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Merry Christmas, Abe! by Hawkeye Pete Egan B.
 

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  • As we strolled our way through history, through the many rooms with famous names in this, the oldest public building in the entire capital - there was the East Colonnade, East Garden Room, Vermeil Room, the China Room, the Library, the East Room, the Green, Blue & Red Rooms, the State Dining Room - this home to every American president except the very first one, George Washington, I was taking it all in, absorbing it into my bones like the historian that I am.
  • I Imagined the concerts the Kennedy's held here, the crazy, drunken ramblings through these halls that a broken president, Tricky Dick Nixon, made as he neared the end of his train wreck of a presidency. I tried not to think of Wild Bill's shenanigans with interns that nearly brought his presidency down, fool that he was. I contemplated the great ones, FDR, Lincoln, even Eisenhower, who I think never got the credit he deserved for his peacetime presidency, and his defiance and warning caution of the military-industrial complex, which proved to be prophetic. JFK contemplating what might have been - that most compelling pose of all the presidential portraits, it gets me every time, as I, too, wander what might have been...
  • As I wandered these same halls as the greats and the wannabe-greats, the chief executives who mostly tried to do the best they could while they resided in this fabled place, enjoying the holiday finery that decked these halls, I spied something intriguing just beyond a round-tiered bookcase surrounded by Christmas trees. Something seemed to be hiding back there, but one had to move closer in to see just what it was. Light and shadow met upon this hidden treasure, shyly sitting there, seemingly bemused by all the holiday glitz and glamour, as if to be saying "I sure will be glad when all this hoopla is over!"
  • Yeah, Abe, me too. But it sure was nice visiting your final home, my friend, on a fine winter day. Sleep well, and rest now - rest in what you never knew the whole time you dwelled in this special place - Peace...
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