Hello again to all the wonderful readers of this column. It has been a heck of a week. My computer is in the shop again, my SUV broke down on the way to Alabama last week and is in the shop waiting on a replacement motor and my ford pickup is having transmission problems and the door handles are not working. (I loaned the ford out and that was a big mistake.) It has been a big disruption in my life the past two weeks. I am at the newspaper office writing this column with my shoes off.
Sitting here in the newspaper office brings back many memories. This paper is called the oldest continuing paper in the state and has had the reputation as one of the grand ole newspapers in Kentucky.
Now the grand ole building that has housed the paper for over 100 years is obsolete and is for sale. A grand ole era is passing before us. Long live the ND&L! I have faith that there is a place and a need for newspapers and the printed word. We have become lazy! We need to read as examples and teach our children to read newspapers. Long live newspapers and the good influence they can have!
Many of you know I was in Washington, D.C. for nearly 30 years. I was an employe of the National Education Association and loaned to the White House for many years. I took a leave of absence from the NEA and worked in the Carter Campaign and then became a liazone to the White House. To my surprise I was still there many years later. I made it through both Democratic and Republican Administrations and liked presidents from both parties. Now some of the wives of the Presidents could put the fear of God in you. The first two to come to mind were Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush. I got along with both, tried to stay out of their way and feared both as did their husbands and the other staff at the White House. We had signals to let us know when ether lady was coming down from the second floor living quarters. Many of us sought hiding places when either lady was on the way. I well remember Nancy Reagan stating she did not know why she always picked our break time to come down. Two secretaries and I always hid in a large closet in our office. I am telling you that the lady could put the fear of God into each of us and the President as well! Sometimes President Reagan even hid from his wife.
Barbara Bush put the fear into every one. Her kids, grandkids, staff and the President. She was a lady to fear! I know that President George Bush was a smart man, once headed the CIA and later was President; but his biggest advisery at times was Barbara Bush. At the same time Barbara Bush was the #1 Most Popular Woman In America she was the most feared woman in America at the White House!
Most everyone knows how well I love animals or I should say pets. I once brought a beautiful chihuahua pup to the White House for Billy Carter and his large family. (President Jimmy Carter’s brother.) Some time later Billy Carter’s oldest son Buddy told me the chihuahua use to climb up on the back of the living room couch and bark at Billy’s hunting dogs just outside. Well, it seems one day the chihuahua was tormenting the hound dogs and fell off the back of the couch and right out of the open window. The hounds got their revenge on the chihuahua. The next time Billy and family came to the White House he asked about another chihuahua and I quickly told him I was no longer having any litters. No other chihuahua from my breeding was to be eaten by his hound dogs!
“Mrs. Lillian,” President Carter’s mother, was a wonderful character! I, along with many others on the staff actually loved the wonderful lady. Once we were in Philadelphia and “Mrs. Lillian” spoke at the site of the Liberty Bell. When the event was over we had to get “Mrs. Lillian” to her car. One of the staff made her mad by barking out an order to her to move. She got stubborn and refused to move. I was asked to get her to the car. I spoke to her as if she were my own grand mother using “Ma’am”, “Please” and her grand son’s “darling”. She told me I had good manners, kissed me on the cheek and said less go. She also once told me an off color joke and I almost fainted! I was later told by staff that I turned a bright red! Two of her grand children told me that their grand mother must really like me or she would never have told me the joke.
Since I am a pet lover I have found it very interesting that so many of our first families were also pet lovers. Below is a list of some of the pets that our Presidents have owned at the White House over the past 240 years: –
- George Washington – Am Stag Hounds, Bk & Tan Coonhounds, Donkey, 2 horses, parrot and Greyhound.
- John Adams – 2 dogs and 1 horse.
- Thomas Jefferson – Mockingbird, Briards, 2 bear cubs.
- James Madison – Parrot.
- James Monroe – Spaniel, Siberian Huskey.
- John Q. Adams – Silkworms.
- Andrew Jackson – Parrot,fighting cocks 5 horses.
- Martin Van Buren – 2 tiger cubs.
- William Henry Harrison – Durnham Cow and a goat.
- John Tyler – Italian Greyhound, canary
- James K. Polk – horses.
- Zachary Taylor – horse.
- Millard Fillmore – 2 ponies.
- Franklin Pierce – 7 miniature oriental dogs.
- James Buchanan – Newfoundland, Toy Terrier and a Eagle.
- Abraham Lincoln – 2 goats, turkey, 2 dogs, 2 cats, horse and a rabbit.
- Andrew Johnson – white mice.
- Ulysses S. Grant – Jefferson Davis’s Horse, 3 other horses, 3 other ponies, Newfoundland do, mix breed dog.
- Rutherford B. Hayes – Cocker, Newfoundland, English Mastiff, Greyhound, Min Schnauzer, 2 hunting dogs, 1 mix, cat, Siamese Cat. -James Garfield – horse, dog.
- Chester A. Arthur – Rabbit, and 3 horses.
- Grover Cleveland – Japanese Poodle and mockingbirds.
- Benjamin Harris – Goat and a Collie.
- William McKinley – Mexican Parrot, angora kittens and roosters.
- Teddy Roosevelt – Pony, 12 horses, McCaw, 6 dogs, 2 cats, a snake, 2 kangaroos, a one legged rooster, rabbit, flying squirrel, 5 tiny pigs, 5 bears, a large pig, a Racoon, piebald rat, badger, St Bernard hyena, barn owl and others.
- William Howard Taft – 2 cows
- Woodrow Wilson – sheep , Airedale, Gray Hound, Bull Terrier, a song bird and a cat.
- Warren G. Harding – Airedale, English Bull Dog and a squirrel.
- Calvin Coolidge – White Collie, Chow Chow, Racoon, 10 dogs, 3 canaries, mocking bird, goose, 2 cats, donkey, bobcat, 2 lion cubs, a wallaby, pigmy hippo and a black bear.
- Herbert Hoover – Belgian Shepherd, pair of alligators.
- Franklin Deleno Roosevelt – 2 ScottishTerriers.
- Harry Truman – Cocker Spaniel and Irish Setter.
- Dwight David Eisenhower – Weimaraner, parakeet.
- John F. Kennedy – Welsh Terrier, mixed breed, German Shepherd, Irish Cocker.
- Lyndon Johnson – Collie, 2 Beagles, mixed breed.
- Richard Nixon – Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter.
- Gerald Ford – Golden Retriever, Siamese Cat.
- Ronald Reagan -Golden Retriever, King Charles Spaniel, Bouvier des Flanders,
- George W. Bush# 1 – Springer Spaniel.
- Bill Clinton – Am Short Hair Cat, Labrador Retriever.
- George W. Bush #2 -Scottish Terriers, Am. Short Hair Cat and a Springer Spaniel.
- Barack Obama – Portuguese Water Dog.
- current President – no known pets
Now you know!
All for now. Good night Mrs. Calabash!
To contact Dick Dickerson about the Logan County News email [email protected]