Stateside Road Trip travel blog

Bill's place

I nearly cried

I like Ike

Ike, Mamie, and child

Caution: political editorial concludes this entry.

New to me this trip are Presidential libraries.

The Clinton library was recommended by my friend Judy. She was right: it is well worth the time to check out the architecture as well as the exhibits.

Though nearly bombastic after a while, the displays left me with a better understanding of President Clinton and his very real accomplishments.

The most touching part, though, had nothing to do with the Clintons. It was a sapling planted out front that had been taken from the Anne Frank tree in the Netherlands. It was surrounded by panels depicting social injustice. Seeing the famous smiling picture of that hopeful, doomed girl nearly made me weep.

Finding the Eisenhower monument and library in Abilene, Kansas, was a happy happenstance. I had decided to change plans to avoid the Florida hurricane zone and major flooding in Texas. It didn't feel right to think I'd be competing for fuel, food, and shelter with folks in those areas. I chose Kansas as Mo and I had driven across Nebraska about three years back.

The Eisenhower museum was closed for remodeling. However, an exhibit had been set up in the library. It was tasteful and straightforward, depicting Ike as a small town boy done good.

The official Eisenhower film stressed that opportunity came to Eisenhower: he did not seek it out. That seemed a real contrast to Clinton.

I was surprised to learn Ike had been stationed at Fort Lewis, just up the road from Olympia; and that one of his brothers had been a successful lawyer in Tacoma.

I've often thought that our country gets the leader it deserves for the times at hand. If we truly collectively deserve the incompetent disgrace of a President we have now, it must be that we have become like him grasping, greedy, and arrogant, shallow enough to fall for hype and image over substance.

I would not cross the street to visit a Trump library.

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