Friday, June 16, 2006

Flashes from the Past: "My father...was the best man I ever knew..."

"My father...was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness."

This Flash from the Past was sick with asthma as a child. He was small and weak, and was schooled at home. His father set up a little area at home to build up his strength and told him, "You have brains, but you have a sickly body. In order to make your brains bring you what they ought, you must build up your body; it depends upon you." As a child, he read him books (like those about knights and chivalry) that lauded physical bravery and heroism.

This Flash from the Past's time did come. He became Teddy Roosevelt, one of the most physically active U.S. Presidents, Rough Rider and cowboy, wielder of the Big Stick, the builder of the Panama Canal, avid conservationist, and buster of big corporate trusts.

On Father's Day Weekend, we thank and laud all the wonderful fathers out there who inspire us and encourage us to greater things. Theodore Roosevelt Sr. was apparently always a big, strong, healthy fellow who had special care and concern for the deprived and weak. Though a very successful businessman, he taught every 7 days in a Mission school, and worked tirelessly for many good purposes, like founding the New York Children's Aide Society and New York Orthopedic Hospital.

Teddy Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Wikipedia Roosevelts


  1. Winston's Churchill's relationship with his father was almost exactly the same, in terms of influencing Churchill.

  2. That may be right, but I thought Theodore Sr. was a better man - at least what I recall from The Last Lion.