President’s Day!

Pols homeWho is your favorite President – besides the obvious choice of our fabulous President Trump?

In our house, it’s President James Knox Polk, 1845-1849.

My son, Gunner, had a project due on an assigned President, and he was uncharacteristically stalling writing his essay. Old Presidents were “old” and not exactly engaging for him. At the time, I knew next to nothing about Polk. My son kept wandering into the kitchen, searching for help from me, trying to get his essay started. In other words, he wanted me to stop what I was doing and help him write his essay. No. Not happening. I won’t do your project for you, but I didn’t want him to die on a vine either.

I prodded him with a few questions about President Polk, and he gave me a brief bio. As the last minute, he mentioned Polk was from Tennessee. I stopped washing dishes, “Where in Tennessee?”, I asked him. Gunner replied, “(mumble)…., somewhere near Nashville”. He was so discouraged, counting tiles on the kitchen floor. His voice and the mumbles came from his chest. He was swinging his arms and playing with his feet. Completely unlike him. We had great history teachers when we were kids. Sad to see him not involved, using his imagination about the time period. Time for an intervention, I thought. “Sounds like a road trip to me!”, I replied.

Road trips are legendary in our house, and at the mere mention of a road trip, Gunner’s attitude did a 180 degree turn. We sauntered into the den to ask husband, “How do you feel about going to Nashville this weekend?” Husband preplans everything and spontaneity is not his strong suit. “When?”, he said, “Tomorrow morning?”, he was almost spasm/panicking. We couldn’t really afford it, true. BUT, I remembered a huge Marriott credit I had, called around, and booked a cheap room. We invited a buddy for Gunner to make it more enjoyable, and I packed snacks and sandwich stuff to save a little bit of money. In less than 12 hours, we were on the road….. looking for adventure.

Before we left, I printed off what seemed like a ream of paper, downloaded info on President Polk, and President Jackson, Gunner’s buddy’s President. Along the way, the boys read to us data on the two Presidents. We were brushing up.

We took the scenic route to Nashville, through historic battlefields the kids had never seen, Bloody Pond, and Shiloh. Husband, from Boston, was amazed. The history was coming to life – my eyes twinkled a little – that little seed planted was growing. We talked about what it must have been like, in the midst of a Civil War, while munching on sandwiches from home.

We made our way to Nashville, checked in, and I whipped out the Platinum Amex, guaranteeing an upgrade in room and an early check-in. Wow, did we get a suite. It was like a palace! We stopped at a few historical sites that afternoon, around Nashville, to get into the mood before returning to the hotel. Kids were thrilled and headed to the pool with husband. Exhausted, in-hotel grill food, another Marriott credit, and off to sleep. So far, so good.

The next day, we did the Hermitage, President Jackson’s home, and the assignment of Gunner’s school chum. I love that kid and swear he will be our Governor one day, natural people skills. It was his first vacation outside the state and everything was new and wondrous to him (he wanted to take his hotel pillow home with him). He objected to the price of admission at The Hermitage, so, they let all of us in on student pricing (next to nothing). We spent all day there, wandering, learning, completely absorbed.

Suddenly, as only 8th graders do, they were tired and their “feet were hot”. They thought the only cure would be the hotel pool. Home we went to the hotel, more in-hotel pool grill food and very tired young men.

Next morning, we were off to Polk’s home, shown above, and again, we were lucky. Three docents and we were the only ones there. Polk is not nearly as popular as Jackson. The docents were thrilled we showed up and told those kids stories all day long. Best history teachers – ever. They even took us to the store-rooms. We were sitting on crates as they spun tales of the Texas-Mexico Wars, Stonewall Jackson, a YOUNG America, and the push “from sea to shining sea” = Manifest Destiny. Even my husband was wide-eyed. The kids were hanging on their every word. Great teachers are truly a gift. They closed for lunch but asked us to come back after lunch – they promised a surprise.

I wondered how a little museum could get any better, but dutifully, we went to lunch and returned to the docents. They knew Gunner had to do a school report on Polk and that’s why we were there. They took us to another room, and outfitted us all with gloves and masks. They let the kids handle historical archives, old guns, clothing, speeches – and they explained the policy behind the speech. It was like being in the world’s greatest attic but also a research lab with chemicals and weird lighting. The whole time, they stressed how important it was to preserve history and the art of preservation. I watched my son handle a letter from Polk to Jackson, his mentor, and my son was holding it like it was the Gutenberg Bible or the Declaration of Independence. It was so cute. But the young grad student was a male and connected extremely well with the kids.

