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FDR vs. John Nance Garner

April 28, 2017

It was a tradition of sorts that following my dad mowing the lawn back home he would take a few minutes to sit at the picnic table or on a lawn chair to see the outcome of his work.  Mom would have trimmed around the flower beds and buildings as he mowed and the results of it all was really welcoming.  Add in the scent of freshly cut grass and the scene is easy to recall.

So it was today that I mowed our lawn and trimmed. But just as I finished the first light raindrop fell.  My own thrill of sitting outside while drinking a cup of coffee and reading while gazing about the lawn was not to be.

So I showered, sat in a chair, and picked up a book I had read years ago while going at once to a chapter featuring the great rancor between President Franklin Roosevelt and his Vice-President, John Nance Garner.  I had been thinking about these two for much of this week.

I am not sure exactly why this combo got into my head but I think it had something to do with the political absurdities that now make for daily headlines.   The fight and high drama between FDR and Garner was real, fiercely fought, and told with relish by one of the best researchers and historians alive today, Robert Caro.  In The Path To Power there is somehow the nostalgic retelling of this feud that serves my need to escape the less seasoned and far less insightful bumbling’s of Donald Trump.

As I mowed I knew I wanted to recapture that story and so opened this afternoon to Chapter 30, A Contract and Three Telegrams, and traveled back in time.  For those who wonder about jumping into this book so far removed from the first page let me assure all the story is contained here and easily sweeps up the reader.  All at one you too are back in 1939.

Thankfully so far removed from todays headlines.

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