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I just watched a two-hour documentary on FDR on the History channel--amazing how long he was able to keep going with the ailments he had long endured, and then the congestive heart failure which was also concealed from the American people. He survived another year after his heart and circulatory problems were fully understood by the physicians in charge of his care.

For the record, he died 4/12/45, and the photo of Graham Jackson playing as FDR's hearse was beginning the journey to the train station was taken 4/13.

You certainly have lots of stories yet to tell here, John! I hope you will include more tales of the folks you have met in your appraisal trips and in your stores.

John F. Ptak

Thanks for the clarification, Rick. FDR was special, and seemed to become evermore so when elected--he became much more than anyone thought possible, I think. (I think that CHF is diagnosed quite often now in people of a certain age, and that simply having a diagnosis of it ain't necessarily horrible. I think. BTW, Harry Stimson said that in all of the time he spent with FDR he never knoew the man to read a book. Go figure.


I'm sure a President has precious little time to read, unfortunately. FDR may have had the least. Our current president has likely had the most but was ill-equipped to make the most of it. I'm a slow reader, so if I were President, I would require a legion of insightful readers working for me. Reading is a powerful practice and skill on several levels, but most important in intellectual history is the remove it provides for considering, and reconsidering, what has been asserted. Just imagine if our president ... well, nevermind. We're coming on a new year. Best wishes during this Prelude to Xmas.


John--please pardon me while I speak with Jeff.

Jeff--sometimes, the light at the end of the tunnel is not another four years of the same friggin' train, running over us yet again.

Once in a great long while, it is a new dawn.

Not only that, I understand the new guy is literate!

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