My favorite president

August 4, 2012

I love Teddy Roosevelt…TR as his friends called him. He was instrumental in establishing some of our finest national parks and forests; he took no garbage from people but was unfailingly polite and genial. For a time, he was a single dad. He learned how to box to combat his asthma, and he got into Harvard without having gone to high school. He loved the outdoors.

At the moment, I’m staying in a lodge he once visited, and as I stood on the back porch this morning, smelling the pine and wood smoke, watching what may well have been a bald eagle fly over the lake, I said a little prayer of gratitude to TR.

After Teddy left the Presidency, he wrote books and went on safaris in Africa. He traveled the United States, basking in the natural beauty of our country and the warmth of his many friends and admirers. When he died, his older son sent a telegram to Teddy’s other children: “The old lion is dead.”

And now, a hundred years after his presidency, my family and I are able to see the hand of TR, and this incredibly beautiful park that has branded itself onto our hearts.

Thanks, Old Lion.

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