While the November temperatures cool the atmosphere here at Tudor Croft, the political atmosphere in our nation is quite hot and steamy! We Americans continue our experiment in democracy every four years when we elect our President. The job of Presidency is a complicated, arduous, and oft times a thankless task taken on by a person with human strengths and frailties. It may be sheer fun for us to look back at some of our past Presidents’ interesting and sometimes bizarre aspects of their humanity.
Presidents Past and Present
Most of us are familiar with our first three Presidents: George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. There has been much ado about the material of Washington’s dentures. His dentures have been made of hippopotamus ivy, horse, donkey and cow teeth, and even teeth bought from his slaves. No wonder Washington’s favorite food was ice cream! Our 2nd and 3rd Presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were political rivals, but after their Presidencies, they became friends. Once on a trip to Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-Upon-Avon, Adams and Jefferson took a knife and cut wood chips off one of Shakespeare’s chairs and took them home as souvenirs.
Nineteenth century Presidents also revealed their humanity. The 6th President John Quincy Adams liked to go skinny-dipping in the Potomac River. James Buchanan bought slaves in Washington, DC and set them free in Pennsylvania. Our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was the only US President to have been a licensed bartender. Ulysses Grant smoked at least 20 cigars a day and died of throat cancer. Grover Cleveland had a job as a hangman when he was sheriff in Erie County, New York. He twice had to spring the trap at hangings.
The 20th and 21st Centuries also saw a set of diverse humans as Presidents. The Teddy Bear is named after Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. Roosevelt, a prolific hunter, refused to shoot a small bear cub. The newspaper story on the event inspired a toymaker to create the cuddly stuffed “teddy” bear. William Taft, our largest President at 322 pounds became stuck in the bathtub at the White House, and a new tub had to be ordered. Calvin Coolidge, for some reason, liked to have his head rubbed with petroleum jelly while eating breakfast. Our current President, Barack Obama collects Spiderman and Conan the Barbarian comic books! Who knew?
Here at Tudor Croft, homes are going up at almost a superhuman pace with much Presidential ardor to the task at hand. The Mosers plan to move in their 40 Tudor Way home this month as houses go up all around them. We know they are excited about all their new neighbors including the Woodworths, who selected 45 Tudor Way as their home site.
Let us hope that our next President will use the strength of his or her humanity to make wise decisions for our country, and let us hope that his or her human frailties are minuscule!
Welcome to Our Court!