Silent Cal

I didn’t grow up here, in Israel we learned about the very important American presidents, like Washington and Lincoln, but the rest didn’t matter. Turns out that in America, certain presidents aren’t taught here either, and I’m not talking about the ineffectual ones, I’m talking about the successful ones that go against the lefts’ narrative.

Enter Calvin Coolidge. For a president from the 20th century, especially one who led the country during the roaring 20s’ you’d think I’d have at least known his name. But no, the roaring 20s’ had criminal Harding (although these days what he did seems tame) and Hoover who caused the Great Depression and has the sole responsibility for it.

I had already read Amity Shlaes book The forgotten Man, yes Hoover started it with bad policies but Roosevelt kept it going for years – oh, he was also quite the antisemite.

She also wrote an excellent book Coolidge. I learned so much. Ronald Reagan called him his great inspiration and I could see why. So if we are in Vermont, we were going to visit his homestead. He doesn’t have an official library – he donated his presidential papers to his Alma Mater Amherst, and started a tradition. At least the State of Vermont had the good sense to make his family homestead int a state park.

He was born behind the store in this home. Unlike many of present day Vermonters, like Bernie Sanders- his family farmed here in very inhospitable conditions. That maple syrup we all love – that was the sugar of the free man – unlike sugar cane from the Caribbean – that could only exist with massive slave labor. It was people like the Coolidges, and even Calvin himself who gathered the sap and boiled it down.

At some point, his parents build a nicer home and they moved there. That became his summer home both as governor of Mass and as President. I was thrilled to look in a bedroom a beautiful tumbling blocks quilt. Turns out this quilt was made by 10 year old Calvin. I can see the use of old plaid shirts and probably wool pants

In another room, a more modern version, brighter, fun prints. Also, a Linsey-woolsey blanket, a must in harsh cold climates.

I don’t know if this was stitched by a family member, my guess is yes it was.

Similar work, this time with a religious message.

A gift from grateful Native Americans. Coolidge proclaimed the Indian nations citizens of the United States. I understand initially their desire to remain independent – but as always happens in history. When a power nation conquers a weaker one – simply incorporate them into the fabric of society. I wonder why it took until the 1920s to do so.

Not a great picture, this is an evening gown of his wife Grace. The first First Lady who was celebrated in her own life. I guess Jackie Kennedy learned from her. What I love about her is that she was a teacher for the deaf.

During their time in the White House they lost their son Calvin Jr, a teenager, to sepsis – we don’t realize how indebted we are to antibiotics! Yes, this probably caused depression in the president – how could it not.

Meanwhile, two great things he did – as governor of MA – he completely squashed the policemen strike in Boston – saying that no public group that is responsible for the safety of citizens can strike. And these days it’s so many of our politicians that want to defund the police – until they need them to go after unvaccinated American citizens.

Another quilt – this one looks even more modern.

Knitting! both socks and mittens. I have to say, these look modern, as a way to show things they would have had back in the day – but there is no way that socks and gloves would remain so pristine.

More buildings, its’ a whole little town, church, schoolhouse, barn, store.

One big reason why the 20s’ were a roaring decade after the awfulness of WWI and the flu pandemic is because Coolidge was very lesse-faire just let people work, create, not too many regulations, not high taxes – and it worked. So behind the scenes he left things alone and the country thrived. Unfortunately, Hoover, after him made some serious mistakes, that turned what could have been a downturn into a depression. Something our Cabal in the White House is doing to us again today.

So I am grateful for Silent Cal, and praying that the disaster we are living through now will end in another such president.

Leah

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