For the last few weeks I’ve been reading The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. It’s pretty great! Each chapter is like a minor biography on each president. Besides the major events of their presidency, it covers all kinds of great personal trivia like what they were like as kids, what they did for fun, early romances, religion, how they died, all that tasty humanizing stuff.
Main thing I’ve learned so far? The presidents had pretty sad lives (at least so far, I’m only up to Taft). After Washington and Adams, I thought it would have been all caviar and champagne fights, but nope! Just dead children, terminally ill wives and mental collapse! So many presidents had their kids die in infancy and adolescence, it would be easier to count the ones who lived to maturity then recount those who actually died.
Also, a lot of the presidents were real serious, melancholic guys, especially when they got older. Grover Cleveland’s last words before he kicked? “I have tried so hard to do right.” And that’s dying a natural death, as a successful, well-liked two-term president. Is that not the saddest, most fascinating shit ever?
I’m thinking that when I finish the book, I’m going to write a big comic about all the presidents. I think it could be pretty cool!
Song for this week: “Hungry like the Wolf” by Reel Big Fish