At least three of my priorities are done now.
The first was simply putting yesterday’s post in the blog.
A second was catching up on my January resolve to read at least a page of the Bible a day. I’d brought the NIV with me last week with my Grandsons but just never had the strength to read nightly while traveling. I fell about ten pages behind but just made that up. Trust me, Psalm 119 was an uphill slog at 2,345 words. Its here on the Internet and this site explains that the first words in each line forms an acrostic at least in the original Hebrew. Ugh!
The third was finishing one of the several books I’ve started this year but got hung up on. This one was Dark Horse about Wendell Willkie who was probably the fellow who ignited my Dad’s passion for politics when he was 15. The similarities between 1940 and this year are striking with a Republican presidential candidate that horrified party regulars and who barely qualified as an elephant – the chief difference being that Willkie was a genuinely articulate, honest and attractive candidate compared to the trash talking fourth-grader running his mouth this year.
I gladly put the book on my reading list which I’ve been keeping since 1979. Its my fifth completed book this year and this one filled in a big hole in my understanding of the politics as my Dad first experienced it. I’m also hopeful to discover what my Grandfather made of Willkie. Born in 1887 my Grandfather Robb was a sober sided 53 when Willkie appeared and one of the party regulars having been appointed State Auditor by Kansas Governor Alf Landon six years earlier.
I recently learned that my Mother and her sister donated reams of my Grandfather’s personal correspondence to the Kansas State Historical Museum. Dr. Jeffrey Sammons spent five days going through it in to make a fascinating presentation bout him last May at the World War One Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. I have only mentioned Dr. Sammons twice in the blog with very little explanation of what he did or discovered. What a shame. His work has been a considerable preoccupation of mine for a year and a half. What he discovered gives me hope that I might fill in some blanks about my Grandfather’s thoughts on the politics he lived through from Grover Cleveland to RM Nixon. I’m heading to another presentation in Grandfather’s honor in Topeka this coming Armistice Day – 99 years after his actions won him the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Writing a book about him is not one of my immediate priorities but it is a longer range ambition. And golly, I just found a new picture (to me) of him in uniform on Wikipedia: