.
Page 11. [cobb_1946_travelogue_011.jpg] – CONCORD & NORTHAMPTON, MA
Called Fenn School and was told Mr. Fenn would come for me. While waiting enjoyed looking around Inn, a cozy old timey little place, so clean. I’d love to spend a summer there sometime.
Mr. Fenn came for me, a very good looking gracious [man] about middle aged. The distance was greater than I’d thought to the school for it is really a country school — two or three white New England buildings, with a play ground. We went straight to the assembly room where there were 62 little wriggling boys, grades 1-8. Was quite taken aback, because I never know whether or not my talk can possibly be adapted to that age, and state of arms and legs. Was introduced as worker in the school founded by Mrs. Zand (short a) and Miss Pe teet. Introducing of course done by one of the boys. Fixed them with a firm stare, and talked as fast as I could, and they really seemed to enjoy it. Sang some ballads which they loved, and then they crowded around and fairly barraged me with questions — good ones too. I was really delighted. they made a contribution too. During the meeting Emily Hale arrived looking perfectly beautiful, and after the meeting we had tea with the Fenns, then went into Concord and had dinner at the same Inn where I’d visited before. Mrs. Fenn had met me at the Concord Academy a year before, although I didn’t remember. They told me something about the Fenn School, which they had founded themselves for their own son, I’ve forgotten just how long ago. But now they have a very large day school and sixty-two boarders. I believe.
Left for Boston 7:20.
February 7th, Thursday.
Left Boston at noon, arrived Northampton [MA] about 4:00 had tea with Gertrude Smith and her friend from Wellesley, then to Faculty Club for hurried supper, and to speak to Smith Chest group. It was a very small group, but the head of the student chest fund was there, and also Pauline Hamilton, who visited the LaRues [Glen and Dorothy] at Pine Mountain. After the meeting went over to Pauline’s room and talked awhile, mostly about the LaRues of whom she is inordinately fond. Seemed rather odd. larueShe is apparently a completely friendly wholesome girl, and they have filled her up with so many half truths, and misrepresentations of things and people. Mrs. L. met her at Keswick, an alcoholic place, and they are “faith” people, but I always notice that Mr. L. is very helpful to Providence in the matter of looking after his family’s welfare on the part of Pine Mountain. The most demanding people on our staff — well I suppose God helps those who help themselves, and that’s one way of looking at it.
Back to Gertrude’s apartment, very cold and slippery. Had a long talk with her and to bed.
Friday, February 8th.
Up betimes and soon after Gertrude left started to Burnham School. Arrived a little late and found no one at the door — heard far off sound like praying, and followed voices till I came out on a balcony which overlooked what seemed to be an assembly room, and there the girls and staff were gathered. The woman on the platform was just saying “We were to have a speaker this morning but — ” and I announced from the balcony that the speaker was there — quite a dramatic little scene.
There were about 100 girls, not too interesting looking, and the teachers, also very very dull, were lined up in chairs in front facing the group. The girls were charmed with the talk, and ought to represent moneyed groups I should think. Had a talk with Mrs. Emerson, head of the school, who was a classmate of Ethel de Long. She’s apparently head of several schools and according to E.H. “a sort of lady but not a real lady” but a very good executive. She takes run down schools and puts them on their feet and makes them pay in dollars and cents. Gertrude Smith said she included in her catalogue of Burnham pictures of Smith campus, giving idea that Burnham has very spacious ground. They have none at all I guess, just [a] great big building, quite elegant inside, of course.
Page 12. [cobb_1946_travelogue_012.jpg] – NORTHAMPTON, WELLESLEY & BOSTON, MA, & LEWISTON, NY
Home to Gertrude’s apartment, and found her with a very bad cold. Dorry Gates came over and we had a nice talk. Interested to hear of her engagement and Howard’s plans, also Lisle where she spent several weeks. She looked perfectly beautiful, as always, and seemed so happy.
Pauline came and we went to town to lunch. She told me about Keswick which must be something like alcoholics anonymous. She was registrar there, told how it runs on faith no publicity no solicitation. back from lunch, walked around a little but too cold to enjoy it. Read “Caruso and the Sacred Harp.” Gertrude home and we prepared to go to supper at Northampton School. She spoke in the afternoon, and was glad to see she looked and seemed to feel better after that was over.
Taxi driver asked us if “the girls were having a little social.”Said they were a nice crowd of girls, and so were pleasantly prepared and did find them very nice indeed, a much more interesting crowd than Burnham. Miss Whittaker a more positive person. Her co-director, a little younger very pleasant. After dinner to studio basement in another house for the pictures. The girls sat on the floor, it was very informal, they were ecstatic over the pictures and program. Gertrude sang, and it was wonderful — seemed so good to hear her sing again.
Home and we had a long long talk. I seldom feel so close to people nowadays — felt better satisfied with life in general. It’s so reassuring to have people living in the world who are happy, adjusted, and so specially attractive, and warm besides.
Saturday, February 9th.
Spent morning trying to catch up with phone calls and correspondence and sleep. Went to dentist at 2:00 and was there all afternoon. Arranged to visit his family and spent Monday night in Wellesley. Got there at 4:00 met Miss Canterbury at Club, and showed her the pictures. She is very attractive, small, alert, and interested. Was worker at Pine Mountain at the time of the Schoolhouse fire, and told how Miss Wells dragged out the safe. Couldn’t quite imagine this for it must weigh a ton, but I suppose it’s times like these that give people superhuman strength. Miss Canterbury is writing to Mrs. Searl Bates to see about appointments in New Haven.
Dorothy Elsmith came, we had dinner at the Club and then went to Symphony, Kousevitski directing, Beethoven and Tchaicowski (sic). Superb.
Sunday, February 10th.
Got to Tremont Temple at 10:00, found SS wouldn’t begin until 12:00 which seemed very odd, but had to go back to club to pack and return at 12:00 with suitcase ready to go directly to North Station. Lots of time spent in announcements so had to rush through but got done just in time, got a taxi at Parker House outside and caught my train to Lewiston. This is the group which is helping to collect money for the Boy’s House curtains.
