Teddy Roosevelt arrived at our home this evening looking every bit the Rough Rider that he was. He told of his adventures hunting big game, his grief upon losing his wife and his mother on the same day, and reminded us frequently that we should speak softly and carry a big stick.
Jackie Kennedy's invitation was sent by Cholita, based solely on fashion sense and wardrobe. Jackie carefully chose this lovely outfit herself, even attempting a 1960's hairstyle.
I'm sorry to say that there was an awkward moment for poor Jackie at dinner. Abigail Adams (who you'll meet later) mentioned that she wrote in a letter to the constitutional convention that they should "remember the ladies." Another dinner guest, Rutherford B. Hayes (Lyle) then made a joke about Jackie's husband remembering the ladies as well and then much to our horror, President Lincoln (Bruder) brought up the name Marilyn Monroe. Jackie just focused on her lemon chicken, which she was eating with her hands, but we were quite sure she heard. Franklin Pierce told Lincoln and Hayes that their remarks were in poor taste.
This lovely dinner guest was none other than Abigail Adams. Her manners were impeccable and she was every bit the lady. Jackie, much to our dismay, wiped her hands on the table and snorted loudly at all of the jokes.
Abigail never snorted. She nodded politely. She made witty conversation. She even consoled Rutherford B. Hayes when he shamefully admitted that he's often considered the worst president to ever inhabit the White House. "It's a hard job."
Franklin Pierce told the moving story of his son Bennie's death in a train accident on the way to Washington for the inauguration. His subsequent grief rather crippled his presidency. After a polite silence, Rutherford said that he had no excuse for his own poor job performance. He just had no interest in the presidency and wanted to play croquet.
Lincoln shared witty quotes, Pierce told how he put the first Christmas tree in the White House, Jackie informed us that she knows her ABC's (she went into publishing you know), Roosevelt was charismatic and charming, Abigail told us of her letter-writing prowess, and all of us just wondered how in the world Rutherford ever managed to be elected.
It was a President's Day to remember.
And our TA arriving? That was the cherry on top. Next year I see Yun Xi making a great Millard Fillmore.