Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Guest Blogger and Warren G. Harding

I know I've been remiss as of late with the history blogging, my dears, and I plan on remedying that post-haste.
For today however, I give you a guest blog by my super cousin, Jason Carney. He's a lot like me and a history lover as well. Jason recently took a trip to Marion, OH to visit the Warren G. Harding Memorial. Here are his thoughts and some fun facts about our 29th president. Take it away, Jason! 

Having recently read a brief article describing why Warren Harding, our 29th President of the United States of America, is typically considered to have had a rather poor, pathetic tenure in that office, I decided to take a very short trip over to the fair city of Marion, Ohio to see the memorial where they keep the original Warren G.’s lackluster bones.

I’d been to the Harding Memorial ages ago, but, the passage of time and my age-addled brain had reduced my memories of the visit to vague impressions and a sense that the place looked a bit like some kind of giant Ancient Greek gazebo. So, I would have the added benefit of seeing if I could kindle the fires of memory with my little jaunt as well. 
While the day was humid, grey, and under constant threat of being subjected to a downpour at any moment, I was able to enjoy the drive and take a bit of pleasure in the farm-land vistas, cloud-shrouded skies, and back-road Ohio life on display. 
Arriving at the Harding Memorial, I was instantly impressed with elaborate scale of the place. The white marble, ring of columns, and broad park-views made possible by its positioning at the intersection of two busy boulevards lend the site a most becoming grandeur. 
As I read several brief snippets about Mr. Harding, his life and times, and some of the incredibly few highlights of his Presidential career on a strange stone “merry-go-round-’O-knowledge” structure in front of the Memorial proper, I was glad I had taken the time to see the final destination of Warren G.’s mortal remains. I sat in silence as stony as the marble monument itself.
I was flung from my quiet contemplation by a jarring, startling commotion! To my, and everyone else who was visiting the Harding Memorial’s horror, the Warren-G-Harding-Informational-Android was running amok! Whether through a mechanical failure, programming corruption, or deliberate sabotage, the Robotic-Republican had sprung forth from his dais and begun to attack the civilians and park-lands before him, ranting and raving about how his “front porch was only big enough for one campaign, by Golly!” as he up-rooted trees, tossed errant passersby around like rag-dolls, and went on a robotic rampage!
My first instinct was to flee, protecting my precious, precious self. For, as it is so often said (by me at any rate...), “Where would the World be, without Jason P.?!?!”. But, as I retreated to the safe confines of the Carney-Cool-Balt, I was confronted with the site of The Harding-Droid threatening a group of nuns, their sickly orphan charges, and a box of random puppies and kittens they had apparently stumbled upon on their visit to the Memorial. I had to put my completely understandable and manly self-preservation aside and intervene. 
Rushing toward the Harding-Simulacrum, I struck a dramatic pose and called to him. “See here my good robotic fellow, only a cad and a bounder, a guttersnipe of the worst sort, would menace a menagerie of adorable pitifulness like that. What would the papers say?”
The artificial Warren G. staggered for a bit. I think, the mention of newspapers, such a facet of his political campaigning life AND are former occupation of his prior to it when he was a newspaper publisher himself, taxed it’s already misfiring memory banks. 
Unfortunately, he soon overcame his confusion and began to stride menacingly toward me! “That sounds like the slick talk of one of those fellows who pummeled me over the Teapot Dome misunderstanding! I’ll fix your wagon miscreant!”
Thankfully, despite my age, I was able to occupy the Harding-Bot’s attention for several minutes. Not able to match his vast, hydraulically powered strength, I found myself reduced to dodging and weaving beneath and around his attacks. This was no easy feat! With my advanced age, avoiding blows hard enough to shatter marble columns, trees swung like clubs, and the occasional tossed Toyota is not as easy as it used to be! Fortunately, I haven’t declined enough to be completely unable to, and was thus able to weather the Warren-G-Droid’s assaults. 
However, my depleted stamina and vitality finally began to get the better of me, as my tireless robotic adversary wore me down and inched his way closer and closer, mere moments from causing my demise. As I finally sunk to my knees, exhausted, I looked up at the towering robotic-representation and spat my last breath at him. “You’re half the man Taft was...literally...” I barked at him defiantly. The Harding-Bot growled and launched himself at me.

Thankfully, at the last possible moment, the First-Lady-Florence-Android, through a happy accident or some kind of fail-safe programming, entered into the fray! Screaming “That’s enough, you philandering, pencil-chewing, lack-wit!!!” as she savagely tore into the Warren-G-Automaton! The original Flo-Bot quickly disemboweled her husband and opponent, sending his technological innards spilling out onto the pavement before her. With one final, lightning fast chop, she decapitated Warren, bringing his rampage to an end. 
As I sat there, struggling to catch my breath, the First-Lady-Droid gathered up her obliterated hubby and smiled at me. “Sorry Dear. Warren can be so cranky about these front-porch shin-digs. I hope this hasn’t soured you on Marion. Try to make it back for this year’s popcorn festival.” she offered with a wink.

All and all, it made for an exciting visit to the Harding Memorial. I tried to convince the arriving authorities to give me the Robotic-Warren’s head as a grisly trophy, but they gave me some lame excuse about it being parks department property and the Mrs. Harding-Robot doing all of the real work. Total cop-out. She may have been the matador, but I was the distracting, colorful red sheet! That should count for something!
Still, I just wish I could take a normal, relaxing day trip like everyone else. But nooooo...if it isn’t an out of control Harding-Bot at the Harding Memorial it’s the pirate menace of Bass-Island-Brocious and the Cleveland Corsairs on my trip to the Marblehead Lighthouse, or that awful, awful menace, Mad Martin Yoder’s Cheese Golem that I had to face off against in Amish Country. I just can’t catch a break. It’s all daring deeds for Jason P...

Some interesting tidbits about Harding I managed to glean (because face it, he was one of our not so hot presidents – we’ve had a few) are:

1.       He was the first incumbent Senator to be elected to the Presidency
2.       He is one of five presidents who have died in office. Of those five, Harding is the only one who was not assassinated.
3.       He was the first President to visit Alaska
4.       His nickname was W.G. or Winnie (I did not make that up. Stop snickering)
5.       He had the biggest feet of any president – size 14

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