The Corner


Great American Photos

Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington (Wikimedia Commons)

In today’s Impromptus, I begin with the latest Oscar controversy and end with a National Review cruise (complete with photos). In between, I have observations on the “real America” and other subjects. See if something catches your fancy.

Yesterday, I had some notes about the first President Bush (and other figures, including the incumbent president and possible future presidents). A reader wrote to say that he and his family had gone to pay their respects to GHWB in Houston. He added,

My best friend growing up in New Jersey was a grandson of Stanley Switlik, the founder of Switlik Parachute Company in Trenton, which manufactured the parachute that 41 deployed when he bailed out of his torpedo bomber in WWII.

Stanley Switlik, by the way, was an immigrant from Poland.

Neal Freeman, the veteran NR-nik and friend of WFB, recalled being introduced by Barbara Bush, 41’s wife, at a fundraiser in Portland, Maine. It was the best introduction he ever got, he said. “She said, ‘Neal is a lefthanded, Episcopalian Yalie from the coast of Maine. I like his style.’” (Those things were true of 41 too, as you know.)

Along with a Corner post yesterday, I published a photo of the young 41 with Babe Ruth. I said it was a photo that said “America” to me and invited readers to cite similar photos.

Someone said, “What about little Theodore Roosevelt, watching Lincoln’s funeral cortege go by?” Yes, yes: here. More TR? Here he is with Booker T. Washington. And here he is out in the wilderness, with John Muir.

In today’s Impromptus, I happen to mention John Glenn, who in 1962 splashed down near Grand Turk Island. They have a monument to the event there. Anyway, a reader mentioned a picture of him and Ted Williams in the Korean War — the ballplayer was Glenn’s wingman.

Someone said, “The young Bill Clinton, shaking the hand of President Kennedy” (here). Another said, “How about Nancy Reagan sitting on the lap of Mr. T?” (here). “They were good friends, and partners in the war on drugs.”

A man says,

Although the attached doesn’t have the Babe, or George H. W. Bush, or anybody anybody knows, this photo of Bart H. Klingler, my father, and Roland J. Klingler, his brother, my Uncle Bud, fairly shouts “America” to me. They were on leave together, in 1943, I believe. I am, of course, biased.

Here is that shot:

Another reader says,

At the risk of being selfish, the attached photo struck me as “a very American photo” after I read your article today. It is of my father, Raymond, just before he was shipped out to Chelveston, England, early in 1943 to fly B-17s over Germany. In the background, you can see my grandfather, Samuel, proudly looking over his son.

Marvelous. Thank you one and all. That last-mentioned photo is here:

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