It’s been a slower start to my day, and I earned my additional snoozes after Zooming with my London son and feeding the dogs. Normally, I feel guilty for wasting time, but I do not. My body was nudging me to get more rest and I obliged.
Whenever I am shoulder-deep in a project, I often juggle several other sources to free my brain from the topic that consumes me. I’ve been reading Donna McCreary’s MARY LINCOLN DEMYSTIFIED, dabbling in research of the Wright Brothers and John Augustus Roebling, and as of last night, listening to the audiobook, COOLIDGE: AN AMERICAN ENGIMA, by Robert Sobel and narrated by Charles Brice.
When I figured out Calvin Coolidge was president when my maternal grandmother was born, on May 8, 1924, I began researching him. I also became fascinated with President Truman when Grandma Donna shared that she and Truman shared May 8th birthdays.
I am finding it quite interesting how this unassuming, excruciatingly hushed gentleman climbed as high as he did. But, Calvin Coolidge worked hard and earned his success.
He was quite witty and I love the amusing anecdotes between Coolidge and his extraordinary and vivacious wife, Grace Goodhue Coolidge. Mrs. Coolidge graduated from the University of Vermont majoring in education and began teaching at the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech where she taught deaf children to communicate by lip reading rather than using sign language. Shortly after moving to Northampton to assume her teaching position, Grace met and married Calvin Coolidge and taught him how to communicate with sign language. The White House staff and servants were either amused or insulted when the Coolidges would stop speaking and turn to sign language in their presence.
Other entertaining Coolidge stories I have enjoyed through the years:
The day after winning the Northampton, Massachusetts mayoral election which he served from 1910-1912, a Democrat friend passed him on the street and offered his congratulations.
“I see you’re elected mayor [of Northampton], but I did not vote for you.”
Cool Calvin Coolidge simply replied, “Well, somebody did.”
At a White House dinner, a female guest leaned into the president and said, “You know, Mr. President, when I explained to my friend that I was to be seated next to you at this dinner, she made me a bet that I could get you to speak more than three words.”
Without missing a beat, the tight-lipped Silent Cal quipped, “You lose.”
I am three and one-half hours into this audio biography and I am enjoying it.
Today is a day to accomplish much around the house, beginning in a short while with tackling the leaves in mine and Mama Kay’s yard. I have stayed on top of mine, but I need to rake those tiny, aggravating walnut tree stems that do not submit to the pressure of the leaf-blowing machine. Thursday and Friday bring busy days but evenings spent watching Fairmont High School’s AN EVENING OF ONE ACTS, and seeing Dayton Theatre Guild’s production, BROADWAY BOUND, with Laura.
Now, off to the yard to pile some leaves.
Make it a great day!