Late arriving in Lewiston, but had bus trouble at Portland, finally arrived after meeting had started, got dressed, and took over. It was a group of Episcopal young people from Bates, and there were two ministers there. The group was not very large, and didn’t seem to be terribly interested, quite a dash to my spirits. It was my first let down since the NYC DAR’s, and I tried not to let it show because I didn’t want Barbara Seward to feel troubled. I think she was secretly just a little disappointed in me (she is an old college friend and very loyal) — I couldn’t of course tell her what a great difference the audience makes, so just hoped for better luck the next day.
Page 13. [cobb_1946_travelogue_013.jpg] – LEWISTON, NY & BOSTON, MA
Monday, February 11th.
Lazy morning, bounteous lunch at home, and went in the afternoon to a woman’s club meeting where the local dramatics teacher was reading “Life with Father”, very very badly. Rode in car with very annoying old woman. The refreshments were eclairs — the most luscious French pastry, which incidentally we had had the evening before, and I shall always remember Lewiston for the eclairs.
Home and found Lorna Wearing had called. She came out about 6:00 had to leave at 6:45. So we talked for just a few minutes. She looked very tired and frail, and I hated to think what an effort she had made to come. Think she might be interested in coming back to Pine Mountain. She is from Rochester — her father is dean of Colgate-Roch seminary, and she was housemother at Big Log for two years [1935-1937]. But doubt whether she will really ever do anything positive. She’s so pathetic — so lovely, and talented, and so sort of unable to make decisions or something, and keeps following the path of least resistance and going back to school to study some more. School can be a habit, like cigarettes, I think, if one lets it be that way. it’s a sort of relaxing — from the strain of life in the world, and yet seems innocuous. I think too much school is slow poison, and am glad I’ve been swept away from such temptations at present.
Evening meeting was group of Bates College staff, and church people at Barbara’s home. There was a large crowd, and they were very much interested. Mrs. Mabie, Carlton’s mother was there. Carlton [Mabie] has recently won the Pulitzer prize for his book on Samuel F. B. Morse. I’m glad he won it, for he probably earned it, or else Florence Lerrige earned it. There were a Dr. and Mrs. Frost, who might come to visit Pine Mountain. Mrs. F. is head of the Baptist Women’s Business and Professional group where I was to speak the following day. And there were millions of lovely eclairs.
Felt this meeting redeemed the disappointment of the other.
Tuesday, February 12th.
In the morning got ticket checked on train etc., and got ready for the Baptist Women’s club in the afternoon. After we got there we found the room wasn’t dark enough and there was a good deal of trouble darkening a room, and moving the crowd into it, and then there was a long long preliminary meeting, so that I didn’t get started till quite late, but it went off fairly well. Mrs. Frost will send a list of names of people present. Home and had supper and then went to train. (Forgot to say that the Baptist women had invited guests for this meeting from other churches, so there must have been about 100 women there.)
Arrived Boston midnight, couldn’t sleep until after 3:00.
Wednesday, February 13th.
Up early, with lots to do, and went to see Dorothy Elsmith who is in bed with wrenched arm. Had good long visit over various and sundry things, very nice lunch and typed a few letters. Talked over calendar and will see Todd’s Friday. Planned possible memorial leaflet for Mrs. Zande’s 45th Smith anniversary, and talked over May Notes. Miss Goddard of Atlantic is to call me, and will have lunch with her on Monday.
Left D.E. and went to see Miss Bertha Cold. She lives in a bare but comfortable little apartment in an ideal location, with a nice view, and close to the symphony and Opera House. We went to dinner at the Colonial at the Eliot where Addie Cornett is manager, and I was glad to have this opportunity of seeing a successful Pine Mountain graduate at work. Addie looked lovely, so well dressed, poised, accomplished. More dignity than when I last saw her.
Thursday, February 14th.
Left in the morning about 11:20 and arrived at Springfield about 1:00 but in time for…[truncated].
Page 14. [cobb_1946_travelogue_014.jpg] – SPRINGFIELD & BOSTON, MA
The Woman’s Club members have a luncheon every week. Miss Danforth (Anna) was my hostess. She and her sister Alice are old friends of Mrs. Zande, knew her when they all taught night School at Springfield, and this was the church to which she belonged when she lived there. I liked Miss Danforth so very much. Met the minister of the church who looked sleek and well fed, as most Methodist ministers do. Have puzzled over Miss Danforth’s probable age a good deal. Either she was very very young when she knew Miss de Long, or else she is much older than she looks now. She looks about fifty, and yet that was fifty years ago, I guess.
The Church apparently is quite a conservative one, with about 1000 members. There were about 200 in the women’s group. They had a very good devotional service before my part which I was especially interested in because the text was “Rejoice in the Lord Alway” the verse which is on Helen de Long‘s book plate at Pine Mountain. It made a nice opening for my talk, I thought. They all seemed to like the talk well enough, but it was the kind of group which is full of busy housewives, having their one hour of rest during the week, and listening with a part of mind while they wonder if Bobby has fallen down the drainpipe, or baby has wakened from her nap, with the other part. And they always seem so sort of tired.
Had a splitting headache and sore throat so came back to Boston and went to bed, instead of going on to Mt. Holyoke for the night as planned.
Friday, February 15th.
In the morning the day seemed rather pleasant. Went to 14 Beacon Street and saw the print about the calendar. He quite interested and enthusiastic, discussed his son home from the army and possibility of his doing roustabout work at Pine Mountain, and other errands, and came out of stores to find snow beginning to fall. Raced over to Mt. Vernon Kitchen, found Caddy there having lunch. Mrs. Wilburs came in and we talked a little, and in the meantime the snow was falling fast, so ran all the way over to the College Club, changed for the afternoon meeting, and was lucky to get a taxi. Snow was two inches by the time I got to Tremont Temple.
