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Presidential Recollections

Like Grover Cleveland , Calvin Coolidge is portrayed favorably in the pages of early editions of Cape Cod  Magazine. A 1923 editorial characterizes President Coolidge, the former governor of Massachusetts , as a modest man:

“Calvin Coolidge has long been a prominent figure in Massachusetts politics. He had made public service his life work. He was never a money maker and preferred to serve the public rather than his own pocketbook. He was modest and unassuming and avoided controversy and wrangling. He considered speech as a means of imparting thought and not as something to be used without stint in promoting personal interests. The people of Massachusetts long ago learned that whenever he spoke he had something worthwhile to say; that when he made a decision he made no apologies for it; that he didn’t talk for the sake of attracting attention to himself.

The writer cannot claim a close personal acquaintanceship with the president, but like most Massachusetts people who have come in contact with him, has learned to respect and admire him and to realize that he had the best interest of the people at heart in all his actions; that he had no pride of office, no ambitions for personal aggrandizement, no desire to impress his personality upon others and did not seek to build up a political following by using the usual suave methods of most politicians.

Many incidents have been related about him when he was governor of Massachusetts. At times his extreme modesty was embarrassing. The writer remembers that upon one occasion when it fell upon him to preside at a banquet at which the governor was to be the guest of honor, elaborate preparations were made in advance to receive him. As he approached the banquet hall a scout stationed there was to pass the word along in order that the guests might arise and salute him as he entered the door. No such signal was given, however. Suddenly the governor appeared at the gathering and took his seat beside the presiding officer before anyone was aware of his presence. In fact there were many there who were expectantly awaiting his arrival, unaware that the quietly attired man who sat on the right of the presiding officer was the governor of the state. He had approached the hotel through a back entrance and quietly _made his way to the banquet hall without notice, thus dodging the Reception committee stationed at the front door to receive him. This action was characteristic of Mr. Coolidge when he was governor of Massachusetts. ”

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