Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Little Rock/The Clinton Library

Since I am not going to watch the second presidential debate tonight (I have temporarily sworn off politics--I think it is bad for my health), I have decided to blog about another of our presidents instead.  The Clinton Library and Museum sits in the very heart of Little Rock, Arkansas.  The park that surrounds the building extends to the old Arkansas River bridge and that bridge is now set aside exclusively for foot traffic.

It was Sunday morning and I arrived too early to get into the library so I decided to do a leisurely hike across the river.

The day was overcast and a little drizzly but it felt good.  I can handle humidity if there isn't any 90 degree heat to go with it.

I had the whole bridge to myself and the city seemed very quiet.  I remembered that, back in 1958, this city was the scene of one of the most contentious battles of the 'Integration Era'....9 young black girls tried to enter the Little Rock Central High School.  It was far from quiet then,  when the National Guard had to be called out to protect those girls.

 And Governor Faubus proudly paraded his prejudices by closing the three Little Rock public high schools for a year.   After all, what's an education when you can show off your bigotry to the world.


 But, like the Civil War, the south survived the integration battles to become a much more hospitable place than I remember as a teenager.  I could be wrong but I think we are making progress.

Good Grief!!  It seems this walk took me down memory lane.  Maybe I should have stuck with the debate.

The building is quite formidable with lots of glass and fantastic views in all four directions.

Inside there was the usual array of political stuff....

and more reminders of what a 'multi-talented cool cat' Clinton was...

and so was his cat.  Sigh Me thought this button was the best.


There was a re-creation of the Oval Office and the Resolute Desk...

From the literature....

"The British ship H.M.S. Resolute was among the vessels sent on an expedition to the Arctic Circle in search of a lost party of British explorers.  In 1854, it became frozen in the ice and had to be abandoned by its crew, which survived.  The following year, an American whaler discovered the ship and towed it to Boston.  It was refitted and returned to England as a gift from the American people.  In 1880, after the Resolute was decommissioned, a desk was made from its oak timbers and presented to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria.  Since then, most presidents have used the desk.  John Kennedy was the first to bring it into the Oval Office."

Eventually, I found myself embroiled, all over again, in the worst mess of nasty politics, sexual shenanigans, power plays and wasted taxpayers money to occur in my lifetime.

It really didn't matter what one thought of Clinton, or his opponents, the whole Whitewater, Lewinsky mess just became too much.

 Our political face to the world was that of a clown; and the name, Monica Lewinsky, became a tawdry joke.

Great sums of money were spent for naught....

and our government came to a screeching halt while this melodrama played out.

By the time I got to the end of these displays I felt really depressed.  And now I'm feeling down all over again.  Why was it that I didn't want to watch the debates?

But Clinton did have one of the best records of any of our modern day presidents.  If you can't make out the figures above the numbers on the left are when he took office and the ones on the right are when he left office.

And he has done some fine things since leaving office.  (I just want to give credit where credit is due.)
      I guess if we don't have politicians to obsess over then we would have to read more about Lindsey Lohan or Tiger Woods.  Somehow I just wish we could do better.


  1. Toni,
    Thanks for the look at this Library. It's one place I plan to go. Are the yellow flowers lantana? Mine are blooming like crazy by my front door right now. And last weekend, I bought a small RV. I'll probably try it out in early November, going I'm not quite sure where. Eventually I'm going to be taking longer trips, and I want to thank you for the inspiration you've provided. I've subscribed to this blog, so perhaps you have my email. I have some questions (naturally) that I'd like to ask if we can do email.
    Thanks, Lynda

  2. Lynda...
    Wow! How exciting for you. Please email me at toniintucson@yahoo.com with any questions. I will be in Tucson for December and January for doctor's appointments, etc. then I plan to cover the west coast. Perhaps we could team up for some part.

  3. This is Doris, your Aunt Louise's friend, again, saying that this is a great blog - I love your "voice."

    If you talk to Louise, please express my wishes to her for a happy birthday - I tried to call her, but had to leave messages on both her home and cell.

  4. Doris...Thank you so much for the lovely comment. I will see Aunt Louise very soon and will pass on your greeting. Toni

  5. It is so great to find relatives. After you were in DeLand I really got to looking for ancestors on Ancestry.com and I went to the DeLand Library and had them show me how to use the information and found there was lots for me to look at. I posted a picture of a great great grandmother and a cousin in california wrote to me and low and behold we had lots of information to exchange. She sent me pictures from a photo album she had that filled in lots of empty spaces for me about my mom's relatives and it got me interested in transferring my VCR tapes to DVD so that I could send her a copy of the 1995 family reunion that we had and the first person she saw in that DVD was her dad who dies several years ago. It is fun to connect with people who have a common past. Barbara Wittman