I have vivid memories of lying on the big bed in my parents’ room, which was right beneath two large windows, looking at books of Presidents. There was one book in particular, a large, red book from the library that I enjoyed the most. It had a good two or three pages on each President along with interesting photos. The portion about President Washington showed a picture of his ivory false teeth! Every page detailed the events of our exciting past as a nation. I found that through those pages, I could transport myself back in time; I could become an eye witness to the hand of God (and of Satan) at work in our country. I fell in love with the past. My dad loved history, too, and it didn’t take any coaxing at all to get him to lie next to me, with reading glasses in place, and read aloud the book of our nation’s leaders. I wish I could recall the exact title of that big red book of Presidents (hmmm, maybe that’s it!), because I’d love to get a copy – even a used copy – as a token of the wonderful memories I made with it.
I still love history. I have found so many thrilling adventures in the pages of biographies and history books, not textbooks. They are dry and boring compared to books written by a man or woman who truly love the subject about which they write. That’s the difference! Their love and admiration is spilled out onto the page and you just can’t help going along for the ride!
I am in the middle of a huge volume right now, 992 pages to be exact. My kids looked at it and said, “Oh! I hope I don’t have to read that!” I told them, “If you started it, you wouldn’t put it down! It’s a page turner!” The book is Truman by David McCullough. I have read 1776 and John Adams by Mr. McCullough and each one was excellent. I have also enjoyed reading the autobiography of Laura Bush and Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly. If we don’t learn and understand our past, we most assuredly are doomed to repeat it.
I also picked up a DVD set the other day that I’ve seen on the History Channel, simply called The Presidents. I highly recommend it.
Reading history is not only something I enjoy, but it reminds me of my own history. I remember snuggling beside that tall, tan, cologne-scented man who was my dad, my “partner”. Through the pages of these books, we are together again.