Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Walking; Automobiles; Autographs

Longhand Note of Former President Harry S. Truman, May 20, 1953. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

May 20, 1953

This morning at 7 A.M. I took off for my morning walk. I'd just had the Dodge car washed a day or so ago and it looked as if it had never been used.

The weather man had said it would rain so I decided to put the washed car in the garage and use the black car which was already spotted and dusty. My sister-in-law, watching me make the change, which required some maneuvering due to the location of several cars in the drive way, wanted to know if I might be practicing for a job in a parking station!

I went on down Van Horn Road (some call it Truman Road now) and took a look at the work progressing on the widening for a two way traffic line through the county seat. A shovel (automatic) and a drag line were working as well as some laboring men digging in the old fashioned way. The boss or the contractor was looking on and I asked him if he didn't need a good strawboss. He took a look at me and then watched the work a while and then another look and broke out in a broad smile and said, "Oh yes! You are out of job aren't you."

Went on around the block and came up to Maple Ave. and River Blvd., where a couple of women and a man were getting into a car preparatory to going to work. The man and one of the women came over and stopped me and said they wanted to shake my hand and tell me they had left Washington on Nov. 8th when they knew I wouldn't be there longer. But they said they had lived in Alexandria and not on Pennsylvania Avenue!

A day or two ago I walking down Farmer Street about 7:30 A.M. when a nice old lady and gentleman standing in a door way that opens directly on the sidewalk asked me if I would please cross the street as they wanted to talk to me. I crossed over and the nice grey haired lady said to the man "You tell him, I'm shaking so I can hardly talk." The old man told me that his wife wanted me to write my name in their granddaughter's note book. The granddaughter lived in Detroit and was very sure that anybody in Independence [could] get me to do whatever was wanted. I'd never seen the old people before but I signed the granddaughter's autograph book.

A day or so before that I was walking up the hill at Union and Maple and was stopped by a bunch of boys and girls for the purpose of having a picture made with a young man named Adams who was running for President of the Student Council. I wonder how he came out. That stunt may have beaten him.


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