Tuesday, February 12, 2013 By Aaron Brown
In her post she briefly describes something I did as a child and I will share it with you now as a Pre-Presidents' Day holiday memory.
In second grade I won an invention contest and got to take a trip to Washington D.C., where I met my senators and congressman, ate in the Senate club restaurant, stood behind the lectern where tonight President Obama delivers the State of the Union address. Being a nerdy kid living in a trailer house on an Iron Range junkyard, this was probably the most influential trip of my whole life.
The immediate aftermath was considerably more adorable than it was significant, however. Using my family's set of encyclopedias, purchased from a door-to-door salesman, I poured over the chapters on the United States government. I taught myself about the branches of government, the cabinet, the Supreme Court, the whole works. I began appointing small toys -- dinosaur erasers, pencil toppers, $.10 teddy bears from the fabric store where mom bought fabric for our clothes -- to positions in a government.
The fuzzy owl with glasses, deemed most wise, was my president. An alligator was his vice president, to balance the ticket. The Supreme Court was mostly made up of pink Pterodactyl erasers. I took greater care in appointing appropriate animals to the various cabinet positions, right on down to HUD and FEMA. Congress, comprised of 435 members, was far too large to fill with my toy supply, but I did appoint a House speaker and caucus leadership, with the assumption that they represented a far larger body of unseen toys.
It didn't stop there. I made a capitol building out of Popsicle sticks, painted it white, and crafted a stage on the roof from which the president would deliver important speeches.
My government fell when I left for college. It got left behind when my mom moved. Otherwise I'd be assembling it right now for a picture to show you. Maybe it's better just to remember.
I do know that this free book deal looks like something I would have loved as a kid.