Calvin Coolidge’s Reticence and Its Effect on Today’s Holiday Season

“With Christmas just around the corner, I feel we should resume our discussion of the merit’s of Calvin Coolidge’s reticence, and it’s effect on today’s holiday season,” Bob Lee Colwell said after taking a sip of lukewarm coffee. “By the way, Is anyone else going to the 4th of July parade tomorrow?” Everyone nodded.

“Warm it up for you, Bob?” Gladys asked, holding a pot of freshly-brewed decaf.

“No thanks, Gladys.” He put a hand over his cup. “By the way, when are Marge and Art getting home?”

“They were supposed to get back from vacation yesterday, but they didn’t get around to leaving until this morning. I’m going to fill in until they return. Sure you don’t want more coffee? I need to get rid of this pot before I can make another.”

Barney rang the bell and hollered, “Order’s up!”

“Thanks, sweetie,” Gladys said grabbing the plate. “Who was this for? I don’t remember.”

Barney shrugged. “It was for the guy in booth six, but he left a couple days ago. Some people have no patience. They don’t realize it takes time to make breakfast.”

Gladys shook her head and dumped the two pieces of dry wheat toast in the trash.

“What point were we discussing?” Tom Behren, Jr asked.

Dennis T. Hernandez rubbed his jaw. “I believe we were discussing the need for the President to set an example not only in action, but by making speeches on the radio like Thomas Jefferson.”

“Wait! Wasn’t Jefferson our third president?” Condredge Baxter-Halloway III asked while eyeing the last piece of pecan pie in the glass case on the counter.

“Your point being?” Colwell asked.

Wendell Blasingame, the mayor of Shawnee Ferry, laughed and answered, “Radio wasn’t invented until July 5,1826. Jefferson had already been dead for twenty-four hours. He never gave a speech on the radio.”

“My mistake,” Hernandez said.

“Why is Coolidge so reticent.” Behren asked.

Baxter-Halloway opened the glass case and pulled out the pecan pie. “He is rather reserved for a politician.” He sniffed the pie, made a face then placed it back in the case.

Colwell laughed and added, “My grandfather went to college with Coolidge. He lived on the same dorm floor.”

“Where did your grandfather go to college?” Gladys asked.

“UCLA. He had a full-ride scholarship. They paid him to surf,” Colwell said.

Hernandez waved a hand excitedly. “Hold on! I read somewhere Coolidge was born in Vermont and went to Amherst College. That’s in Massachusetts. Are we talking about the same Calvin Coolidge?”

“Calvin? No, I’m talking about Galusha Coolidge. He was a famous surfer back in the 1890s.”

“Was Calvin Coolidge married?” Gladys asked.

No one knew.

“It doesn’t matter,” Baxter-Halloway said. “The store owners in the mall are suffering this holiday season because Coolidge isn’t talking about the latest trends. He needs to make more public speeches to tell people what they should be buying for Christmas. It’s the responsibility of our nation’s leader to keep everyone informed and make sure they follow the examples set by our elected leaders.”

“Is it just me, or is Coolidge the most taciturn president we’ve had since Ray Charles?” Behren, Jr asked.

“Without a doubt,” Hernandez replied.

“You guys are totally bonkers,” Blasingame said. “Ray Charles wasn’t taciturn. He was a libertarian. That’s why I voted for him.”

“That’s right,” Colwell said. “But at least there were no scandals during his presidency. He ran a clean government. He kept the deficit under control, too. He insisted everyone pay their bills with one-dollar bills.”

“Perhaps Coolidge was quiet because he was taught by his mother not to say anything derogatory about someone,” Baxter-Halloway replied. “Remember, he had to work with politicians. It couldn’t have been easy to think of anything good to say about them.”

The diner’s door opened and three men in black suits entered. Everyone inside froze like a Vermont marble statue. They looked at every person in the diner, three times, then nodded. One of the serious looking men put a hand to his ear and whispered into the lapel of his suit coat. Two other men in black suits escorted a man into the diner. He was instantly recognized by everyone then promptly ignored.

“It’s a pleasure to see you again, Mr. President,” Gladys said. “Can I get you a fresh cup of decaf?”

John Calvin Coolidge IV took a seat at the counter, nodded and pointed to the glass case.

“Would you like a piece of pecan pie? Barney made it fresh last Tuesday.”

President Coolidge nodded. He glanced at the members of the Greater Delaware Procrastination Society, and smiled.

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