The Baptist Church apparently has its women’s groups divided into letters. This was a group of about 30 women belonging to the “E. & F. Circles.” They met in Rhodes Hall, which was all right except there were no plug-in places, and every time they turned the lights off my lantern went off also. Everything seemed to be on one wire. So in addition to my talk I gave a little extra performance, standing on a chair and unscrewing all five bulbs, one at a time of course, and in far different parts of the room, a very large room. And then afterwards of course screwing them all back in again. The ladies seemed to like it — they were all quite old, and I don’t know how many had heard the talk at some group or other before. Aunt Abbie was in charge. This group is contributing to the new Boys House curtains, and (later — am worried about those curtains — they don’t seem to come through.)
By the time all this was over it was so cold one couldn’t stay out in the weather, and of course it was impossible to get a taxi, with great big prosperous traveling salesmen from the Parker House stepping out in front and whistling every time a cab came. Finally ran to the subway and kept from freezing by stopping in stores along the way (this was just a little more than a short block too!) got to Berkeley St. and had to hold hat and two suitcases in blustering winds. Somebody came along and helped me carry my bag, and somehow got to College Club and sat down and cried I was so cold. Thawed out a little and decided to brave subway again to go to see Mrs. Elsmith, and actually got there, feeling very brave and enduring. Stayed evening, on various projects, and was fortunate to get taxi home. This is the coldest weather I’ve ever ever seen.
Saturday, February 16th.
Dentist at 8:15 — still so cold almost inhuman. Glad the dentist was just across the street. Went to North Station to meet Barbara who came for the xxxxx[?]. Took the day off shopping, had dinner at Shrafts, and went to see “Blithe Spirit.” Weather a little modified.
Page 15. [cobb_1946_travelogue_015.jpg] – BOSTON, WELLESLEY, & CHESTNUT HILL, MA
Sunday, February 17th.
Spent Sunday morning with Barbara, dinner at Charles Street kitchen, took her to train, and then rushed back and finished getting some things together, got dressed and finally started to Newton Upper Highlands. Had quite a long wait at Arlington Street, and glad it wasn’t so cold as the night before. Took same bus as to Wellesley Hills, then had a little walk down a ramp. The Cobbs had asked me to come to dinner, or supper rather, and feared I was late, but apparently not. They are writers, Mr. Earnest Cobb, and Mrs. Bertha B. Cobb, and have written thirty or forty books for children. I read them when I was small — some of them, and am told (since meeting them) that these are used in a good many schools as text material. The two old people were teachers to begin with they told me. Their daughter Madeline is their business manager, and they have their own publishing company, called “The Arlo Press.” Arlo is the name of their best and most widely known book.
Had a perfectly delightful evening, showed them the pictures, and they were very much excited and interested. They thought they might like to locate one of their next books in the Kentucky mountains. I though such a move might bring the Pine Mountain school a certain amount of publicity, and a perfectly harmless kind also. Am not sure just how much these occasional family calls do for Pine Mountain, but believe this one ought to bring something. (Later — understand from the school that they have sent some gifts since my visit, books, seeds, etc.)
Monday, February 18th.
Got all packed and then dressed for lunch. had lunch at club with Miss Goddard of the Atlantic, who is very much interested in One Man’s Cravin‘ and asked to see other material from Pine Mountain.
Went and got plane reservations to New York, then stopped to have hair done, got back just in time to meet Dr. Merriam, who was taking me to Wellesley. His son Richard was with him. Got to Wellesley. Mrs. Merriam had dinner ready, and it was a typical Maine dinner — I guess people from Maine do everything perfectly. The house was almost too clean — sort of perfect looking. And she does beautiful handwork, crocheted bed spreads and all.
They had invited some guests, and were disappointed that there weren’t more but we had a little group, and quite an interested one. I think the trouble with New England people in the long end is that they always seem to do things too well. The Merriam’s son Richard who is only 17 and in prep school, had made some beautiful pieces of furniture — far better than anything our shop could produce — but sort of as a hobby. There was a clock, all carved — lovely. And Dr. Merriam is a photographer — his slides were better than mine! But except for their being so accomplished they were grand, and I was so glad to get to know them. Mrs. Merriam wants me to talk to her Congregational women’s group this fall.
Tuesday, February 19th.
Had a nice visit with Mrs Merriam over breakfast, which she had with me, and said this was a “spree” — she usually had forgotten breakfast before seven o’clock. I think N.E. people get up too early too, and are generally speaking just too industrious. Arrived at the placement office at Wellesley and met Mrs. Bishop, a rather young and enthusiastic person — director of personnel, I believe. She gave me a private conference room where I had interviews with three girls interested possibly in working at Pine Mountain. All three were interested in the district school openings and roustabout positions. Very nice girls — but how young they seemed. I can’t believe I was ever as young as that.
Miss Wheeler, principal of Pine Manor [Chestnut Hill, MA], called to take me there to lunch, to meet the members of the Social Council. There is a representative from each house. Miss Wheeler seemed quite a too-wholesome person, bursting with kindness and good humor. Drove to Pine Manor, a Junior College for over-privileged girls. (Consuela Vanderbilt’s daughter was one of the Service…
Page 16. [cobb_1946_travelogue_016.jpg] – CHESTNUT HILL, WELLESLEY, & MANSFIELD, MA
…group.) Miss Wheeler seemed to have a good deal of vicarious pleasure in the activities of her socialites — remarked over and over again about how they lived “just like ordinary people” at the school. Before lunch sat in living room for some time as girls came in to greet us, all very properly. Then to lunch room. Luncheon served beautifully by a maid. I talked steadily while the girls ate and got in most of the important things. This is not a good way of doing things because they aren’t really listening. There were ten at the table I believe. They asked questions, and think I did about as well as I could do under the circumstances. After lunch Miss Wheeler took me over Pine Manor, showed me her office etc. I noticed a bulletin board with clippings about debuts of Pine Manor girls, one is in the movies — Dorothy McGuire. Miss W. showed me a letter from Mme. Chang Kai Chek, whom she called familiarly by her first name, and I was a little surprised that a person in her position would feel it necessary to sort of show off that way. It seemed so unnecessary. The letter was months old too, and apparently was kept there close to the surface of desk matter, to have handy for visitors. Well, people are always being surprising. Am sure I live in the thinnest of glass houses, but if anyone ever had an opportunity to learn about foibles, I have, and if learning helped, I ought to someday be just about perfect. But won’t be.