After our lesson on historic preservation, the docents presented my son with a large frame of Polk’s campaign token cards, elaborately printed ribbons, pictures, and paraphernalia from his inauguration. My son froze (and so did I). It was surreal, like the President wasn’t really dead, but passing his legacy to a future generation. Reaching, forward to the future, to inspire. Gunner was speechless but understood the importance. Message received loud and clear.

The docents took my husband and I aside and cleared that it was just a loan from the museum, and they expected the frame to be returned (which we did). They let us know they checked our address while we were at lunch, but they were beyond kind – not big-brotherish at all. I was blubbering with thanks and appreciation. They came out to the car with us and I carefully wrapped the frame in a blanket. Lots of hugs for goodbye. One docent, a retired teacher, hugged me and whispered in my ear, regarding my son, “You make sure to watch over him, he’s a special one.”, like she knew a secret. Still embraced, I looked at her, searching for the secret through her eyes. She had the lightest blue eyes and was still, a striking woman. “I know”, I whispered in her ear. About that time, my son hugged her from the back and caught both of us. The best of days.

When we got in the car to go home, husband turned to me in a deadpan stare and said, “I love the south, that would NEVER have happened in Boston”. I couldn’t believe it happened… anywhere.

It was was mid-afternoon and we planned on taking the expressway home – fast route. “NO!!!!”, came the objections from the back seat. They wanted to take the scenic route home again. I shifted in my seat, fighting a stupid seatbelt, to look to the back, “How come?”, I asked. My son’s buddy piped up and said, “We have to say goodbye.” and my son nodded, “Yeah”. I glanced at my husband, and he nodded in agreement, “And so it shall be done”. Within 30 minutes we were out of the city on a two-lane road. I was staring at the white dash lines on the road as they flipped by. “They wanted to say goodbye”, I thought, as if those men weren’t dead, “Gone but not forgotten” took on a new meaning.

Both boys got an “A” on their papers and presentations. My husband INSISTED that he did not trust FEDEX (the most reliable courier on the planet) to return the Polk frame and in one day, drove 4 1/2 hours to Nashville and 4 1/2 hours home. I do love that man. He also wrote a handsome check to the museum. A few weeks later, a package arrived from Nashville for my son. It was a faded campaign ribbon from President Polk, with a packet of copies from his speeches. The message was handwritten and simple, “Know your history and be inspired.”

It’s no surprise, Gunner still talks about Polk, years later. The Polk campaign ribbon is the tree topper for his Christmas tree. His electives are history classes and he’s an avid reader, usually historical, war, strategy related.

Moral of the story: Find a great teacher, wherever they might be, and travel with your kids, even when you cannot really afford it. The payback is priceless.

What did we learn about President Polk? A lot. See below. He was strikingly similar to our President Trump.

Polk oversaw the annexation of Texas, went to war with Mexico and resolved the final problem with Mexico with the Gadsden Purchase, and settled the Oregon Territory (49th parallel) with England. Manifest Destiny was also part of his administration and Polk made it happen through land acquisition. Polk was not expected to be President and agreed to only serve one term, keeping his word. He and his wife were strict Presbyterians, no drinking, and swept out the swill and substantially changed the party atmosphere of the White House. Polk established an independent treasury and what do you know…… substantially lowered tariffs. He worked 16 hour days, nonstop, and kept his cabinet busy on the business of the nation. Polk was relentless. He retired to Nashville and died three months later. For a President, Polk accomplished an incredible amount in 4 short years. Sound familiar?

Yes, the politically correct historians will point out Polk did own slaves, but both he and his wife’s wills freed their slaves upon their death.

Look at Polk’s opinion on tariffs. Polk was “America First”:

“A potential pitfall for Polk’s campaign was the issue of whether the tariff should be for revenue only, or with the intent to protect American industry. Polk finessed the tariff issue in a published letter. Recalling that he had long stated that tariffs should only be sufficient to finance government operations, he maintained that stance, but wrote that within that limitation, government could and should offer “fair and just protection” to American interests, including manufacturers.”

Tariffs, for revenue or for the protection of American manufacturers. Who does that sound like to you?????

I won’t bore you with a full dissertation of President Polk but he was fascinating. His time in history was pivotal to what became our America.

