Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Changing of the Guard

I have vivid memories of the day April 12, 1945. I was a fifth grade student at Bristol School. I came home to the news that the President of the United States had died. It was the topic of conversation at the dinner table. I recall that my father made the comment that "Now Truman is President. Out of the frying-pan and into the fire." He said a lot of other stuff.
Dad was not a fan of Roosevelt; nor, apparently was he a fan of Truman. I have thought about his animosity toward Roosevelt. It might have been the fact that his mother was a republican and his father a democrat, each so committed to a political position that they did not even bother to hook up the wagon on election day, knowing that their votes would cancel each other. And I know which of his parents he adored.


But that really was not it. What it was was that while he could not find sufficient work to provide adequately for his family who were surviving on goat's milk and little else he watched while fine cattle were slaughtered on the orders of the Roosevelt administration and buried along-side the railroad track behind the house. I suspect he may have forgiven in his heart, but he never forgot. And doubtless never voted democrat.
Time passes, and a little over three years after the death of Roosevelt, President Truman campaigned for election to the White House in 1948. This was the election in which I first became interested in politics. I followed assiduously. I even "campaigned" for Truman to the extent that a fourteen-year old boy can do that. I was at the D&RGW railroad depot when Truman spoke from the platform of the rear car of his train! I was enthralled.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945 RIP
Image: Wikipedia

4 comments:

jimgrey said...

So. How did your dad take it when you went all out for Truman?

Vee said...

I don't remember the political stuff from that time period but I'm glad you included the comment about hearing Truman at the train station. I've told people I heard him there when I was a kid and been given the "oh, yeah, right" look. At a later date I went to see Nixon and hear him speak at the downtown park. He would not have been a presidental candidate yet, so I don't know why he happened to be here.

Secondary Roads said...

I remember that 1948 campaign, even though I was only in third grade. I was on the way home from school when I saw a crowd at the train station, which I passed daily. People were talking excitedly about Truman's train coming through in just a few minutes. Some said, but he's not scheduled to stop here. (It was and is a small town.) Someone else replied, "Maybe he will stop if he sees a crowd." He didn't. The train rushed on by and amidst sighs, his supporters made their way home. I was left wondering what was so exciting.

vanilla said...

Jim, there might have been admonitions to good judgment ending in comma Chucklehead.

Vee, Nixon running for Veep and campaigning for Ike in 1952.

Chuck, and thus history passed you by. Yet left you with your own story of the '48 campaign!