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Syndic Literary Journal

Truman Days

By LeRoy Chatfield


My father was a fan of Harry S Truman. He often told me that President Truman would be known in history as one of the country’s greatest presidents.

I think what my father admired most in Truman was his concern about the welfare of the working man, his forthrightness and his ability to make firm decisions and stick by them.  I have fond memories of my father and my Uncle Jerome Stephens talking politics. Uncle Jerome was a mechanic in the Buick garage, a photographer and a collector of travel memorabilia. He was also a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, as were all my relatives on my mother’s side.

My dad was a Democrat and he argued with Jerome every chance he got about politics and the working man.  (When I first registered to vote during my freshman year in college and was asked what party I belonged to, I really didn’t know, but I said, “Democrat”, because of my dad).

My first childhood recollection of politics was the dread that Roosevelt would not be re-elected in 1944. For some reason, I was very concerned about his re-election. I remember going out to pick up the Colusa paper, called the “Sun Herald”, on the front lawn after Election Day and seeing the headline that Roosevelt had been re-elected.  I expressed relief to my mother but she lacked any enthusiasm about the news and dismissed its importance.

At ten years of age, I did not know about Democrats and Republicans and it wasn’t until years later that I understood her studied indifference.




Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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