Wednesday, February 26, 2014
My Amazing Franklin D. Roosevelt
Sure we all know that he was wheelchair bound because of his bout with polio, and that he was the president responsible for the New Deal, but did you know that he had a stamp collection totaling over a million, or that he traveled everywhere with his little black dog Fala? What about his sudden death while in office. Where was he when he met his untimely death, and who was by his side? He was getting his portrait painted at his retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia, and it wasn't his strong and ambitious wife Eleanor by his side, but Lucy Mercer, his long time mistress.
I realized a couple of years ago that Jo loves to act. Give him a character and he completely embraces it. I don't see us ever sitting in the bleachers chanting 'Jonas, Jonas, Jonas!', as my skinny boy graciously scores the winning goal or basket. But where do I see us possibly chanting a hushed 'Jonas, Jonas, Jonas!'? In a darkened theater, proudly watching my quick witted son give life to his given character. So with an assigned presidential oral report required in his 3rd grade class, Jo has excitedly prepared for his next staring role.
After some character research Jo decided what facts to present in his F.D.R. performance. His opening scene finds him in his wheelchair with his little dog Fala on his lap, completely engrossed in his stamp collection.... 'Oh, so sorry, I didn't notice you there, I was just looking at some of my favorite stamps, you see I love stamp collecting....... Please excuse me for not getting up, since my bout with polio my lower half has been a bit.... Lazy.' He then tells the audience to close their eyes and imagine going back in time, 'Don't be afraid, for the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.' They take a trip back in time, to a time when our wealthy, adulterer, Mama's Boy, F.D.R. was president. He then flawlessly performs his presidential role, complete with a few side of the mouth secret sharing, like when he randomly whispers.... 'I'm rich!', or while reminiscing about his wedding day he murmurs.... 'Don't tell my mom but I don't think she was quite ready to let me go, maybe that's why her and my wife Eleanor don't get along very well.'
Before it was all over he'd encouraged his stuffed dog to do a few tricks, joked about being the 'Most Popular President' (only president to serve four terms), and left a subtle undertone of his troubled marriage ('Mom, what's a mistress?). He did manage to put in a few lines of all the necessary personal, family, and presidential facts. But it was his dramatic ending that was the clincher, he bids farewell and explains he's on his way to his portrait painting appointment.....then he grabs his head and exclaims, 'Oh my, I don't know if I'm just tired, but suddenly I'm not feeling so well, I feel a terrible headache coming on.'
(sign #1) F.D.R. died that same day while getting his portrait painted. His 'terrible headache' was a stroke. He was 63 years old. (sign #2) And for those of you wondering, his little dog Fala died 7 years later at 12 years old. He was buried near F.D.R. (sign #3) THE END.
He held up those signs proudly, he'd given the performance of a lifetime.
(sign #1) I am so proud of Jonas and his ability to learn, perform, and entertain........ (sign #2) He not only learned from his presidential research, but was also totally interested in the fact that both Pineview Damn and Snowbasin were built as a result of Roosevelt's New Deal....... (sign #3) THE END