Went back to Wellesley, met Miss Wells and went at once to classroom where set up machine and got ready for the ballad class. One of the girls interviewed in the morning was there, also the service Fund director, and Mrs. Bishop, a large, and seemed to me very appreciative group. One notices the differences in colleges, and I am always conscious of the interested care which Miss Wells gives to even the most casual contacts at Wellesley. I always have the feeling of moving with the tide there, as contrasted with the insurmountable difficulties which invariably beset the path at Vassar, for instance. Had a few minutes talk with Miss Wells, then taxi to train for Boston, thence to North Station and train to Mansfield. Met there by Paul Cressey, and went home to find Elizabeth and Jean there. Jean has grown into a beautiful tall girl. It was lovely to see them. Had dinner and went to an organ recital in the Chapel, the same building where I was to speak the next morning. Home, showed them the pictures, but had feeling they were both worn out and overworked. Paul is more old maidish than ever, but very nice.
February 20th, Wednesday
Up early to find six inches of snow — a real shock — too deep even to get the car through so we plowed through on foot to the Chapel fortunately not far away. Chapel was at 8:15, and the important thing seemed to be, as they kept telling me, to keep the talk down to 12 minutes or less. In my mind thought I had come a long way to talk for twelve minutes but managed it rather well except I said (in the hurry over words) Harlot instead of Harlan town, but corrected it quickly, and nobody cracked a smile. Perhaps nobody heard. There was a big clock at the back of the room, right on a level with my eyes, evidently there so that no speaker would make the mistake of going a minute over time, and I certainly didn’t. Also it was difficult to talk in that room because it was like a N.E. church, wide balconies all around, and vast square pillars, so a good many girls were behind pillars and under the balconies. But it went through, and not too badly. they contribute $100 a year, and I hope it continues. Felt there could have been more and better plans made for Pine Mountain but perhaps they will be another time.
Went to the placement office and talked with personnel director about workers. Don’t think she was much impressed. one girl there vaguely remembered Barby Wilbur. It seems sad to think how transient one’s college connections are, how sort of mortal one is, so important one year, forgotten the next. I do wish the Cresseys felt like being more energetic and enthusiastic — perhaps they aren’t in a position to be, but certainly the college is good ground for a presentation of this kind. They seemed to be so hesitant and sort of apologetic about taking the college’s time or something. I couldn’t quite fathom it. One would think that when they do contribute so generously it would be to their advantage (the college’s) to hear a good deal about their project.
Page 17. [cobb_1946_travelogue_017.jpg] – NEW YORK & POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, ENGLEWOOD, NJ
Paul took us all to Mansfield where Beth and the girls got the Boston train to go for shopping, and I waited for the Providence one. Changed there and reached NYC at 2:45, met Allie at the Grand Central, got some lunch, made some calls and then we went to Poughkeepsie, stayed at Alumnae House, a perfectly beautiful place, where Allie lived her senior year. They were having a dinner party for us. Allie went down but I stayed to dress, and later before the meeting had a sandwich at the home of the Chaplain, a Union man, his wife a Wheaton, (Mass.) graduate.
From there through the snow for miles to the auditorium. In the meantime learned that a special assembly had been called for the announcement of the new president of Vassar. My heart fell — last time I was here Mrs. Roosevelt appeared suddenly. It seems always to happen at Vassar. Our meeting of course was put off, and when I got there only five had come. Mrs. Lovell was one, so I really did get to meet her. They decided to wait and have the meeting for the council, a group of girls connected with the church, so we started over to the chapel to find the door locked. The chairman, a scatterbrain, started out to find the janitor and we waited for half an hour in the snow. Then we went to find her, and did find her talking cozily with a girl in a housecoat in the dormitory. She finally got the key and we tropped (sic) back to find that the key would[n’t] work. By this time I was freezing and furious. It seemed perfectly awful to have two visiting speakers from 700 miles away trudging here and there through the snow hunting for a room to speak in. So I said shortly that if they could get things arranged in ten minutes I would speak, otherwise I wished to go to bed. That rather brought them to earth. Somehow in a very short time we were in, found a room, and I showed the pictures without any talk to speak of, but they seemed interested, rather. The next to the last straw was that the gingerale bottles went unopened because this scatterbrained chairman had lost the bottle opener. The last straw was the janitor complaining in a loud voice that he was going to report the whole crowd to the president because they were five minutes after closing time. What an experience! I suppose one should have a sense of humor.
Came home quite deflated, tired, disgusted, and sorry for Alice too. She was slated to speak at Chapel the next morning. I was glad I had to leave early. But the rooms we had were very nice, anyway. Rather expensive too.
February 21st Thursday.
Up fairly early got dressed and packed, and down to breakfast. Taxi came just in time and I got to the station just as the conductor was shouting all aboard. They held the train and I ran for it. Just got on the first step as it started, and somebody hauled me in. So many close shaves of late that I’m getting sort of bewildered. Got to New York City, took subway and had time at bus station for a cup of coffee. It was bitter cold. Got the Englewood bus. The last of the trip was the worst — a long walk to Mrs. MacCoul‘s house — the meeting she had arranged was not in her own church but at a little one around the corner, a Congregational church.
Had a cold walk there, found difficulty getting in, women were sewing, acted a little dazed. Nothing ready, hadn’t realized there would be pictures, etc. Same old story. Lots of fiddling about, finally darkened a hall, and half my time gone. Was provoked but gave talk as well as I could, and it was well received, but poorly given and I felt sorry because of Mrs. MacCoul. Mrs. McIlvaine, sister of Dwight Morrow much interested, bought One Man’s Cravin’.
