As many of you loyal and faithful readers know, I live on Long Island (and hate it). Part of living on Long Island means that during the summer and fall, you are required to go to the same festivals year after year, so you can run into the same people over and over again, so that you can comment on how much they’ve changed (i.e. how fat they’ve gotten since you saw them last year). So this past weekend we were at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration (O.B.V.R)which is actually a pretty cool place. Much as the name implies, it is basically a sprawling campus with replica homes how they used to be, fellas playing baseball like it was 1864, and women walking around looking like Laura Ingalls.
This post is not actually about my loathing of Long Island, but rather about a conversation that I overheard, then participated in while at the O.B.V.R. While we were watching the Rough Riders demonstration, I overheard a family discussing politics, that is trying to figure out who was President. No, it’s not that bad…they did know who the President was today, but when it came to figuring out who was President before him they ran into a bit of trouble. Here is their conversation (I starting listening after the conversation began):
Mom: Well then who was President before Clinton?
Dad: Wasn’t it Bush?
Mom: No, he was just President.
Son: Was it Jimmy Carter.
Son: Jimmy Carter.
Mom: No, he was in the 60’s.
Dad: Where’s my beer?
Mom: I was alive in the 90’s so I remember Clinton.
Son: Right, well who was President before him?
Mom: I think it was Ford.
Mom: No, Gerald.
After hearing the ‘Henry’ comment, and trying as hard as I could to contain my laughter, I decided to step in.
Me: No, Ford was in the mid-1970’s
Mom: Well who was President before Clinton?
Me: Bush, H.W.
Mom: No, he was just in office.
Me: No, that was W. There were two Bush’s. W was just in office, H.W. was before Clinton.
Mom: Really? Well who was before him?
Me: Reagan, Bush was his VP
Mom: Oh. (With a look of amazement)
What sent me over the top was actually the Son’s comment thinking that Henry Ford was actually a President. Henry has done a lot for us, but not that much. So the take-away for today is this…be thankful that you don’t live on Long Island, but more than that be thankful that you have (or had) access to get an education. The irony in all this is that one day that kid will lose his job and much like I bailed him out on that conversation, my tax dollars will help fund his lengthy unemployment.