Big Steve hyphen Bill Clinton

At some point during this spring I decided to read at least one biography of each U.S. president. The reason for this diversion is that I became interested in presidential biographies reading about President U.S. Grant while sleeping on the beach. Yeah, I know, he doesn’t sound like a “hot” read while hanging at the beach but to each his or her own. I actually got hooked on bios after reading about the life of Mark Twain but that’s another story.

When I say biography, I mean book, not some snapshot such as:

Name: G. Washington
Term of Office: 1789-1797
Nicknames: Father of Wooden Dentures, One Buck
Know for: Lying his ass off

In addition to the Grant bio, I have read bios of Warren G. Harding and James A. Garfield. I am now reading a book about Grover Cleveland. It’s called “Grover Cleveland: And the Walrus was Big Steve.” No, that’s not really the name of it. But Grover’s first name was Stephen and he was called “Big Steve” as a boy. That was probably because he was a big boy.

After investigating the lives of Harding and Cleveland, in particular, I really see from where the old saw about anyone growing up to be president came. I am not being serious here because I think perhaps there is something very unique in one’s makeup for that person to become president of these United States of America. I am not saying every man, so far the only presidents have been men, who held the office was a great man. Cleveland seems like some of the ne’er-do-wells I have known all of my adult life. These are basically smart people who like to drink beer and talk about eclectic topics, then they usually puke on someone’s shoes.

Also during my adult life, I have read a number of books written about certain presidents. Kennedy, or rather Kennedy’s death, has been a particular fascination. I’ve probably read four or five books on Lyndon B. Johnson including all of the Robert Caro books. I think LBJ was pretty much a scoundrel but being a real Texan and not an Ivy League one like some presidents I can think of — no names but one’s initial’s rhymes with “Bub Ma” — Johnson was our scoundrel.

In recent years presidents have had tons of books written about them. If biographies of Bill Clinton were stacked end-to-end they would reach clear to St. Louis — from somewhere.

At the very least after reading these bios, I don’t feel so bad for — so far — not realizing my potential. Just who knows what that potential is may be anyone’s guess. Perhaps it is using hyphens — .

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