Just a few thoughts here, after coming back from Avondale library with The Boy, who spotted an odd, early-1900s etching hanging from the library wall as we were leaving. Some guy with a mustache, never identified.
Boy: Who is that?
Me (scanning for inscriptions): It doesn’t say.
Boy: Maybe James Garfield?
He’s three now, by the way. And I am willing to be that no one in the last century has looked at that painting and said, hey, could that be James Garfield? (Which, I am confident, it was not.)
Random Presidential Anecdote #2….
A while back, we were at the McWane Center with my sister-in-law, Betsy, meandering around the archaeology section, which has a room full of various skulls and bones. The Boy pointed to one skull and said, “That’s a person skull.”
Betsy: The sign says it’s actually a chimpanzee skull.
Boy: Oh. Ronald Reagan would like that. You know, he acted with a chimpanzee before he was president.
And Presidential Anecdote #3….
One day we were playing doctor–he is always Dr. Brian, his pediatrician, unless we alternate and he becomes the patient. This particular afternoon, I was the doctor first, and I examined him and told him he had an ear infection. (Our standard diagnoses are ear infection, fever, or having swallowed a butterfly.) So I gave him invisible antibiotics, and then he examined me.
Me: I have a headache. Right here. And my throat is sore.
Boy: Let me see. (Pulls out various tools, listens to my heart and looks in my ears and mouth.)
Me: So can you tell me what’s wrong with me, doctor?
Boy: Well, you have polio.
(This is only funny, I realize, if you get the FDR connection.)
Okay, one more–it’s hard to stop once I get started. We had a friend coming over to dinner, and The Boy asked if Mr. Mattey had a beard.
Me: I think he has a goatee these days. You know, a little beard.
Boy: I was thinking it was more of a Ulysses S. Grant.