Twilight and Evening Bell
A DARK day, with sleet and snow and rain, greeted the Coolidges when they returned to Northampton from Washington. They stepped from the train into a great crowd, which the reporters estimated at six thousand neighbors, gathered to greet their returning heroes. The former President shook hands with his old friends. Mrs. Coolidge greeted them with her accustomed cordiality. The returning townsfolk hurried through the station into their waiting automobile and through the congregation which still lined the sidewalks, standing curiously to see their great neighbors come home. The Coolidges went to their duplex apartment on Massasoit Street. They were two small town Americans, living again in the little house in which they began housekeeping. They were paying thirty-six dollars a month rent for it. The rent was increased from twenty-seven in the husband's gubernatorial term.
As small town Americans they fell quickly into their accustomed places. Mrs. Coolidge resumed her church work at the Edwards Congregational Church. She associated with the Red Cross and with the women's activities of the town. Being a social creature, she enjoyed the intimacies of small town life, the various drives, campaigns, organized community enterprises. But her husband, also in character, kept away from these things. He returned to his law office. To his partner, Ralph Hemenway, he complained1 that he could not walk around town freely. Some strangers would rush up and grab him by the hand and say:
"Mr. Coolidge, I have always wanted to shake your hand!"
Or some such expression. So his favorite pastime of window-shopping____________________