Wednesday, December 26, 2012


"Well, I wouldn't say that I was in the great class, but I had a great time while I was trying to be great."

"The President is always abused. If he isn't, he isn't doing anything."

"I remember when I first came to Washington. For the first six months you wonder how the hell you ever got here. For the next six months you wonder how the hell the rest of them ever got here." 

"I never did give anybody hell.  I just told the truth and they thought it was hell." 
U.S. President No. 33, 
who joined the ranks of the dear 
departed 40 years ago today.

          Wasn't Harry a pistol?  I was sitting at my folks' dining room table when we heard the news that he'd died. For years, Harry Truman lived just a few blocks from us. In fact, years later, I'd write Mr. Truman into Just For You to Knowmy historical novel, set here in Independence. 
        And now Harry was gone, at age 88. The age that Geo. H.W. Bush is now, in intensive care, in a Houston, TX hospital. One foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, poor soul.  A good and decent public servant all in all and when he goes, as will we all, it'll be the end of a rich chapter in the history of our country. As it surely was when Harry died, that genuine, true-blue husband and citizen. Farmer. Piano-player. Valiant soldier. Overcomer. Politician. Dapper dresser. Lover of history. By golly, those of you  who chance to come across this, do give yourself the pleasure of reading David McCullough's HST bio,  a swift-going, juicy doorstop of a book.  
         And too, poor old heartsick, wonderful/horrible Lyndon B. Johnson, died just a few weeks later, on the 22nd of January. There's another story and a long one, too. More about LBJ later - and baybee - do check out Robt. Caro's books about that ol' powermonger. 
          For now, look back over your shoulder four decades and give a thought to the life of sturdy, thoughtful Harry Truman. 

No comments:

Post a Comment