Calvin Coolidge, the Man Who Is President

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
THE FIRST RUNGS OF THE LADDER

When he came to the White House Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States, brought with him a lot of baggage from Plymouth and Ludlow, Vermont. He brought an abrupt Vermont way of opening conversation at exactly the point of greatest interest. In Ludlow--a mountain town of 3,000 or 4,000 with its textile mills where the French and the Italians form the industrial population, where 500 yards of store buildings house the commercial and professional life of the county, where in winter ox teams drag heavy sledges down from the hills, where the native population, in spite of the Celtic and Latin influences, remains as clearly English as it was before the Revolution--men attack things directly as Coolidge does. Around Ludlow men are rather inclined to regard the amenities of conversation--the embroideries by which we of other climes approach the matter in our hearts, the preliminaries of speech which concern the weather, the passing news of the day, and the obvious jockeying which we employ before turning into the matter near our hearts--as mere French palaver. The Plym-

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