If you have not been to Warm Springs, and someone sends you a post or folder, be not deceived about the drive that leads to the foundation. It is not the "Art-Colortone Creation" firm would have you believe: A flawless corridor in a cathedral of dogwood and pine, with a trim hedge along the way. It is just a dirt road - and very dusty on that Sabbath Day -that an English war nurse and I, bent upon the same errand, decided to hoof it. You know how the English are. You're just a panty-waist if you hire a taxi for any distance under a mile. I guess it is a good three-quarters of a mile from the highway, and when the handsome young husband of a polio victim offered us a ride, I responded with alacrity. Suddenly, out of the woods, we came upon a semi-circle of gleaming white buildings, set in careful array so as not to disturb God's handiwork, the lovely big trees. If there is healing power in beauty - and there surely is - the polio victims take on a new therapy just by coming to this bit of paradise. Great colonial pillars grace the entrance to Georgia Hall, the present Administration building. In fact, the colonial style of architecture is carried throughout the many buildings. There are two dormitories, a Medical Building, the School and Occupational Therapy Building, a Physical Therapy Post Graduate School, a Campus Pool for hydrotherapy, and a Brace Shop, where appliances are made according to doctors' prescriptions, fitted and adjusted there.
One should always spend at least two days in Warm Springs; the Sabbath Day, just to drink in the beauty and peace and inspiration of that place, and then the next day at the Foundation, to see all the healing processes at work. They really rest on Sunday, and had I not pleaded the case of this fine war nurse, who had cared for bombed and desolate children through those terrible war years, we would not have seen the inside of anything beyond the spacious reception hall and a glimpse into the cheerful dining hall. The receptionist called the supervisor, and she came and graciously took us through the children's wards - strictly as a courtesy to this English nurse, who could not come back. Of course the two nurses talked most of the time in a clinical jargon that I couldn't understand. But the bright or wistful or sad or soulful eyes of little children I could read and understand. Most of the children are really full of fun. They have marvelous care; and there is a spirit of love and kindness that just pervades the place. You can't describe it. You must feel it. I think that the members of the hospital staff never forget that many of these children (and adults) are far from home, and that it takes love as well as physical therapy to heal an affliction.
At the village bus station Miss Green and I were led to believe that we could have dinner in the Georgia Hall dining room. But such a privilege is extended only to those who are visiting loved ones in the hospital. We were too late to attend a Protestant service in the beautiful little chapel, but we went to 12 o'clock mass. No patient is denied the privilege of attending church service. Many of them were there on "travelers," I think they call those hospital carts, with faithful attendants to wheel them to and from the chapel. Others were in wheel chairs; some on crutches. It was a deeply moving experience for us visitors. So eager was I to learn ALL about the healing processes used - to see them with my own eyes - that I actually engaged a room for that night in a private home, determined to stay 'til Monday noon. And Miss Green, who had to return to Atlanta that evening, was really green with envy. But she need not have been; for, when I learned at the bus station that no busses came that way between 9:50 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. week days, I reluctantly gave up my room and my dream - that I might keep a business appointment in Atlanta Monday evening - which completely fizzled out. Moral: Stay on the spot 'til you get your full story.
Next week I will tell you about the Little White House, which we visited in the afternoon; also my special interview with Daisy Bonner, President Roosevelt's cook there. Before I close I want you to know that Mr. Walker financed all my excursions, by sending me $15.00 in addition to the regular monthly checks. I think that's pretty fine on his part. So I must do my part. I have some fine stories for you.
Florence B. Taylor
2907 Hampshire Rd.,
Cleveland Hts., 18, O.
Next - 5/18/50 - THE GOLDEN WEDDING - Florence's Early Childhood
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