Upstairs at the Roosevelts: Growing Up with Franklin and Eleanor

By Curtis Roosevelt | Go to book overview

10
Others in the White House Entourage

My life in the White House and at Hyde Park was filled with interesting people. Books have been written about some of them—Louis Howe and Harry Hopkins, for example. Others, such as Marion Dickerman, have written their own memories.

I think one should have been written about my Cousin Polly, Miss Laura Delano. She was a character, both looking and acting the part well. Petite, rustling about in silk pajamas, (which she donned for the evening), she covered her hands and wrists with rings and bracelets that all tinkled and clattered when she gesticulated as she talked.

All this was topped by a rather haughty face, defined by a high forehead. Her hair was dyed either blue or mauve, perhaps a shade in between. The total effect was one of amazing grace and style.

Yet it seemed quite casual. Polly displayed such charm when entering a room that all were riveted. She liked to gossip and always had a juicy story for Cousin Franklin. (She chose to avoid the nasty cutting style of Alice Roosevelt, a cousin from the Teddy Roosevelt branch of the family.)

Cousin Polly (or Cousin Laura, as we called her when we were children) was a favorite of my grandfather, and was with him in Warm Springs when he died. As I have learned more about my great-grandmother’s family, the Delanos,

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