Happy President’s Day!

84 thoughts on “President’s Day!

  1. Great read daughnworks247.
    Old Hickory was my favorite but Young Hickory is the next in line. I’ve been to Nashville many times in my younger days but, never checked out the Polk’s Home. Now I have a reason to go back 🙂

    Liked by 9 people

    1. It’s interesting to see you refer to him as Young Hickory. Is that due to similarity in policy or because of common origin? Admittedly the Mexican-American War and squaring the Oregon Territory away sucked all the oxygen out of the room when discussing Polk (not without justification!) and I didn’t get a sense for his domestic policies.

      One comment I read–but this time about Martin Van Buren, Jackson’s successor, is that Van Buren was even more Jacksonian than Jackson. I wonder if that’s true of Polk?

      Liked by 3 people

          1. Gotcha. I’m not sure who was older and which one was younger. Good point. I recall Polk was mentored by Jackson, which would imply younger age.
            And, if put into today’s terms, Polk was more like a Mulvaney, to Jackson’s Trump.
            Polk was clerk of the works kind of guy but a honey badger. Jackson was bigger than life, very Trumpian.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. I’d certainly imagine Polk was the younger of the two. But comparing him to Mulvaney gives me a good flavor for who/what he was; likely somewhat Jacksonian but of a different temperament and style than Jackson himself.

              Liked by 3 people

      1. Polk was a strong supporter of Jackson. General Jackson who trained his men hard referred to him as Old Hickory being one of the strongest of woods and the nickname stuck. Polk after his staunch support of Jackson( who also supported Polk in his bid for the presidency) was dubbed by his friends Young Hickory because of Jackson’s support and the nickname stuck with him as well.

        A bit of a sort explanation but history says it was Tennessean’s view of the two men at the time

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Thanks, very interesting! Jackson is quite famous for being “Old Hickory” but Polk is much more obscure and he’s NOT well known most places as “Young Hickory.” I didn’t even realize until today he had a personal connection with Jackson. I’m glad Daughn posted this thread.

          Liked by 5 people

  2. daughn,

    You mentioned touring the Shiloh battlefield on your way to Nashville. My great-great grandfather, whom I was named after, fought in the area of the peach orchard and bloody pond. He was in the Ross battery (1st Michigan light artillery, battery B).

    They are shown on this map located next to bloody pond. Later in the afternoon they pulled back to a position in the Wicker field directly fronting bloody pond.

    George Washington is my favorite president. America as we know it wouldn’t have happened without him. Had it been another 20-30 years before we gained our independence, it would have been a whole different set of people who would have established the legal framework for our founding.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Amen on Washington.
      Wow, that your ancestors fought at Shiloh and you have the detail about the battle.
      Bloody Pond is a physical experience. Can’t escape the ghosts.
      If you have not been, you MUST go, especially as a legacy.
      I was a kid from the north. In school, the Civil War was not discussed very much. When I moved south, the history of the war surrounds us. My town was burned by Grant’s army.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. My grandparents on my mother’s side of the family were born and raised in NW Tennessee, with family of both of them going back at least to the Civil War era in that part of the State.

        The 45th Tennessee (Statham Brigade) made several charges at the peach orchard sector where the Ross battery was located next to the Manse George cabin. I’ve often wondered if both sides of my parents family might have been fighting against each other on that day. Family history on the Tennessee branch is hard to come by.

        It was while leading the 45th Tennessee against the Union line at the peach orchard that Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston was mortally wounded. The 45th had refused to renew their attack, and only did so when Gen. Johnston inspired them to follow him into battle.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Well, Daughn, sorry to differ, but that wasn’t my Northern experience.

        I’m rather surprised it wasn’t yours, either, since you’re from Glen Ellyn in the Land of Lincoln. I mean that in a friendly way. We seem to be around the same age.

        I won’t discuss it here beyond this comment, but the schools I attended had extensive Civil War lessons in US History from our rather thorough textbooks.

        Abraham Lincoln is my second favourite President, after George Washington.

        They deserved their separate President’s Days. I’m sorry that they are long gone.

        Apologies to the Southerners here, which is why I will not discuss this further.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The theory of government existing to secure the rights of man, and a CORRECT understanding of what those rights were, was in intellectual fashion at the time. Not long thereafter a considerably more “Robin Hood” conception of what government ought to be doing (if only we could overthrow those damn monarchs) was in fashion, and that informed the French Revolution.

