June 8, 1939

“WASHINGTON, Wednesday…Three people I met yesterday asked me just how to greet the King and Queen, if they have an opportunity to meet them. That reminded me of a story told me in the Yosemite about one of the oldest rangers who was with me on a camping trip. Billy Nelson had accompanied King Albert and the Queen of the Belgians when they went through the Yosemite on their visit to the United States immediately after the World War. They were a charming, royal couple and they understood well the real value of human beings. I am sure that one look at Ranger Billy Nelson’s face assured them that he was a grand person. He had been carefully coached, however, as to the proper way of addressing royalty. When he stood before King Albert, he forget everything and, with a reminiscent chuckle, he told me: “I just said `Howdy King’ and held out my hand.”

I forgot to mention yesterday that the little village of Hyde Park is all decorated in anticipation of the visit of the King and Queen. Every farmer in the vicinity is praying for rain because the crops need it very badly, but I feel sure that the village officials will be deeply disturbed if the flags and bunting are ruined by any real downpour of rain.”

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