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Steve, may we suggest where to rest? Plus, the “San Diego miracle cure!”

Updated: May 6

In November 1928, Frankin Roosevelt’s uncle, Frederic Delano, wrote to Stephen Mather and

suggested that Stephen go to Warm Springs, Georgia, where the President-to-be was working to find “a cure for infantile paralysis, arthritis, and the like.”  But Delano was not alone in proposing restorative destinations to Stephen Mather. 


In December of that year, Thomas Campbell, a former two term governor of Arizona, who was serving on the United States Commission for The International Exhibition at Seville Spain, wrote:


“Why cannot you, Mrs. Mather, and Miss Betty pack your bags and come over here in March.  The weather at that time of year is just like the Deserts of Arizona; the Exposition will be in full blast; Easter Week with the gorgeous religious processions and the famous Seville Feria…”


In January 1929, an Elliott Carpenter wrote:


“My Dear Stephen…I guess what you really need is to play for a little while out in God’s sunshine and I personally have found that South Florida’s sunshine possesses a quality of ultra-violet rays that works wonders…”


But perhaps that was topped by “Colonel” Ed Fletcher, a real estate developer and a director of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.  In April 1929, Fletcher wrote to Stephen Mather:


“Friend Mather…To show you what San Diego climate can do – a woman in Wisconsin was dying a short time ago, so the story goes.  She sent for her son who was in San Diego.  He rushed across the continent in his Ford and arrived there just as she was dying.  She looked into his face, recognized him and asked how we had come.  He told her in a Ford.  “My dying wish, my son, is that I might see that Ford, she said, so he carried her out.  She put her head caressingly on the fender of Ford and just at that time the tire blew up.  She got one whiff of that San Diego air and it so rejuvenated her that it gave her courage and she soon got well and is now living in San Diego…”


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