7/13/50 - The Little White House at Warm Springs BY-WAYS - 7/13/50 - The Little White House at Warm Springs

As I shift my typewriter into position, the negative thought creeps in; my many Republican friends won't be interested. But just as in this Korean crisis our erasable party lines disappear overnight, so, in the less spectacular, but ceaseless battle against polio, party and personal prejudices should be obliterated. Since polio is with us - an ever-lurking and treacherous enemy - Franklin D. Roosevelt's personal encounter and mortal combat with it has been an incalculable blessing to this nation. Had he not had it, there might never have been a Warm Springs Foundation. In 1924 F.D.R. went to Warm Springs to test its pools as an aid in recovery from his own paralysis. Then out of his own affliction grew a sympathy for others. He and four other public-spirited men set up the foundation. Just as there are healing powers in the warm waters of Warm Springs, so does there seem to be a beneficent atmosphere in all of that wooded area in Western Georgia. When you stand out on the terrace, or "sun deck" of The Little White House, and watch the afternoon sun caress a thousand trees on the slopes of Pine Mountain, just across the wooded canyon, and listen to the myriad songs of untroubled birds, you begin to understand why F.D.R. chose this spot for peace and rest.

The Little White House, snow white against its green background, is the soul of simplicity. A one-story, six-room affair, it might well be taken for a summer lodge of a fairly well-to-do business man. The four pillars that support the portico at the center front, are the only marks of presidential dignity. The kitchen is small and furnished with the simplicity of a summer cottage. All the rooms are finished in Georgia pine, sanded, and rubbed with an oil finish that lends a mellow warmth to each room. There are three bedrooms, a good-sized entry hall, where stands the wheel chair, only reminder of its owner's affliction, and then the cozy combination living-and-dining room. You would love this room, with its great open hearth at one end, the huge ship model on the mantel, the open book shelves built in the wall, the beamed ceiling, the rustic, but satin-smooth dining table and six chairs, the pictures on the walls and the miniature ships reflecting the owner's love of the sea. That room is truly a heartsome place.

The only change has been the building of a museum under the sun deck, where are to be found many of the personal gifts to F.D.R. that have sentimental value; for instance, the crude drawings of little children who wanted to send him a token of affection. The most amazing work of art is the gift of a Chinese, who made remarkable likeness of F.D.R. entirely from fine embroidery thread - so fine that you vow it is done in oils until you examine it minutely. There is quite a collection of canes, sent by admirers, and curious, from all over the world. Now they are laying a walk out in front that is to be comprised of stones from every state, most of them carved in the shape of that state. A small administration building had to be built to take care of the swarms of visitors, and collect the 50-cent fee charged all adults. Children, 25 cents. The attendants, most of whom knew and loved F.D.R. give you many times your money's worth. It was an enriching experience.

Another time I must tell you of my visit with Daisy Bonner, F.D.R.'s incomparable cook.

Faithfully yours,
Florence B. Taylor

Next - 8/10/50 - Visitors from Saltsburg - The Lemons
BY-WAYS Table of Contents