The President last week tended such matters of State & Crisis as required his attention (see p. 24), then went by well-guarded special train to Hyde Park to attend to his trees.
Squire Roosevelt began to reforest his mother's lands as long ago as 1915, when he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. To him, forestry is not a hobby but a practical adventure in precision farming. On his 800 acres and on Sara Delano Roosevelt's 277 acres (which he will inherit), Mr. Roosevelt now has 600 acres in scientifically laid out "plantations" of Norway spruce, white cedar, yellow, white and red pine, Douglas fir, black walnut, eitc., etc., plus such exotic importations as European, Japanese and Dahurian larch. Back from the Hudson are virgin stands of oak, elm, chestnut, maple. But his especial care is for the rocky hills, worn-out fields, swamplands which he has converted to planned woodland.
His timber teacher is 200-pound Professor Nelson Courtlandt Brown of the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University. When Mr. Roosevelt decided, in 1929, to raise his reforestation to a professional level, he invited Professor Brown to Hyde Park for a weekend. In a decade, under Nelson Brown's enthusiastic tutelage, Farmer Roosevelt has planted 240,100 trees. Says Mr. Brown: "The State only supplies him with trees for which he pays, same as it does and will do for any private citizen."
For all the baronial beauty of Hyde Park, thrifty Mr. Roosevelt wrings the last penny's worth from what he spends on his farm. Roosevelt apples are sold through the New York & New England Apple Institute Roosevelt crates are numbered 999. Roosevelt trees are sold for crossties, telephone poles, lumber. Last year Mr. Roosevelt marketed 1,000 Christmas trees, hoped to sell many more this year at 50¢ apiece, well above what others expect to average. Drought last summer blighted these plans, killing 26,000 of 30,000 recently planted spruce seedlings and 4,000 older trees. Last week he soberly surveyed the damage, prepared to send off next year's plans to Professor Brown for checking and approval.
> The President announced regretfully that official business kept him from the funeral of his great and valued friend, George William Cardinal Mundelein (see p. 83).
> The President permitted one of his secretaries to announce to specially summoned newsmen that the President would have nothing whatsoever to say about Hitler's "outstretched arm" (see p. 34). "Make what you want to out of that," purred Acting White House Secretary Bill Hassett, giving Adolf Hitler the chill. Interpretation: The 32nd President of the U. S. has lost none of his yearning to play a really majestic role in world affairs, may yet do so when & if peace seems possible on terms acceptable to law-abiding folks.
> Five out of ten of the President's Cabinet advised him not to publish the German warning about the Iroquois (see p. 52). At least one of his most trusted Cabineteers was inclined to believe the German Grand Admiral's horror-story.
> On Cordell Hull's 68th birthday, the President had the Secretary of State in for lunch, topped off by a cake (one candle).