      Timing was indeed very good for us.

      PS I don’t really like calling it “Robin Hood” because RH was about returning taxes, not legitimately earned wealth, to the people. Of course back in RH’s day, there was probably scant legitimately earned great wealth, all of it having been taxed.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks for your insight on timing and intellectual fashion. You know your early American history very well.

        Had the American Revolution failed in late 1776 / early 1777, as it seemed to be on the verge of before the victories at Trenton and Princeton, everything would have changed regarding who would be elected as the U.S. President. Very few, if any, of our past presidents (and current) would have served office.

        As I see it, General Washington’s victory at Trenton was a epochal event not only in the history of America, but also in world history.

        Liked by 7 people

  3. “Had it been another 20-30 years before we gained our independence, it would have been a whole different set of people who would have established the legal framework for our founding.”

    itswoot, an excellent observation, and one to ponder. Something to ponder.. how close we came to not having America as we know it. This is also the reason why many people believe that America’s founding was under Divine auspices – the Creator’s Hand had a part.

    Liked by 11 people

  4. Daugn, Great read and inspirational. thank you.

    Favorite Presidents. Top three for me.

    George Washington. America’s Father. Without him, America would not have succeeded over British tyranny.

    Abraham Lincoln. Freed the slaves. Saved the Union.

    President Trump. Saving America from the brink. Restoring America’s potential. Amplifying America’s exceptionalism.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. Daughn, another great article – thanks!! Any time you can bring history to life for young people (especially 8th graders – wow! That’s really difficult!) is a win for society – and a great way to foster a love for learning.
    My favorite president (aside from the current one) is Teddy Roosevelt – I used to live in North Dakota years ago and he lived there before he was President. I lived very close to the Maltese Cross Cabin located in Medora, ND. I dragged my kids to Mount Rushmore, Theodore Roosevelt National Park to see bison and The Badlands (of ND) and any museum or historical site along the way. It was fun, and we made a lot of memories…
    I’m not sure how great Roosevelt was on public policy, but his early life was interesting and he brought some western culture to the eastern side of the country. Something I can appreciate! Take care and Happy Presidents Day!

    Liked by 9 people

      1. Oh! It’s beautiful country out there – you’ll love it. Make sure you buy tickets to see the Medora Musical and have Pitchfork Fondue (they cook these giant steaks on a pitchfork and cook them on a giant grill.) Also the Chateau de Morses (sp?) is pretty interesting too if you get a chance. You’re so lucky! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Daugn again a wonderful story thank you for the history lesson. I did not know about President Polk.

    In my house my encouraged our kids to go to the source and learn. Many times we traveled to Salem Illinoise and many other places of historical significance.
    I would just take the kids to the Library . They liked books so no problem.
    Science museums were our outings in NYC and Chicago and St Louise and also other Museums and Concerts .
    My boys were civil war buffs the read up on it and then enacted with they plastic men they had painted. hey build battle field in the house and outside.
    Daughn you evoked many good memories. Being involved with children and knowing what they need is a key to success.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Hey, SingingSoul, do you remember all those field trips/bus rides to Springfield when we were kids? I thought, surely Springfield was so far away, it must be on the edge of the moon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I only moved to St Louis in 1966. I have been in Springfield but I believe my children took outing with the school there. They had a strong civic class in the school they went there.

        I ask my husband this morning concerning President Polk he raddled the whole history off. People in the past got such good education in schools.
        I wish he would post here he could contribute and I think he would enjoy all the intellect posting here..:)

        Liked by 4 people

  7. Oh, my, Daughn! What a wonderful Mother you are!!!! If every Mom was like you, it would be a different country, IMO.

    George Washington is my choice but I just may have to add Polk now.

    Lincoln, IMO, was a double-edged sword. Freeing the slaves was NOT one of his biggest priorities and lest we forget, he was the first President to jail journalists, to my knowledge, as well as violate the Bill of Rights in many ways. The War of Northern Aggression was NOT about slaves, in spite of what we have been brainwashed to believe.

    “On Aug. 21, 1858, before a crowd of 10,000 in Ottawa, Ill., Lincoln declared:

    I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.

    I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is physical difference between the two which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.”

