Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 327

Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 327

July. Mrs. Roosevelt is part of it all the time, and a very lovely because a loving part of life in the little village. When I hear of her going about among its people, their friend and neighbor in the true sense, I think of her husband’s father, the elder Theodore, who systematically took one day out of six for personal visitation among his poor friends; and how near they, both he and she, have come to the mark which the rest of us go all around and miss with such prodigious toil and trouble. Neighborliness,—that covers the ground. It is all that is needed.
  They have a sewing-circle in Oyster Bay, the St. Hilda chapter of the Society of Christ Church, which the Roosevelts attend; and of its twenty-odd members, embracing the wives of the harness-maker, the conductor, the oysterman,—the townspeople whom she has known all her married life,—there is no more faithful attendant at the Thursday-afternoon meetings than Mrs. Roosevelt. She brings her own thimble and cotton, and hems and sews with the rest of them the little garments of outing-flannel or unbleached muslin that are worn by the child cripples in the House of St. Giles,