BY-WAYS 4/18/46 - Ike Visits Cleveland - Saturday, April 13. -

There! That old deadline has sneaked up on me again. Like an evil genius he smirks and prods and teases. "You can't make it; you can't make it!" He just stands there, and paralyzes my thinking. Now, git outa here. You're not due for another three hours. Let's talk first about women. Women, bless our souls, are funny creatures. And still very primitive. In this mad hunt for butter we are ready to let our fingernails grow until we can sharpen them. Yesterday Mother and I felt as if we had been caught up in a surging mob of the French Revolution. Somebody discovered soap in a secluded nook. We all made a dive for the soap. Pretty soon a small regiment advanced, armed with toilet paper. Some women waved their prize, not as the white-flag of surrender, but as a signal of victory - and a signal to the friend or soul-mate, "Go, help yourself." The war between nations may be over, but the war on the home-makers' front is increasing in its fury. After three weeks of this awful warfare and endless waiting Virgil and I came to a big decision today. We're going to quit eating butter, 'Taint wuth it. (Can't get margarine, either.) So watch for a pair of sylph-like figures coming over the hill from Cleveland to Saltsburg - oh, about August. Yes, we'll take butter on roasting ears, thank you. ***

The lingerie and hosiery business is about as dead as old King Tut. But I do get out with dresses (when my manager holds a big stick over me). And then it is that I meet other women, and hear their problems. And now I am convinced that every home has, not only its problems, but its cross. I'd better not get into that, for you have your own problems and your sorrows, too. But just let me tell you of one little woman, the bravest of them all, who lost her father and mother within the last six months, whose husband had a heart attack on New Year's Eve, whose illness has cost them $2000. He is only fifty, but he'll never be able to do hard work again. That little wife whom I've known for 18 years, is taking it all in her stride, saying calmly, "This is Life. We have to expect these things ... This world is but a training ground for the next."

A great man came to our town last Thursday. So great is he that all Cleveland wanted to turn out to see him and do him honor. In bold headlines that top all other news Cleveland newspapers said of the man who led our Allied forces to victory, "Eisenhower conquers Cleveland." And so he did - from the tiniest kindergartner to the biggest, toughest business man. A temperamental back refused to let me go to to see our hero. And was I disappointed! The welcome that Cleveland gave General "Ike" was something to see and hear. The reception committee at the airport escorted him to a closed car, because the day was raw and chilly. But when he saw the hundreds of children (and grownups, too) lining the streets, waiting for a glimpse of him, he insisted on an open car, that all might see him. All the honor and fame that have come to him have not spoiled him one whit. He still considers those boys who will not come back the real heroes. And when he talked to the students of our Lakewood High, he urged them into the paths of peace. When he was taken through some of our airplane plants, he listened with absorbing interest to the chief engineers and research men. Fred Crawford, the president of Thompson Aircraft, whispered to the editor-in-chief of the Cleveland Press, "He is a great listener." Maybe that is one of the secrets of his power. I am convinced that he listened - faithfully to the voice of a Higher Power. Now - reluctantly - I must close., The evil genius got several people lined up, innocently enough, to interrupt me. I'll get even with him next week.

Florence B. Taylor

Next - 4/25/46 - Bell Class Annual Meeting
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