Those Wacky Presidents Part Three

It’s interesting what stays with you when you read, our noble list of leaders lingering like after dinner mints.

Let’s begin with the short of it…

James Madison, being only 5’4 weighing less that 100 pounds.

Must have been like having a Smurf for president.

William Howard Taft on the other hand, was 6 feet and weighed 354 pounds, but that didn’t stop him from playing an elegant game of golf, some say, as graceful as a ballerina.  Unknown-1

I would have bought a ticket to that.

George Washington’s teeth, that went on tour and now live in Baltimore, were not wooden. They were actually made of ivory, bone, lead, brass and gold wire.

Imagine him tooling through the metal detector at Kennedy.

Abe, that suave 6’4 guy we all never knew but still love, practically had to tie his wife, Mary, to the bedpost to keep her from shopping. Can you see Mrs. Lincoln with access to the internet? Or how about the Home Shopping Network?  images

Try explaining that to Congress.

William Henry Harrison, remembered for being the first pres to die in office, did so 33 days after being elected, catching cold, refusing to wear a coat at his inauguration.

Where the hell was Mrs. Harrison, is what I’d like to know. I would have been right up at the podium with a least a sweater.

Now, JFK also refused images-2 wearing an overcoat despite being 22 degrees during his address, but didn’t feel the cold since his undisclosed Addison’s Disease made him hotter than a pistol, in more ways than one.

Ike and Mamie Eisenhower, liked eating dinner on snack trays in front of the TV, when Ike wasn’t being presidential that is.   Unknown-1

When Mrs. Kennedy arrived, appalled at the drabness of how her predecessors lived, threw them out (the trays, not Ike and Mamie), before giving the whole house a much needed make-over.

Now, can you blame Jackie?   images-2

John Quincy Adams, skinny-dipped in the Chesapeake every day regardless of the season. A reporter who was trying to get an interview Mr. Adams refused to give, one morning showed up and sat on his clothes till he talked.

Kinda sounds like Ronan Farrow.

John Adams, John Quincy’s dad, was chubby, imagesalways battling weight. Unlike his aquatic son, exercise didn’t seem appealing. Too bad his on and off pal, Thomas Jefferson, hadn’t thought of the treadmill as one of his inventions, since, there’s just so much yoga one can do in a swivel chair.

Speaking of Tom and John, the Hardy Boys of 1776, were like two females fighting one minute, kissing and shopping together, the next.

John was the one who convinced Tom images-2to write The Declaration of Independence, saying, he was the better writer, but when Jefferson became Adam’s successor after not being reelected for a second term, all hell broke loose.

Tom who?

Dr. Benjamin Rush, their mutual friend, reunited them toward the end of their days, resulting in dying on the same day on our country’s 50th Anniversary.

Talk about co-dependence.

Unknown-1 FDR and his Missus, as he called Eleanor, fought over the habits of their formidable guest, Winston Churchill, who liked tooling through the White House halls at all hours in his birthday suit while swigging champagne.

My kinda guy, but alas, Eleanor finally had Winnie moved to Blair House, coined the Little White House, to solve the problem.

When in 1950, an assassination attempt was made on Harry Truman at Blair House, where he was staying during White House renovations, he was fast asleep, in his underwear.

Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt were fifth cousins. Eleanor Roosevelt was Theodore’s niece. And Uncle Theodore presented the bride at Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s wedding.

I can’t help thinking of Hemingway’s cats with extra toes…all that in-breeding.

Since exercise is an ongoing theme, I’ll end with JFK and his harem Unknown-1 romping in the White House pool, accompanied by his trusty secret service who apparently didn’t mind taking a dip alongside their naughty commander-in-chief.

Jackie, who on the weekends, would take the kids to the country, wouldn’t even be out of the driveway before one would say…

coast clear, everyone into the pool.

Talk about a lap dance.

Them were the days alright.    images











About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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73 Responses to Those Wacky Presidents Part Three

  1. You held me spellbound, Susannah! What super fun things you know!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, your presidential info is soooo interesting. I read the Roosevelt relationship to Pookie. We know all about seven toed cats. Half the barn cats have them from the inbreeding. Makes me wonder about a principal and his children back in 1970 who each had six toes and fingers.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I enjoy your take on presidential history, Susanna. I had to laugh at your co-dependence summary on the Tom and John story. I think if I had been FDR I would have advised the missus to quit peeking. It is nice to know there was a pool party going on frequently during JFK’s days. I would hate to think of that pool going unused. Thanks for the fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. kingmidget says:

    Your random Presidential facts remind me that, while we try to put politicians and celebrities and athletes on pedestals and expect perfection of them, they all are just imperfect human beings like the rest of us. Having worked for four different elected officials over the last 18 years, they are remarkable for their ordinariness. They are just like you and I, with personality quirks, weaknesses, and insecurities.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dale says:

    Always an enjoyable read, Susannah. You rock these snippets of historical trivia and all of your readers love them.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sorryless says:

    I had no idea JFK’s health issues were so significant. I knew about his chronic back problems but I had no idea the Addison’s made his life a living hell. Is it true that Jr also had health issues?


    • JFK Jr.had the same problems at birth his brother Patrick had, who didn’t survive. He had, as an adult, Grave’s Disease, a thyroid disorder. He was also dyslexic.

      As far as his father went, he was put together like they made him in shop. He was given the last rites 4 times before Dallas. He was so versed in history because as a kid, he was bedridden so much, all he did was read. If you read his speeches, especially his inaugural address, his eloquence quickens your heart which I attribute to all those books. He was greatly flawed, but nonetheless, loved his country and made you love it too. Hey, we’re all flawed in one way or another. He was only 46 when he died. His son, 38. sigh…I’ll leave you with Ted Kennedy’s quote in his eulogy for his nephew… like his father — “had every gift but length of years.” sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Eilene Lyon says:

    Your presidential trivia is always entertaining, Susannah. I eat it all up – just like Ike!


  8. Once again, Grasshopper teaches the masses historical facts that will forever be remembered! I know I’m never going to forget that John Quincy Adams skinny dipped every day. Not only is it essential, but it also explains a lot about how he lived the rest of his life.
    That photo of William Taft reminds me of someone who shall remain nameless because I don’t say his name.
    Benjamin Rush lived in my neighborhood and on occasion attended the same Quaker Meeting as yours truly. We also have a school and a State Park sporting his name within walking distance.


  9. By the way…I’ve read that the false teeth of GW included a few contributed by persons who were enslaved.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Presidency has sure attracted an eclectic bunch, even if they were all old white males, at least up to #44. William Henry Harrison’s inaugural address was also the longest in history, so it was a perfect storm of problems. I wonder how many other people caught cold listening to him that whole time?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never knew it was long, but that explains a lot. No wonder he caught cold, his ego trading in his health.

      Just finished a little read on Woodrow Wilson who was quite the eloquent speech maker, bringing back the custom of giving the state of the union address personally, rather than allowing a clerk to read it. Apparently, John Adams was the last pres to do so before Mr. Wilson stepped onto the Senate floor. It was not initially well received, but he got his way and every president since, reads his own. That’s the kind of trivia I eat for breakfast. Love knowing that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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