    “In his inauguration speech on March 4, 1861, Lincoln again said that he had no ambition of freeing slaves, and he told his audience that no State had the right to withdraw itself from the Union:

    I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it, so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or, in some authoritative manner, direct the contrary.

    Lincoln held no regard for the Jeffersonian principle of “consent of the governed.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Most US History classes now are only focusing on POST 1870.
      It’s a shame. So much is lost.
      We had incredible history teachers when we were kids, who could weave a story, tell both sides of a decision, and make kids think.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I remember my eighth grade class clean skipped over the Mexican American war! I’m not sure why. The period before that, the emphasis was on building infrastructure and the economy growing (not a bad thing to emphasize actually) then straight to the Civil War.

        I just realized I have no idea what “social studies” was in 9th grade, but it must have been American History of some sort or another. World history in 10th grade (necessary actually, to have some), then American history again in 11th, but this was an odd class; the emphasis wasn’t on the history itself but on the ideas prevalent in politics–and the teacher was a raging leftist, so much so that apolitical classmates noticed.

        I felt at the time that there had been TOO MUCH emphasis on American History (which would have been OK if it had been taught properly); I would have taken AP European History if offered for senior year, but it wasn’t–only American History. I looked back and saw three years of it out of the preceding five and said, no, I don’t want a fourth year going over the same stuff, probably from another biased teacher, and passed.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. You will laugh.
          When Gunner was accepted to the super school, we traveled down for an induction day. He was a rising 11th grader and the afternoon was devoted to placement exams for math, science, foreign language proficiency, and english.
          Gunner had just returned from a summer program at Brown Univ (analytical essay writing) and was wearing a Brown Univ polo shirt.
          A teacher spotted him, stopped him and inevitably us as well, and struck up a conversation. She was the school’s main history teacher.
          She was a lesbian, true, and a hard leftist, but fascinated that we sent our math and science focused kid to Brown to learn how to write “well”. I had the hair-brained notion the science kid needed to know how to write a correct essay.
          Well, she tucked my son under her arm and the two developed a relationship that was ideal.
          Gunner took every class she offered, mandatory US History and Euro, with univ level credit.
          School broke out electives for semesters as well. He did one on history of the 60’s, another on WW2, another on the 20yrs surrounding Amer Revolution, and another on history of Sicily, which was more like history of Roman Empire with the Greeks and Muslims thrown in.
          Because of politics, Gunner was often the only conservative kid in the class of mostly fare-thee-well females. He battled with them daily — and the teacher, the leftist, let my son get away with murder in her classroom. His friends, the girls, would complain to me about her bias towards him.
          She adored him.
          He could do no wrong in her eyes, but she pushed him harder than any other kid, in those subjects, like no other teacher had pushed him. He would linger in her class for hours, to discuss various points. She was a real mentor, a true educator.

          When we would go back for family days, other parents would whisper and complain about her. She was notoriously one of the toughest teachers at the school and had high demands on her students. She wrote all of Gunner’s rec letters, glowing.

          She was a sensational teacher.

          Yeah, he was there for the math and science, but she, this wonderful weird but intensely charming leftist lesbian, was one of my son’s BEST teachers. No one could have been better.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. That’s a rare bird these days. I *expect* a good teacher to have opinions. Being willing to set them aside to help the students’ intellectual development shows me that the teacher values intellect and intelligence (not the same thing) over conformity with her opinion, which means she’s an educator not an indoctrinator.

            Liked by 3 people

              1. My single favorite teacher was for that world history class in 10th grade. He was a Canadian who had spent time in Stalag Luft III during the war–that’s the one the “Great Escape” happened in–he was one of the ones who had to dispose of the dirt from the tunnels.

                Liked by 3 people

              2. Indeed. Of course Hollywood felt the need to stick a couple of Yanks into the movie (that part of the POW camp was for Brits and other commonwealth, which included Canada, Oz, NZ and South Africa), and some of the characters were combos of real people, but yes, a very good movie.

                The neighboring compound, which they had no real way of communicating with, was indeed full of Americans. My teacher told the story of how one compound’s musicians played the other compounds national anthem as a good will to our allies sort of thing, and got their musical instruments taken away from them.

                British and American air force officers got comparatively good treatment in the POW camps; the Luftwaffe had some of that old school “the real enemy is the air” attitude. Army enlisted had it much worse in Wehrmacht camps, and if you were a soviet prisoner, you were in for it–they were a lower race to the Nazis.

