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By SUSAN DROMEY HEETER, Joyful Musings
Well, are we not living in interesting times? Holy cow, it’s a lot to digest, fascinating to read, to watch, to investigate, to enjoy all of this show, wondering where it will lead, what more will be revealed.
And, Joyful Musers, whether you do or do not follow this political intrigue, I can only tell you where my fascination began.
Prior to his demise, I wrote a letter in 1970 telling President Nixon that my grandfather had died. It seemed something he needed to know, as, well, he was leader of the free world and this was the first time I’d seen my mother cry and attended a funeral of someone I knew. I was seven. And Nixon responded with the words, “Pat and I were deeply saddened to learn about your grandfather’s passing.”
I was hooked. He’d written back.
Shortly after that, it was Watergate and my newly widowed grandmother mourned while the TV was tuned to those riveting trials; I learned about John Dean, John Ehrlichman, tapes. My grandmother was not the type to bake cookies, rather, she followed politics and sshhed me when the testimony was especially intriguing.
My mother was entirely proud to put “Don’t Blame Me, I’m from Massachusetts” sticker on our Chevy wagon; we’d been the only state to vote for McGovern; Nixon had won 49 states and then….oh, the horror.
In 1986, I was a new teacher in Massachusetts and the first George Bush was newly elected. I worked with a state representative and said, “You know, he calls himself the education president, I really ought to go to his inauguration.” And, just like that, I got two tickets and my sister and I travelled down to Washington.
While neither of us had voted for Bush, it was a great ride and a really interesting show – especially when we spotted celebs who had attended the inauguration with us: Wayne Newton, Brian Boitano and, yes, Donald Trump. We laughed, took pictures, and I saw for the first time, “Hook ‘em horns” – the Texas hand gesture I’d never witnessed up close and personal in New England.
The excitement was palpable; I’d never been to Washington before so to go when there were crowds and free food, parties and celebs, well, the timing was perfect.
In 1991, the European Union was created and I happened to live in Maastricht, The Netherlands, where the treaty was signed. Again, perfect timing. My apartment was smack dab in the center of Maastricht and I had only to walk about a block to see John Major, Francois Mitterrand and other world leaders.
Several pubs in Maastricht took on the unique flavors of each newly minted country to the European Union – Spain served tapas, England had pictures of Queen Elizabeth, Denmark had flags and Carlsburg Pilsner. The celebrations of the new union were incredible.
And fun fact, when Mitterrand showed up to sign the treaty, there was an ambulance behind his car; he was always prepared should his health take a quick dip.
Since then, I’ve continued to stay relatively current with politics, with those stars of the show and minor players. I still get excited to see the mayor of Dover and thank those representatives and reporters who cover the mundane as well as the fascinating. I adore quality writing and embrace the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and, of course, InDepthNH.org.
I have Governor Sununu on speed dial as I find it vital to let him know where I stand on issues like guns in schools (not a fan), immigration (we need a wall like I need more cellulite) and simple communication. I’ve written and called Sununu ad nauseum, he’s not much of a communicator, and, hey, even Tricky Dick got back to me. I’m still waiting but patience is one of my strong suits.
So, dear Joyful Musers, enjoy the show, keep to the facts, know you, too, can attend any political event, ask any questions, look for solid reporting. After all, who’s the customer? Ah, ‘tis you, Joyful Musers, ‘tis you.
Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.