The President

I was looking at some old photographs one evening and one of the pictures was of the front of our house taken before any remodeling or repairs had been done. My folks bought the house after we returned from Aberdeen way back in about 1924. The picture showed what our porch looked like--to us kids it looked like a ship, or a fort or whatever we needed to play our games. The porch reminded me of the games we played and this in turn reminded me of an event concerning our neighbor who had mental problems.

The event happened in the spring when the graduating class of our high school was having their group picture taken. The photography session was done outdoors while the sun was out, since photographers in those days didn't have the elaborate lighting and electronic equipment they have now. Chairs were placed in position and the photographer arranged the students so the available light let him see each face in his ground glass view finder. It was recess time so he had some problems with curious grade schoolers, including me. I should mention that all grades from first through high school were taught in a two story building, which had a full basement for storing supplies, a lunch room and rest rooms. After some harsh words to the onlookers, the photographer was finally ready to take a shot.

At this point, the Peace Maker from our Indian wars arrived carrying a small American flag and proclaiming that she was the President of the United States. She looked over the graduating seniors and then ordered one seated front row center to go to the back row, which he or she did, in a hurry. Our President then seated herself in the vacant chair, adjusted her attire, raised the flag to eye level and told the photographer that he could now take the picture of her and her cabinet. Fortunately at this time the town constable arrived. He confronted the President with diplomacy and told her that she had an urgent meeting to attend at the White House and he would escort her, if she wouldn't mind. She smiled, arose, and apologized to the class for not being able to stay for the rest of the ceremonies. She took the constable's arm, and with head held high, marched off to the White House, still waving the small flag. Her home was a white, two story house, and I think that is where the constable escorted her.

I don't know if the photographer took a picture or not. No picture of the event was ever displayed, which is just as well. There were other events that happened during her days which I didn't witness, but one involved a close friend of mine. She chased him down our street waving, not a flag, but a big butcher knife. My friend was big and overweight at the time. I feel the President was probably the pirate captain of my porch days, waving her cutlass. It was shortly after this that the President was taken to safer surroundings which were provided with white-clad security forces.