People get mad at the President. Someone once threw a cabbage at William Howard Taft. That didn’t bother Taft. He quipped, “I see that one of my adversaries has lost his head.”
. . .
It’s said that people who run for President have swelled heads. It’s said that people who run for President are greedy. They want power. They want fame.
But being President can be wanting to serve your country—like George Washington, who left the Virginia plantation he loved three times to lead the country he loved even more.
from: So You Want to Be President?
by Judith St. George
illustrated by David Small
Philomel Books, 2000
(Caldecott Award Winner)
Back in 1967, my first crush loved baseball. He took me to the Cleveland Municipal Stadium several times to see the Indians play. The players’ names, positions, and whether they should be traded or not at the end of the season were as familiar to me as a hot dog with mustard. I followed baseball for years. Really until my first daughter was born (during the World Series).
One day my mom came over to see the baby while the Game was on. The baby was sound asleep in her own bedroom. But my mom was appalled to see me watching baseball and not attending to my company, her. She came by herself. This was the only time I remember my mom calling herself company, ever. I turned off the game and never went back, to baseball or any sport, really. A short spate with basketball is hardly worth mentioning.
But the summer of 1967 found baseball-loving 15-year-old me volunteering at a preschool in one of Cleveland’s roughest neighborhoods. Head Start was new then and I wanted to be a teacher. Why my mother thought it was a good idea to drive me to Hough every day and why my dad said okay will be questions I will never be able to answer. Cleveland was in the midst of race riots, Vietnam protests, and Bobby Kennedy’s War on Poverty. But my preschoolers were well-behaved and curious about me and about their world. The teacher I worked under was dedicated, knowledgeable and kind.
In 1967, Cleveland elected its first African American mayor, Louis Stokes, maybe in an effort to heal itself. It would be decades before Cleveland regained its legendary reputation of a first class city.
This week we’re all at the Quicken Loans Arena (The Q), right next to Progressive Field where the Indians play now. The whole area is called the Gateway and is very progressive, not in the insurance company way, but in the first class world city way.
Important people have come to Cleveland this week: journalists, politicians, spectators, agitators, demonstrators of every stripe, and regular, curious people. We’ll hear lots of news, lots of promises, and lots of hype. Let’s hope that a little common sense, a little common courtesy and a little common decency are thrown in among the throng.