Politics. Yikes.

Early White House painting
Early White House painted on the reverse side of domed/bubble glass.

I’ve been watching the History Channel documentaries on the White House. I listened more closely this time for some reason as they re-played excerpts from the inaugural addresses of Presidents Bill Clinton, Bush 41, George W, and Barack Obama. When I heard George W say that our country is the only democracy in which there is a peaceful transfer of power, it reminded me of our amazing gift of freedom. Further, it reminded me of the patriotic collectibles we’ve had and the fortunes of freedom that permeate our art and lifestyle.

Jim Beam Presidential Campaign Decanters 1964
Commemorative decanters by Jim Beam when Johnson and Goldwater put on the boxing gloves to duke it out in the 1964 Presidential Campaign

I was born into a family that was not steeped in politics. I always thought my parents voted until my teen years when my mother commented that there was no point because she would vote one way; Dad another – and they would cancel out the others vote.

I have no doubt my parents voted for Eisenhower because my father was a veteran of WWII and would have marched barefooted through the snow to cast a vote for General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Ike and Nixon pinback
I Like Ike!

My first sighting of the humor in politics was when Eisenhower-Nixon headed the Republican ticket. My parents amusingly referred to Richard Milhous Nixon as Tricky Dicky, and my friend told me an Eisenhower joke.

Ike earrings
Gold earring from an Eisenhower supporter!

She drew three straight lines | | | and asked: Can you draw a bald-headed golfer by adding five straight lines? Well, I couldn’t. She then drew five more straight lines to spell IKE, Eisenhower’s nickname, and a bald-headed golfer.

Presidents Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy were tops on the list of Presidents who love golf. Thanks to Ike, there’s a putting green on the South Lawn of the White House. He had it installed in 1954, steps away from the Oval Office, as a quick exercise option and an innovated stress reliever.

Today, when many countries have bloody exchanges of power by ruthless men who fight for power, I think it a particular privilege to throw on a pair of blue jeans and drive to the voting station. I like to vote early, in fact.

Lyndon B. Johnson
Thinking this is Lyndon B. Johnson and was originally on a bottle or puppet. I sold it on eBay but never really identified it nor have seen another like it.

President Obama voted early in the Chicago mid-terms, which I watched later on YouTube with my husband looking over my shoulder. At the end, Darrell said, “That was really neat.” Nothing particular or profound happened. As I watched Obama vote and chat with other voters I felt, all is good with America.

After we voted, Darrell ran out and snapped this photo of a persimmon tree. The persimmons are ready for the jelly pot. It’s almost too late in the season to smell the roses in Arkansas, but it’s a great time to walk through the rustling leaves that cover the ground like a patchwork quilt — or make Persimmon Jam or Persimmon Pudding Squares.

THIS JUST IN: Winter 2014 in the Ozarks as predicted by the persimmon seeds: The Ozarks is going to be colder than average with a below average snowfall and a few warm spells.

Persimmon tree
Persimmon tree on a hilltop near our home

REFERENCES: All you need to know about persimmons, when to eat, how to preserve, and cherished Ozarks folklore (University of Missouri Extension): http://extension.missouri.edu/about/w2014-persimmons.aspx

How to predict winter weather by the persimmon seed (Jefferson County Extension Center): http://extension.missouri.edu/jefferson/PersimmonSeedWeatherTheory.aspx

Published by

Patricia Wiskur

My love for art comes from years in the studio of Wiskur Productions, with my husband, Darrell Wiskur, a designer and photographer. Also, I was an editor and photographer in the real world for 17 years ... all the while, thankful for an artful life and cherished memories. Photos are ©2019 Darrell D. Wiskur