Austin, Texas, July 2 (9 a.m.)
While Mary (my sister, that is) delivers Ellen and 14 cakes to their respective places of business, I'll get started, at least, on this weekly masterpiece. In this article I may dare only introduce Ellen (affectionately known as Muggins to her family and long-term friends) as Mary's younger daughter. When I am my own typist, I'll tell you all about her. But today she has graciously offered to type this letter for me, and this paragraph will be missing in her typed copy if I say all the nice things about her I long to say. Suffice now to say that she is private secretary to Dr. Roger Williams, Director of the Biochemical Institute and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas. I tell you this at once because I want you to be sure to read his article in the July issue of Reader's Digest, "We're all Peculiar." I find it most helpful in the struggling process of growing more tolerant of others.
Before I become completely enmeshed like a helpless June bug in the luscious frostings of Mary's incomparable cakes, let us fly back on the Winged Mercury of the Mind to the beginning of the bus trip down here. My last vision of the big house on Hampshire Rd. was that of Harold Cooke Phillips, D.D. dignitary extraordinary, waving an errant red belt to our departing entourage as my family whisked me away to the bus station in Tommy's car. The war is over, but the practice lingers on - of stampeding for seats - this time in the big Greyhound. The Y.W.C.A. in Columbus (where I had hoped to spend the night with my dear friend, Sherry), is a lovely spot. Built in 1928, it is really up-to-date compared with our poor antiquated "Y" in Cleveland. It boasts soft green carpets, a beautiful lounge, a fine library, and a peaceful little chapel - a real sanctuary. The basement is no ordinary basement; it is a part of a "ship" marked "Coral Reef" and painted in that bright beautiful color. Lifesavers and various boat impediments are painted in appropriate places. Each door is a Deck, marked 1,2,3, etc.
At the great Wright Airport in Dayton, a dainty helicopter, ignoring the tactics of the great buzz bombers and scorning the swift darting ways of the cub plane, flew down gracefully like a butterfly. In Dayton I forfeited my lunch hour to visit the "Y" there. Built in 1918, its lobby is patterned after the better hotels of that era. Its spaciousness and its fresh coat of paint - a lovely rose color - catch the eye immediately. Unusually courteous personnel are there to answer all your questions. The ride to Indianapolis was made enjoyable by a cultured young woman of the Negro race. From her I learned of the urge of her people to make something of themselves. She is a proud young woman; a college graduate, a member of the Detroit Chapter of Alpha Omega Phi Sorority. The story of her initiation is a story in itself. She had been treated like white folks in Boston, New York and Chicago. When she visited in Alabama, she was outraged when the trolley conductor asked her to sit in the Jim Crow section. She flatly refused - and reminded him that her brothers and cousins fought in this war - this war, that is supposed to bring about the Brotherhood of Man. So clearly could I see it all from her angle that, when we got over the extended "Mason and Dixon Line," I felt a deep resentment over the discrimination against colored folks. They talk about the "deep South." Well, the South is certainly deep in its prejudices.
Now the column is filled. But next week I shall tell you the charming side of the South - and this bit of paradise, working side by side with my lovely sister.
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 7/22/48 - Mary's Cakes
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