Page 18. [cobb_1946_travelogue_018.jpg] – ARDMORE & WESTTOWN, PA
Back to New York just in time to make 4:00 train to Ardmore Pa., mad scramble at Philadelphia making the change, but did make it and arrived at the church. The irony was that the first door I tried was locked. Finally found the right one. (This reminds me that when Mrs. MacCoul and I went to the Congregational Church we tried every door we could see before we found one unlocked. I have had bitter experience with locked churches.) Received with open arms, Allie and her family there, also many friends and relations. Got myself changed, and pulled together and finally we began.
The meeting was a program of the Elizabeth Hawkins Sunday School Class of Ardmore Presbyterian Church. There were also a good many guests, about 150 in all. They had seemed to go very well. It depends so much on the audience I think. This was a most cooperative one, mostly women but a few men, among them Allie’s father, who is the author of the Boy Scout books I used to read in St. Nicholas. After meeting, home to the Scovilles, a big old lived-in house, nice living room, big fireplace, all homey. I had a room on the third floor. Many books everywhere. Mrs. Scoville charming, motherly, father just the right kind. I went to sleep reading “The Pink Pearl.”
February 22nd, Friday.
Had leisurely breakfast. Mr. S[coville] deeply interested and took notes to make writeup for Sunday newspaper column. Also made $100 contribution for Pine Mountain. Allie very pleased because family have felt somewhat critical of Pine Mountain and Peter’s staying there, and apparently now much happier about it.
Allie off to Hartford. I had lunch with Mrs. S, then off to Westtown. Arrived just at supper time. Taxi met me. Kept wondering if I’d have a better opinion of Quakers from this experience, and scolded self for being a little surprised that no one from the school came to meet me. Got there, a beautiful place, very prosperous and successful looking, taken by Margaret Hoag to my room, a perfectly charming one, simple in a luxurious sort of way, all coverlets, samplers, etc. There was a book on the table donated by Sarah Cleghorn. Everything about Quakers, etc. Got ready for dinner and went down, very delicious, perfectly prepared dinner, lovely white table cloth, shining silver, everybody said thee and thou. One of the men had a daughter at Hindman. Teachers seemed sprightly but elderly. Marg Hoag polite but obviously disappointed that it was I and not Alice Barry who had come. Could readily understand but hope to interest them anyway. Failed to reckon with the Friends.
In this excellently equipped school there was apparently no room for showing pictures except the one which was a part of the large lobby, so although we could turn off the lights in the large room, the hall lights had to stay on, and since the doors were large glass ones, the lights coming through spoiled the pictures. Actually though I don’t thing the youngsters realized they weren’t good. They listened fairly well. I had asked the time allowed to make sure and planned the talk within the time; we were disturbed all the way through by people coming in and out, girls and boys outside pecking on glass doors to get the attention of the ones inside — horrid confusion, and no staff supervision. The last straw was to be stopped just before the end and asked to “please draw it to a close.” Stopped at once, and called attention to the fact that I had kept within the allotted time, and said I was not accustomed to being interrupted in this way. They didn’t seem to be conscious of anything awry. …
Page 20. [cobb_1946_travelogue_020.jpg] – PHILADELPHIA, PA, MOORESTOWN, NJ
Sunday, February 25th.
Slept late and got down to find family eating breakfast in shifts. Had a grand morning talking more about Pine Mountain, looking at picture albums of the Chapel children (Lida was my right hand at the Chapel — my left hand too for that matter, and my successor as Director) then a big dinner and Lida took me to the station. left amid many invitations to return, and felt sting of the Quaker reception erased.
Back to Philadelphia and arrived just at 6:30. Allie home from Hartford. Scovilles ready for supper. Dressed for evening. Mr. S. had lost the envelope with notes about my talk. Mrs. S. said for 40 years she had been saving envelopes with notes scribbled on them and couldn’t have thrown this away — Allie finally found it, and there were about six words — this is the dearest coziest kind of family.
Guests began to come — there were ten altogether, two or three who had been to the other meeting, Mr. Allen a painter of birds, the Newlands and others. Gave about the same talk, and was too tired to do very well but they were very kind. Glad to get to bed at last. Some left checks, I don’t know how much.
Monday, February 26th.
Left very early for Moorestown. Allie got up and fixed breakfast. Seemed as though they just couldn’t do enough for me. Had quite a wait for a bus at Moorestown. Got to the Friends School just at 9:30 but they delayed the talk until 10:30. Had time to fix slides. The room was quite large and not very dark. They persuaded me to let someone else operate the machine which was a mistake and I should have known better. Mrs. Walton, principal of the elementary school, introduced me. Had met her at the Lovells, and had come here at her invitation. The high school principal was from Richmond, Indiana. I saw the Lovells loyally there in the back row, bless them.
The talk went pretty well although it was soon apparent that the students were not accustomed to being quiet at assembly and had bad manners. But as soon as the lights were out the trouble began. There was continuous horse-laughing all through, and wolf-whistling when the girls came on. I was disgusted and finally went down off the platform where I could be closer to them. I wound up as quickly as I could.
After it was over I told the principal, and it was true, that this had never happened before. Even when I talked to 500 boys at the State Reform School at St. Charles, Ill., the conduct was better, the boys were interested, and they asked intelligent questions. I said it was a pity the Moorestown students were bored, and no doubt I was responsible for that, but I felt the school was responsible for their discourtesy, because bored or not they ought to have self control enough to be quiet. Said the school apparently wasn’t preparing them either to enjoy a serious talk, or to be courteous if they didn’t enjoy it. Said this would never have happened at Pine Mountain, first because our people could appreciate such things, and second because they were never rude. All of this was true, and I had no compunctions about saying so. If they listened to me — the teachers, I mean, it may help them. The principal did say that since it was a private school of course they didn’t attempt to control or discipline. Also said that I had made a mistake in trying to show pictures — that I should have known they’d be out of control as soon as the lights were out. I thought this was awfully funny.
(Later — have had a letter of apology signed by every class, and personal letters from about fifty children saying how much they enjoyed and learned. I don’t think they enjoyed it, but I feel sure they probably all of them learned something before the business was ended.) ….