                Not to say it was pleasant, especially towards the end when Germany could barely feed its own people let alone a bunch of enemy POWs.

                Liked by 2 people

          2. …The sad thing is, in my case, I actually recognized the value of knowing history back then. The subject I truly loathed was English–which was in essence, English “Literature” and a lot of it was awful, and the rest considered classics by those who care for such things, but I didn’t, and still largely don’t. I had to read an awful book and expound in writing about how wonderful it was, then repeat. I later came up with a sense for why I thought a lot of those books were awful–but that’s a different story.

            Twelfth grade was AP English, which (oddly enough) had a lot of Greek mythology, and my sole goal in that class was to pass the AP test and not have to do it again in college. I struggled to get a B+ in the class. Well, the class brownnose got an A and failed the AP test; I got a 4 on it which was more than enough; I walked into college with that one out of the way.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. You won, for sure.
              To your credit, you knew the value of history at the time, unusual for one so young.
              Gunner walked out of HS with 34 hours of UNIV credit. Saved him a year of college. By the time he finished his first year, he was done with Cal4, which really helped get the pre-rec’s out of the way for engineering.

              Agreed, one year of Beowulf was enough for me or anyone.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Shakespeare. Thomas Hardy (who wants to read books about people who repeatedly set themselves up to fail?). Chaucer. etc., etc.

                I read a lot of fiction back then, I couldn’t tolerate fiction that treated mankind as if he were a piece of crap and nothing more.

                I had 14 credits out of the way for college (that English class and two semesters of calculus). That made me a sophomore after one semester and engineering school took me four years instead of the usual five.

                It astounded me how many people tried to major in engineering and hadn’t even taken PREcalc before walking through the door. (The usual situation was needing to start with calculus; I was at least ahead of the game on that.) I don’t know of any who made it.

                Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s because of the Texas school books decision around the rise of Obama, albeit still in the Bush administration. (Because of broken down PCs, I no longer have the links, but they might still be on the Internet.)

        The recommendation then was to start US history with 1877 and beyond.

        That makes no sense at all.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Please understand that my use of capitals below is not aimed at you, Daughn, just at the situation.

            Essentially, they made all of effing IMPORTANT early, formative US history redundant — the settlement of Virginia, the Pilgrims’ arrival, the 13 Colonies, the War of Independence, the Constitution, tthe War of 1812, The Star-Spangled Banner, the Homesteaders, various explorations westward, the Civil War AND Reconstruction REDUNDANT and UNNECESSARY to the national conversation.

            I’m not yelling at you, Daughn, not at all. I am just so PO-ed at the situation and have been for well over a decade.

            Maybe you and the local moms need to put some after school or summer school US History lessons a la the old G Beck. I doubt that will keep you or them in a good light locally, but it is necessary.

            I suggest this because it seems you are a pillar in your community.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. We realized very early on we had to supplement the kid’s education. So much they were not getting, compared to our generation and the schools we attended.
              So, we signed them up.
              They got used to traveling in the summers and 2-3 times a semester for a weekend.
              There are wonderful programs out there if we take the time to look.
              We sent Gunner and husband to Duke for a weekend when he was a 10th grader. He had to take AP Physics 1 and 2 for 11th, then 12th grade. At the time, only 12 kids in the entire STATE were taking those classes.
              I thought — crap, this is the deep end of the pool. What if he can’t make it?
              So, I searched and found the Duke thingy.
              Off they went for the weekend.
              The class was taught by 4 grad students who were funny and EXTROverts. He came home babbling about Physics, WAYYYYY over my head. Worth it.

              Here’s the kicker. Before classes for weekend started, Head of Dept of Electrical Engineering snagged him for “an interview” and husband delivered him at appointed time. There were 3-4 kids in front of him that had been selected. Kids went in, 5-10 minutes, they came out.
              Gunner went in — husband nervous as a cat, only parent left late on Friday afternoon, past 5:30pm. 10 minutes went by, 20 minutes. He went outside to call me. I told him to go back in and listen at the door.
              He did.
              They were LAUGHING.
              Interview lasted 45 minutes. He was rubber-stamped and wore Blue Devil shirts for almost 6 months.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I remember the Duke story from early days here or from our time OT!

                You could use this whole comment as your next post. It’s brilliant.

                Delighted to read that you and your husband realised early on that your childrens’ education needed a boost.


