Posted tagged ‘Eisenhower’

“Someone once called Lincoln two-faced. “If I am two-faced, would I wear the face that I have now?” Lincoln asked.”

February 20, 2017

The gray sky has returned. After the beautiful day yesterday, I was hoping for more, but I guess one sunny, warm day will have to do for the meanwhile.

When I was a  kid, we didn’t have President’s Day. We celebrated Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays. Well, we actually didn’t do any celebrating. It was always the first day of February vacation which was a celebration in itself.

My first president was Truman, but I was too young to notice. President Eisenhower, however, I knew because he got a toast from me every day. I watched Big Brother Bob Emery on TV, and we all lifted our glasses of milk and toasted President Eisenhower while Hail to the Chief played. I have to think I was a bit fuzzy as to the connection between President Eisenhower and me.

The politics or the political parties of these presidents didn’t matter to me as I didn’t even know what a political party was. I just knew some neat stories about the presidents. George Washington cut down the cherry tree and told the truth when confronted. I always pictured him as a little kid wearing his general’s uniform and tri-corner hat and standing by a cut-down tree with an ax in his hand. To me, Lincoln always wore his top hat making him even taller than his contemporaries. I always liked Teddy Roosevelt. I saw him with sword in front as he and his horse charged up San Juan Hill.

When I first got to Ghana, the country was in the middle of a campaign to replace the military government, formed after a coup, with a civilian government to be called the Second Republic. It was exciting. Women wore dresses made from cloth covered in party symbols. I saw Busia, one of the candidates, speak at a rally in Bawku. He spoke English which was translated to Hausa. The crowd went wild listening to the Hausa. In my town, there were impromptu rallies with singing and drumming. On election day, the lines were long. You couldn’t see the end of the line from the beginning. People voted the symbols of each party, not the names, so literacy wasn’t a prerequisite for voter registration. Busia was elected. Later, he would be deposed in a peaceful coup.

If given a choice, I’d pick drums and dancing. I’ve had enough rhetoric.

“I bought a big bag of potatoes and it’s growing eyes like crazy. Other foods rot. Potatoes want to see.”

February 1, 2016

My neighbor is taking her citizenship test tomorrow. She is a bundle of nerves even though she knows all the book answers and speaks good English. Her only speaking problem is the agreement of subject and verb, especially has and have, which throws her off every time. Nicee had only one question for me today which was how to pronoun Eisenhower. After a couple of run throughs I told Nicee no more studying: take the day off today and enjoy yourself. I know she won’t.

February is usually our snowiest month so I’m in a wait and see holding pattern. Today’s 51˚ could be a smokescreen for a blizzard. I am skeptical of a warm winter’s day. Something has to be afoot.

February is a month of expectations. Valentine’s Day is close and February vacation is not long after. When I was a teacher, I just hung around the cape or took day trips over the bridge. The joy of the week was in not using an alarm clock, staying up late and having no papers to correct or plans to make. During vacation when I was a kid our daytime plans depended upon the weather. A day like today meant bike riding all over town which gave us such a sense of freedom. We could ride anywhere we wanted, and bulky clothes were gone for the day. I could freely move my arms and legs, and my clothes didn’t make a swishing noise. If we had snow, we sledded until our lips turned blue. The actual bed time was arbitrary but mostly later than usual. Lunch was catch as catch can. Mostly it was a sandwich grabbed on the run. The week always went quickly.

There are a slew of things I never saw my mother do. She cleaned and did washing when I was in school though I do remember her taking dry clothes off the outside lines. When I left for school, my bed was messy. When I came home, it was neatly made. I figure my mother must have taken a bath at some point but I never saw her take one. The only task I was around to see was my mother making dinner. She was always peeling potatoes, endless bags of potatoes, or so it seemed to to me.