Page 21. [cobb_1946_travelogue_021.jpg] – MOORESTOWN & HAVERFORD, PA, GREAT NECK & NEW YORK, NY
The Lovells took me off to lunch with them and we had a happy time together. They are dear, delightful folks, and certainly helped me a lot.
From there I went to the Colliers for tea. Had a long talk with Adelaide C[ollier]. They are New England people about 40 years old, Unitarians, have a little girl 15 months old. Mr. C. was a Conscientious Objector. He is writing his doctorate on the history of American libraries. Is specializing in American history. I asked them very frankly if they would be interested in our counselling work here. I think they were touched but very doubtful. They really look to New England as their future home. Are sentimental about it. Francis C[ollier] said he walked in the cemetery and saw six generations of grandparents lying there — a quiver came in his voice. It seemed sort of odd to me, this ancestor worship. Maybe they would be too provincial for us. I don’t know. Of course a midwesterner can hardly understand this kind of sentiment.
Thence back to Philadelphia and to Haverford. Glad to get to Scovilles. Allie already gone. wrote letters and went to bed late.
Tuesday, February 6th.
Allie came in about 8:30 A.M. and I decided to go with her to show slides at her meeting at Haverford Friends. They were little children, and she really couldn’t have run the movies and talked at the same time. It was a lovely meeting, several grades together. Allie talked beautifully. The pictures were nice, and the children sweet. They insisted I sing a ballad. Took me to a classroom to sing, and I wasn’t too gracious because we were in a great hurry, but anyway I did — and the teacher was so flustered she said “Children, to our embarrassment Miss Cobb is here and will sing greatly” or something awful like that.
Had a scramble to get train and glad I had packed the night before. Just made it, although had to miss luncheon. Allie called Miss Farnham at Great Neck to tell her of the extra meeting.
Got to Great Neck — no time for lunch but didn’t mind. Miss Farnham met my train and we went straight to the church. I began speaking almost at once (arr’d 2:48, meeting at 3:00), a really big audience, and so enthusiastic. It went just exactly as I like it to. They were delighted. Had tea afterwards and everybody asked questions. Girl Scouts want to have a sewing project. This was a Needlework Guild meeting, incidentally. One of the women there asked if I’d mind if she got in touch with Mary Margaret McBride’s manager, whom she knew — I didn’t mind but had to ask who M.M.M. was, and embarrassed to find she is very famous commentator on radio. (Later: Have had a letter from this manager, asking me to come to New York to arrange for a broadcast — told them I could come in October, which may be too late but haven’t heard.) Brought back to NYC by one of the members, a Mrs. Jessup, charming young woman but a reckless driver so we just missed a wreck several times, went off the Triborough bridge the wrong way and got lost in the Bronx, but finally ended at 135 Central Park west. Mrs. Jessup is a member of the Smith College Club of Great Neck, and wants me to come and speak to them in the fall.
Well — at 135 began my adventures. This is the home of Mrs. W. A. Pouch, former National President of the DAR. I hardly knew what to expect but it was more than I could have dreamed anyway. A perfectly gorgeous apartment house with a first floor lobby big as Town Hall and much more plushy and dazzling. The doorman, elevatorman and the maid who opened the apartment door all seemed to be expecting me so I was sort of wafted from open arm to open arm and finally ushered into Mrs. Pouch who kissed me affectionately, which seemed rather familiar on first acquaintance although I had seen her at Pine Mountain once years ago, when she was President General of the N.S.D.A.R. A big ample kind of woman with a tired, weighed down with the responsibilities of the world, kind of air. Soon found this kissing goes on all the time, they are always kissing each other, these women. It’s a part of the game. There were two other women there working with Mrs. Pouch, one from Washington, D.C., and the other from Bronxville, and sort of sycophants, I think. Called her dear and darling and kept telling her how wonderful she was. Really, I think she is a very nice person, but found it difficult to understand the continuous adulation. Wonder if it is the money.
Page 22. [cobb_1946_travelogue_022.jpg] – NEW YORK, NY
Was sharing with a Mrs. Kerr a great big room, all full of pink satin and rosy lamp shades and millions of pictures of one young woman who turned out to be Mrs. P’s daughter Helen who had died years ago. It seems her death was what started Mrs. P. with organizational work. The pictures were all of the time and style of 1918 or about that. Sort of Grecian and lots of hair. Mrs. P. and daughter Helen appeared both to have been tennis players. The dresser was covered with silver topped powder boxes, etc., all trophies, and there were cups around. There were seven kinds of perfume, all bad.
From all this fancy stuff I was called to dinner served in the magnificent dining room reminiscent of something out of a European castle. The maid Anna was quite sweet. I was introduced to her and she to me, and learned next morning that she had been with Mrs. P. for twenty-one years, had come from Ireland. Thought this was a mark in Mrs. P’s favor. Mr. Pouch (Billy), typical big business, served. Had a hearing aid which didn’t help a great deal. Is some big national officer of Boy Scouts.
The two sycophants were both there and spent the entire meal singing Mrs. P’s praises and calling her darling. Also a great deal of kissing. Just can’t understand.
Dinner was a rare roast beef. Mr. P. so deaf he couldn’t understand anything. Good ice-cream though. The dining room had an electric blue carpet, shimmering and inches deep. Mrs. Pouch then wanted to see the pictures and hear my talk. She said she might not be able to hear it all the next day, but I felt sure she really just wanted to see whether or not it was good enough to give any time to at the big meeting. So Billy got out the screen and I went through it again. Felt tired and hoarse but had to give every word and even sing a ballad. The two seemed to be quite pleased. I left them and went to bed, but Mrs. K. my roommate did not get in until 1:00 o’clock. Don’t see how the women stand this kind of life, or how their husbands stand it. I did hear of one National President whose husband got a divorce because she never stayed at home.
Wednesday, February 27th.
