My family heard a local historian, Steve Stark, talk about Theodore Roosevelt this past Sunday. Mr. Stark seemed to really like the guy, and from listening I found myself liking him as well. Steve briefly mentioned how TR had marched three hoodlums to Dickinson all by himself, and during the long sleepless journey also managed to read the book Anna Karenina. I was interested to look into it further and found this summary of the journey — really interesting:
I like this sentence that TR wrote; found it something to think about. It’s hard to relate, now-a-days, to conditions like these:
[The three criminals] belonged to a class that always holds sway during the raw youth of a frontier community, and the putting down of which is the first step toward decent government.
I wonder: people who would have belonged to “this class” in a frontier community – how do they get on in today’s community, in our community, which has “put down” this class and formed “decent government?”
- Are they the criminals that our police pretty well protect us from today?
- Does the influence of this culture redirect them toward a more beneficial course of life?
- Do they find more sophisticated ways to carry out their basic thievery (white-collar crimes, etc)?
I suppose all three, depending on the combination of luck and ability dealt each individual.
Back to TR, between this story and the one where he boxed down a guy with two six-shooters pointed at him, apparently he really was quite a guy. As busy as he was, even as President he kept regular appointments to play with his children, even if it meant ending meetings with congressmen. That’s a good admonition and reminder for me.