Dr. Sawyer took a roundabout route to the 1950 meeting of the American Public Health Association in St. Louis, and visited
daughter Peggy in Winston-Salem, his Rockefeller Foundation colleagues in New York, and his son Bill in Boston on the way.
His letters commented on family, accommodations, and sometimes on social conditions en route.
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1950-10-23 (October 23, 1950)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
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My train in Greensboro was about half an hour late, but they telegraphed ahead to hold the jerkwater[?] line to Winston-Salem.
So I had a slow ride in a one-passenger-car train, the one car being divided in the middle by an open door, into a Jim Crow
and a white Section. We reached W-S at about 10:50 and there was Wally and his car. According and some understanding Margaret
had Wally rout the two oldest children out of bed and bring them down to the sitting room to greet me. They never quite woke
up and stood blinking and barely answering questions. Then they were tumbled back into bed and unconsciousness.
The first night was chilly and I had a cool time with only one thin blanket, but last night I had three with an option on
The family are all fine, including the half-cocker black dog. Peggy says she is entirely well and Wally is the same. The
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big children look huge, but of a pale blond coloration. Little Posy has grown and is full of energy. She talks like a streak
and can usually be understood. All of them were out in the yard playing ball yesterday, and in the afternoon Johnny played
football with a local group of boys at a park, and we went to watch. It was nothing to brag about and so I shall not try.
Margaret and Johnny are putting down a belated breakfast. I just heard Margaret telling Peggy that her class has just appointed
monitors to inspect the school lavatories. Civilization is advancing in the south. The children buy their lunches at school
under the Federal lunch program.
Wally is giving the United Nations Anniversary address to-morrow, but I shall be in New York, as I leave here this evening.
Your letter mailed on the day of my departure from Berkeley was awaiting me here. I was glad to get the letter from the ASHA
about the plans for the meeting in the chapel at Columbia. Sounds very sombre and more like a song than a speech with its
remarks about the choir loft and Communion Rail.
P.S. The Hotel Roosevelt finally wrote that they could [. . .] us reservations! W