  8. We did a fair amount of traveling to where history happened when I was a kid. My mother is a history buff, Dad played along. That’s what summer road trips were all about.

    My favorite president was actually John Quincy Adams, and not for what he did as president, but afterwards. He ran for the House of Representatives and was one for well over a decade during the abolitionist period. He was the one who made the movement in the north. He was the one who, in the House, protested the gag rule that prevented discussion of slavery on the floor. He was also the lawyer for the defense in the US vs. The Amistad Africans, winning the case and charging the captured men and women nothing for it.

    JQA had MANY enemies. Many. That was why he was not re-elected, but that did not stop him. No. In the House chamber, which is now the Statuary Hall in the Capitol building, he DEMANDED a specific spot on the floor. Brilliant man that he was JQA knew that the room being a true echo chamber would reflect all conversations to that spot. Talk about surveillance without the target knowing.

    He also had a pet alligator like Calvin Coolidge.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. A pet alligator? Wow.
      He’s buried right around the corner from husband’s old office. Used to be our meet up spot. Love the tidbits in the history.

      Liked by 2 people

            1. I was joking about the Komodos (and the velociraptors of course); they were only discovered in 1911 or 1912 and as far as I know they have not made it into the “pet” market yet, though they are showing up in more and more zoos and are even being bred in captivity.

              Liked by 2 people

    2. Being in Boston, on and off, for about 4-5years was a history lovers paradise. Found where my family landed in 1622, no kidding, about 7 miles from where our little cottage was located.
      My dream house, the one I wanted to buy, was less than two blocks from where they landed. Weird, eh?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. As my late mother would have said, without citing ‘divine providence’ as I (and several of us would have): ‘It was meant to be.’

        ‘My dream house, the one I wanted to buy, was less than two blocks from where they landed.’ Again, I’ll say no more. I think I know the towns to which you refer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Both Presidents are buried in the “Church of the Presidents in the center of Quincy, MA. Have to make an appointment to go to the basement to see where they are interred.

          Hull, MA.
          My wing of the family got made at those in Plymouth and moved north a little bit. There was one home no one lived in, tied up in an estate. It looked over Boston Harbor and faced north on a cliff.
          We called it our “End of the World” house.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I was only one time at a conference with my husband in Boston and found people delightful.
    They have a nice museum.
    My daughter, husband and granddaughter came from CT to meet up with us.
    My daughter is a Girl Scout leader and has taken the group often to the Science Museum in Boston.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Move the apostrophe to the right and it’s no longer an homage to the (current?) president, but to all of them as a class: Presidents’ Day.

      Of course quite a few of them don’t deserve it.

      But I think what really happened was they wanted to honor Lincoln too, and his birthday is close to Washington’s, so they combined the two but gave it too generic a name.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. That’s a rather astonishing comment.

      First, he claims to be from Iowa. So, what has he got against Lincoln, who lived in the neighbouring state of Illinois?

      Secondly, Washington resolutely refused to be made King of the newly independent Republic!

      Right. David Burge is off my list.

      Thanks, Marica, for the tweet. Every day reveals something new. Have duly bookmarked for a new member of my blacklist.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Daughn, this is my last comment on a rather extraordinary (and, in some places in the comments, surprising) thread.

    You might wish to share this with Gunner.

    From an OANN journo:

    I think he is misinformed about Chester Arthur, who might not have been a natural born citizen and who put off a journalist trying to track down the citizenship of his (Arthur’s) father. What did Chester Arthur do that was so great?

    Nonetheless, I mention it WRT Polk.

    May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, I can’t believe you picked up on the Chester Arthur controversy.
      HUGE argument in our family among husband and all his lawyer buddies. Of course, “natural born” is the great unsolved question in constitutional law. When Cruz was a candidate, they spent HOURS debating Chester Arthur.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. PDJT must encourage whoever’s responsibility it is to SORT THIS NATIONALITY BUSINESS OUT once and for all before he leaves office.

        I am still AMAZED that people OT (and probably here) were Cruz supporters. ‘Constitutionalist’? Hmm. Such a constitutionalist that knew very well under what dishonest circumstances he might win the primary. Thank goodness he didn’t.

        Applying the Chester Arthur principle gave the US Obama. Why shouldn’t a GOP candidate try the same tactic? Ergo, Cruz.

        There will be more trying this on for size — Dems and Reps.

        Liked by 1 person

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