So many presidents to think about; I’ll have to make some choices in who gets thought about this year. They can’t all have my thoughts on this dedicated week-end! As a young student, in the Appleton, Minnesota Public School, I can recall cutting out numerous construction paper busts and heads of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Thought produces an immediate visual of those distinctive raised-chin profiles. Must then give some credit to the cutting lesson.(It’s a sore spot,too much cut and paste and not enough creativity in my era of education). Wonder what the two big name presidents really looked like! As an adult, thought comes quickly of the service, sacrifice and accomplishment they have on their bio sheets.
On a return trip, back to Minnesota from Illinois, my family and I stopped long enough to tour the preserved home of President Ulysses S. Grant in Galena, Illinois. Now there’s a way to make history come alive! So, today, I will return to that spot in my thoughts and think about President Grant a little more than usual. He graduated from West Point, married and raised a family, had a military career(more than one), looked General Lee in the eye at Appomattox, served two terms as president and passed away in his early 60’s. When one considers the ‘times’ of simply waking up and living in the 1800’s it all seems quite extraordinary. Wood for heat, horses for transportation, no fast food joints, outdoor ‘facilities’, slow communication, still settling the west. . . .whew! During his time in office our country was in, shall we say, major turmoil??? Grant doesn’t always get the best reviews, as a president, but let me comment for him(deep voice),”Easy for you to say”!
Ok, back to the windy February day in 2012, we don’t get all that many Eagles stopping by at the RedBarn in Big Stone County. Yesterday was the big day! He, Mr. Symbol of America, didn’t come very close and he didn’t stay very long(on a tight schedule when you’re an important guy). Still, he’s got me smiling about the fact that he visited on “President’s weekend”. We get our fair share of those smiles, when things seem to happen for a reason, out here in. . . the countryside of life!