Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fourth of July, Plymouth Notch

Nobody here today ever voted for him, and none of them served under him when he was Commander-in-Chief, but Calvin Coolidge is honored here every year; the only president born on the fourth of July, and the only one (so far) to be sworn into office in the parlor of his family home, by his own father, John Coolidge, Sr.

Along the quiet streets of Plymouth people begin to gather about an hour before the procession starts. Locals, tourists, veterans from the area's American Legion and VFW posts. A group of bikers. No bands, no politicians. A wreath, a couple of Reservists, a whistle.

Shuffling steps reclaim their stride, the once-lost cadence emerging like the motions of a lapsed Catholic at a funeral mass, and the only sounds along the mile-long march are these footfalls on the blacktop. To a hillside cemetery where the Coolidge family lies in a row overlooking the road.

July 4, 2007

My own notion as to Vermont's fondness for Silent Cal: He spent his entire political career in Massachusetts.

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