This is the first book I ever wanted.
We didn’t have a lot of money, but mom let me get it from the bookstore at the Main Place Mall when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old.
That must have been a heck of a trip on the Seneca bus downtown with me, my little brother, and little sister– 5,3, and 2– mom by herself.
I’m sure there was a reason we were downtown, but I don’t remember. I do remember that Main Street was all torn up— we watched the jackhammers out the window of McDonald’s, where we had lunch.
We walked a few blocks down Main as they were doing construction to make way for the MetroRail, crossed back over Main and went into Main Place, and there, in front of the Walden Books, right by the stairs, was this Presidents book.
I can still see the display table and feel that deep want– which I don’t recall much from childhood. I was obsessed with the Presidents, but the book we had at home only went up to Nixon.
This one went to the current President, Reagan, and had a huge page of facts about every President— facts I still have more or less memorized.
So thanks, Mom.
Whatever sacrifice we made as a family to buy that book helped fan my love of history and my love of books and my love of finding great things downtown. It’s served me well… and I’ve tried to put it to use to serve others, too.
Happy Presidents Day.