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Notable New     Yorkers
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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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Part:         Session:         Page of 654

I've always found that a very interesting and important study for anybody with whom I had to work, whether it was my stenographer or one of my colleagues on a board. I found it equally important with the Governor, with whom I had to work. So I did begin to study his personality and mentality, which was very complex - much more complex and much more irregular than Al Smith's, although Al Smith was by no means the simple, open soul that he sometimes appeared. He had great depths of almost subconscious experience which he drew on and which entered into his decisions, his opinions and conclusions as to what was to be done. In speaking of why he was going to do something, he would say, “Well, now, see here, I remember when.... When I was a boy.... When I first came to the Legislature....” He would recall items in the past and you would think that he was mustering facts and drawing conclusions, but actually the items that he mustered, and the selection that he made of the items he called upon to help in an understanding and a knowledge of certain situations, revealed a subconscious realization that he wasn't even conscious of himself. It was wholly subconscious.

Thus he was really more intuitive than is commonly realized. He seemed like a very simple, uncomplicated and direct personality, but I think he was more complicated than appeared.

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