Thursday, August 12, 2010
Franklin and Fala
Of all the presidential memorials in D.C., I think the Franklin Roosevelt is my favorite - partially because of the monument itself, and partially because unlike the Jefferson and Lincoln monuments, it was not swarmed by people and yelling tweenagers. It is designed to feel like four different rooms, each representing one term. There are no steps, which makes it easily the most accessible for people in wheelchairs, or on crutches, or just with bum knees. Each room had lovely water features, quotes and statues. The shade was welcome, because even at 10:30 or 11 in the morning, it was hot.
Eleanor only has this little nook, but at least she has that - I don't think any of the other presidential wives are mentioned at all. (Wikipedia says she is the only First Lady depicted in a memorial).
We sure could use something as visionary as the CCC these days. Every state park we have been to in Arkansas has some sort of notice to the effect that the trail was first cut by the CCC, or the lodge was built by the CCC, or the bridge was put in place by the CCC workers who had to lug each rock in over 5 miles of trail, by hand. You get the idea. They did great work, and it gave people hope and money in a time of national distress.
Right out of a black and white picture - the breadline. At least we haven't fallen that far, yet.
This statue was not in the original design, but I think it is great that it is there, even if Roosevelt was never pictured using a wheelchair.
This statue was somewhat controversial because you can't tell that Roosevelt is in a wheelchair. Check the Wikipedia entry for more information about that. I don't care, one way or the other - it is just a nice statue.
And it has Fala. You can tell that she has been well-loved by her shiny ears and nose. I had to give them a rub as well. How great is that - a pet in a presidential monument? I mean, Lincoln liked cats, but all we get for him is a big august statue - nothing to make him human. Same with Jefferson. But Roosevelt, well, he gets Eleanor and Fala.