On Being a Great Man’s Child and Perspective

The son, at work in the tobacco fields as his father learned he had become President, was asked about his reaction to the historic promotion of his father. The son, Calvin Jr., gave an answer that underscored the quiet confidence inherited from his father and the humble perspective that both parents passed to their child. “Oh, naturally I feel quite proud,” the boy said, “but I don’t intend to allow it to interfere with my plans. Dad’s becoming President will make no changes in the family plans as far as I can see. John and I are going to return to our home in Northampton, for I think that all of the members of the family have expressed themselves from time to time that no place but Northampton could be our home. I’m sure I would rather be here than in the White House, too…This is the best kind of vacation, working on a farm,” Calvin observed, “I’d much rather do it than go to camp or the seashore. Some wonder why I work as hard as this after what has happened to Dad, but, really, how is that going to help me any? I shall have my own way to make, my own career to work out, and I wouldn’t feel right in laying down now by trying to get by on my father’s success. I really want to make good like Dad and there’s only one way to do it.”

Work.

The boy was but fifteen.

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