Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

What I Found at FDR’s Place

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It’s August, things are slow. I’ve been on the road for the past couple of days, and despite that, I find that Cindy Sheehan, Maureen Dowd, and other assorted moonbats continue to be their strange selves while I was tooling about the Hudson River Valley. It’s a beautiful part of the country which everyone should visit at least once. On this trip, I stopped at the Franklin Roosevelt home and presidential library.

Now, regular readers of this blog may not be surprised to learn I think very little of FDR’s economic policies – it’s fairly clear he lengthened the Great Depression unnecessarily, and that his credit for ending it really belongs to the war. That having been said, his wartime leadership was superb, and he deserves a place in the pantheon of great presidents for that if nothing else.

The museum cum library is a fascinating place. The house itself has been maintained in just the state it was when Roosevelt was alive, and it’s humbling to walk in hallways where he had to be wheeled, to look at chairs that Winston Churchill sat on, and rooms that have seen some dignitaries indeed. For all that, it has the feel of a home, and a place where people were happy. I noted with amusement given the current annual whining about Bush going to Crawford that Roosevelt went home to Hyde Park an average of once every three weeks while he was President. Bush is falling behind.

The library was equally fascinating. Roosevelt himself opened it, and even worked there while he was in office. His desk and study have been left just as they were when he last left in March 1945, never to return except for his funeral. He and Eleanor (along with two pet dogs) are buried in a lovely rose garden, and far from having the somber sense of a shrine, has the peaceful aspect of repose. It was a very enjoyable afternoon. (Oh, and the Everready Diner on Rte. 9 will fill you up but good.)

However, for all that, the thing that most amused me was the gift shop. Almost overlooked on my way out, I noticed several small busts of various presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Kennedy, and George W. Bush. (They had much larger ones of FDR.) Well, at $15.95 the Bush one was sold, and I took it up to the counter. The very polite store manager said he thought this was the last one, but he would look. Indeed, he came back a few minutes later with an empty box, and proceeded to wrap up the display model for me. While he was doing this, he mentioned he had quite a few of the other presidents left, but that of the several dozen Bush busts, this was the very last one.

Yep. At the Franklin Delano Roosevelt museum shop in the very Blue State of New York, they’ve sold out of the Bush statues. Here it is on my shelf:


Written by martinipundit

August 24, 2005 at 11:43 am

Posted in General, History

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