Up next morning at eight. Breakfast almost as magnificent as dinner, with “Billy” reading his newspaper on the stand set up on the table like a music rack while he ate his strawberries. Mrs. P. read her piles of letters, making little moaning noises, and Mrs. Kerr called her darling, and there was even more kissing after the night apart. I devoted myself to the boiled egg.
Quite a busy morning for them because they had to get the flag ready, two flags actually and a movie screen, and some other things, but at last they were all pulled together. Mrs. P. had on her black dress down to the floor, a magnificent black velvet coat with lots of fur and a veil. She kissed the maid goodbye — probably the doorman also, I didn’t notice, and we all piled in the seven passenger, with Edward the chauffeur driving. He was quite saucy with Mrs. P. I thought. She pretended not to notice. Mr. P. had sent her a box of orchids which she pretended to be quite mad about.
At the hotel she and Mrs. Kerr got out and disappeared. I stayed in the car to be taken to my next destination. Edward was manipulating with the doorman about the equipment. Told the bellhop he’d know Mrs. P because she was “an old lady with a long skirt on”, said she wasn’t so much to look at but was a good tipper all right. Well, then Edward and I went on to 287 Fourth Avenue, where I met Mr. Scotford, editor of Pilgrim Advance, and we started to lunch. Miss Ruth Morton went with us. I didn’t like her very much and don’t think she was thrilled about me, but we got along and went to an Armenian place. She is typical organized religion which I detest. Told me point blank that she thought it was most unethical of me to solicit money from organizations like the DAR, and I said blithely that my job was to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, and money was negotiable no matter what the source, which was very banal, but they all make me tired. I don’t think their principles go much deeper than talk anyway and I know darn well ours do.
Page 23. [cobb_1946_travelogue_023.jpg] – NEW YORK, NY, & BOSTON, MA
“Billy” met us at the Commodore and was our host at a sumptuous dinner $2.75 which would have cost 60 cents at the Automat and been better, and I went to bed but the ladies stayed up “working” and playing turtle dove, I suppose, until midnight.
Next morning before breakfast I had a talk with Anna the maid who told me about how she had come from Ireland, and had worked for Mrs. Pouch ever since. She was a nice wholesome girl too.
At breakfast they all kissed each other good morning except me, and Mrs. P. said why didn’t I kiss her too, so I did feeling foolish. I do have to go through lots for Pine Mountain.
She gave me a “little gift” for P.M. and sent me off with Billy and Mrs. Kerr and the chauffeur and a lovely box of chocolates, to the Grand Central station. Left my impediments at the station and went to the doctor, then to see Allen Eaton who wasn’t there, but left my message and got my information and took the next train to Boston.
(At breakfast I brought up the subject of tractors and Billy said why didn’t we get one from the government. They had plenty of everything under the sun and ought to get rid of it…. He is a national Boy Scout figure and I thought how cute he’d look in khaki shorts, making a fire with sticks.)
This really ended the publicity part of the tour, although I spent three weeks in Boston working with Mrs. Elsmith on the calendar and other projects. In that time I did a little informal publicity visiting, meeting some former staff people, and former students. Did not hold any more meetings partly because I felt that this part of the program had been completed as well as I could manage, and also because I had mailed the slides to Mr. Benjamin to use in Atlanta.
Sidelights, page 01. [cobb_1946_trav_sidelights_001.jpg]
Sidelights and High Points
As a whole I have felt more encouraged by this trip than by any other which I have made for the school, and hope that I am not mistaken in feeling a distinct spirit of release from war tension and preoccupation, and real zeal to take up domestic interests.
One of the most helpful aspects was the sharing of a week of the speaking with Alice Barry, who did a splendid piece of work in organizing her program, and presenting the school in the Philadelphia area. I was delayed in joining her there so that she had a number of quite difficult contacts to handle alone, and I cannot speak too highly of her ability. I heard her speak to the children of Haverford Friends’ School, and was deeply impressed with her understanding, her charm as a speaker, and her way of making the story clear and effective. If I had been one of the ordinary audience, a personal contribution would have followed at once, with enthusiasm.
It has meant a good deal to me to share this kind of work, which has been too separate from the understanding or interest of other staff members. This is perhaps the best possible opportunity to express gratitude for the dispensation which made it possible for me to have a co-worker for a time, and should add that recommendations for future publicity work will include Alice Barry’s contribution as well as my own ideas.
New Publicity Fields
Several new territories were “opened up” (new as far as the present representative’s work has been concerned, I should say), notably the Philadelphia area, and Metropolitan New York. One territory quite new to Pine Mountain is that near Portland, Maine, which was opened with three quite large school and church meetings in and through Bates College people.
Newspaper Publicity etc.
Newspaper publicity has been of unusual quality, Mr. Samuel Scoville, Jr., (Alice Barry’s father) is a writer of note, and carries a daily and Sunday column in the Philadelphia Record. Mr. Scoville gave one of his very splendid Sunday feature columns entirely to Pine Mountain, in a most satisfying article about the school and neighborhood.
Mr. Percy B. Lovell, who has been for a good many years a loyal friend of the school, gave us several write-ups, very good ones, in the Moorestown Chronicle, of which he is editor and publisher. One of the meetings was held in his home.
A conference with Dr. W. Lipphard, editor of Missions Magazine, and a friend of Mr. Benjamin, has asked us for an article on religious life in this area. This may or may not come through, for obvious reasons.
A contact with acquaintance of Miss Mary Margaret McBride, radio commentator, has produced an invitation to broadcast over her program this fall. We are not sure just how this will be arranged, but feel that it can be very helpful to Pine Mountain if we think it through carefully.
One or two other openings for magazine publicity have appeared in the past two months, but I feel that presentation of these in this report is premature. Needless to say we shall follow them up carefully, and report later, if they do come through.
Personalities and Miscellaneous
As usual many friends of Mrs. Zande and Miss Pettit have been met along the way. In Northampton, Mrs. Emerson, head of Burnham School and several others for girls, classmate of Mrs. Zande at Smith, suggested a memorial of some sort in connection with the class reunion this spring. In Springfield I spoke in the church of which Mrs. Zande was a member, and to many of her old friends.
