My fourth grade teacher, Mrs Snow told me, " Chuck Elliot, you read so much and such a variety of books that I think you could be President someday." I thought, at the time, she meant President of Ramona Lane Elementary School. I was leading the "Gold Star Reading Wall" competition and we were headed for Easter Break. I had a stack of biographies under my arm. Major distractions like, Alan Shepard orbiting earth and me running (almost out of control) down dunes along the coast of Lake Michigan and as the oldest, being in charge of a pack of sisters while my step-father took my mother out to dinner three times that week, prevented me from devoting enough time to reading my vacation biographies. And in fact, I lost that Gold Star competition to a girl named Sharon Ellis, (but, we know girls can't become President).
Mrs. Snow hadn't a clue what it takes to become President, anyhow. I admired Presidents, especially JFK. I stopped admiring Presidents shortly after he was assassinated. I started running long-distance at thirteen which left a lot less time for reading. Maybe reading was over-rated. Now I am incredibly disillusioned about what it takes to be President, or how a President is supposed to behave.
I pedal my bicycle long distances these days in an attempt to unravel the confusing contradictions and disasters that tie us all up in knots daily. Often, somewhere along the route I look for a place to immerse my overheated body in cool clear water so that I can find a refreshing new perspective before returning to my happy place (home). It's worked so far. I'm working on my 69th year on this planet and I'm in no hurry to follow Alan Shepard beyond this atmosphere.
I have been reading a lot lately and am getting no closer to being qualified as a candidate for President. The qualities required for occupying such an office have all evaporated and been rendered counterfeit anyhow. I just want to find a quiet road and keep turning over the cranks until I find another perfect skinny dip.