Monday, October 11, 2010


Up above the smoke & cinders & rooftops all the stars, very nicely aligned, seemed to shine down on old New York - boy oh boy, they must have, when lovely, delicate Anna Hall married Elliott, second son of Theo. "Greatheart" Roosevelt. The handsome, charming son - rather unlike his toothy, precocious older brother, Theo. Jr. What a pitiful couple of coconuts they turned out to be.
Young Mrs. Roosevelt gave birth to her only daughter on this day, October 11, 1884. Far off in Missouri, Harry Truman was a round-faced baby. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a blond toddler. Sam'l Clemens aka Mark Twain published Huckleberry Finn, his masterpiece, that year. Helen Keller was a fair-faced four-year-old down in Alabama, thrashing around, mystified, still trapped in the dark & the quiet.
Anna Eleanor the Roosevelts named their firstborn. So surprised & disappointed Anna was in how her her child looked. She knew first hand how important it was, in her world, for a girl to be beautiful, but Eleanor, as she was known, wasn't. True, her eyes were beautifully blue, but what an unfortunate mouth she had, poor shy, solemn thing. To her doting drunkard of a father, Eleanor was 'little Nell.' To her sad, chilly mother, Eleanor was 'Granny.' She didn't seem to have much of a future.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that the Roosevelts were never to know how the world would know their valiant daughter, whose birthday it is today.

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