Sidelights, page 02. [cobb_1946_trav_sidelights_002]
Recommendations for the Future
1. Continuation of the full-time publicity worker on the staff, with a definite divorcing of the idea of “money raising” per se, from the direct responsibility of the publicity worker.
2. Development of “money raising” techniques extra and apart from the publicity department, or in cooperation with it, but recognized as something other than the straightforward publicity program.
I would suggest for instance that money raising be undertaken for special purposes, and at specially arranged times, as against the permanent day by day ongoing publicity work.
Would recommend that the Board of Trustees employ a professional money raising agency, which would guarantee raising funds for a determined salary, for the Centennial project, and do this during the coming year, as a test of whether or not this kind of money raising can be used by Pine Mountain without destroying permanent values.
3. A larger budget for publicity travel. It will be noted that the publicity travel has gone far beyond its budget for this year. In other years I have rigidly limited travel to the terms of the budget, and have managed fairly well, but economized too strictly. This year, with living and traveling costs nearly doubled, I have been unable to keep within the budget, and frankly have said this to Mr. [H.R.S] Benjamin and the members of the publicity committee, who agreed with me that the travel itself was necessary, and that the amount of the budget in the first place would be wasted unless enough could be spent to insure a far-reaching program. I hope that the Board will consider the amount spent for publicity travel, not with reference to how much the budget was overspent, but with reference to how large the budget must be in order to do the amount of work needed. I am sure that you have followed my tours long enough to know that I have never failed to be very conscientious in spending the funds of the school.
I have made no recommendation about how large the budget ought to be, but would be glad to do so if this is suggested.
4. Five years from now, in 1951, Mrs. Zande’s graduating class at Smith College will celebrate the 50th anniversary, and Smith College will celebrate its 75th. I want to suggest that the publicity department be authorized to begin now working on some fitting memorial to be circulated among Smith College people at that time, and also to begin thinking about a possible publication of Mrs. Zande’s letters. Whether or not the school should be active in this is a question for Mrs. Zande’s relatives to decide, but inasmuch as a large part of the subject matter of her letters will have to do with Pine Mountain, it would seem to me that we are not presuming to indicate interest in such a project, and offer help, if it seems to her family a fitting thing to do.
5. Considerable work has been done on the school history, which we have planned to tell through letters and reprints of publications. I am ready now to make a visit to Berea College, and with the permission of the college library make copies of parts of Miss Pettit’s diaries to include as an important part of the historical matter. Some Board memebers have made the effort to read the mass of material which I have so far put together, edited and typed. I wish to have your feelings about going ahead with this, beyond your willingness to let me play along with it if it interests me. Frankly I have spent a good deal of the school’s time so far, and can spend years of it, but I would like to feel that it is more than a pleasant pastime.
Index, page 01. [cobb_1946_travel_index_001.jpg]
Statistics about 1946 Eastern Tour
Cities and towns visited:
Asheville, N.C., Moorestown, New Jersey,
New York City, Orange, New Jersey, Plainfield, N.J.
Boston, Malden, S. Hadley, Concord, Northampton, Chestnut Hill, Newton, Mass;
Springfield, Newton Falls, Wellesley, Norton, Mass.
Poughkeepsie, Great Neck, Mt. Vernon, New York.
Ardmore, Haverford, Westtown, Pa.
Kinds of groups contacted:
Colleges — Wellesley, Vassar, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Wheaton, Katharine Gibbs, Pine Manor, Black Mountain (no talk), Bates
Women’s Organizations — Society of Kentucky Women in New York
N.Y.C. DAR, Dolly Madison and Deliverance Monroe chapters of DR, National Society of Patriotic Women of America, Great Neck branch of Needlework guild.
Church Groups — Philathea Class, Tremont Temple, Boston
E. & F. group, Tremont Temple
Ardmore Presbyterian Missionary group
Baptist BPW, Lewiston, Me.
Episcopal Campus Club, Bates College
Methodist Women’s group, Springfield, Mass
Congregational Women’s group, Englewood, N.J.
Schools — Penn School for boys, Concord, Mass
Northampton School for girls
Burnham School for girls (Northampton, Mass.)
Home Meetings — Mr. and Mrs. Percy Lovell, Moorestown
Miss Kilborne, Orange
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Scoville, Jr., Haverford,
Professor and Mrs. Robert Seward, Lewiston,
Miss Lida Newberry, Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
Mr. and Mrs. Luigi Zande, Asheville, N.C.
Dr. Victor Merriam, Wellesley, Mass.
Miscellaneous — Luncheon for group of members of former [?].M. Association, Plainfield N.J.
Baptist Old People’s Home, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Washington Heights Club, New York City
Index, page 02. [cobb_1946_travel_index_002.jpg]
Former workers met or visited or contacted —
Miss [Angela] Melville, Miss B[ertha] Cold, Miss M. Purbrick, Miss E. Canterbury, Mr. and Mrs. L. Zande, Mrs. L. Baird, Mrs. E. Lyman, Miss M. Abercrombie, Miss M. Easton
Individual calls in interest of the school —
Mr. and Mrs. Winfield Cornett, Belmont, Mass
Miss Addie Cornett, Boston — former students
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest B. Cobb, Newton Upper Falls
Mrs. Arthur Kendrick, Newton
Mr. and Mrs. Francis Collier, Moorestown, N.J.
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Barry, Llewellyn Pk, N.J.
Dr. John Scotford, Congregational Board of Home Missions
Mrs. Wm. H. Pouch, New York City
Dr. Walter Lipphard, editor of Missions Magazine
Russell Sage Foundation
Interviews with college personnel directors, with thought of finding staff personnel —
Miss Voorhees, Mt. Holyoke
Mrs. Bishop, Wellesley
Miss [left blank], Wheaton
ALICE COBB BIOGRAPHY
ALICE COBB – PMSS NOTES, NOVEMBER 1927
[Issue edited by Alice Cobb]