“I’ve been out of town”

Home at 21 Massasoit Street, Northampton, with Coolidge's favorite place - the front porch - and rocking chair in plain view.

Home at 21 Massasoit Street, Northampton, with Coolidge’s favorite place – the front porch – and rocking chair in plain view.

Coolidge, having just been elected Governor of Massachusetts, met an elderly neighbor on the street back in Northampton. “How d’ye do, Mr. Coolidge? I ain’t seen ye about lately,” said the man. Without a thought of self-importance, Coolidge matter-of-factly replied, “No, I’ve been out of town.”

Once, after hosting a large gathering of supporters as the second highest executive official in the state, he told Frank Stearns, “I am apt to forget that I am Lieutenant Governor, but they don’t seem to. The fact is that I don’t feel any different to-day than when I was a barefoot boy on the farm.” Such words, especially disclosed in private to someone as astute as Mr. Stearns, were not attempts at self-promotion, pretending to be what he thought resonated with voters. It was simply Coolidge being himself, unspoiled by the praise and power of office.

Coolidge-and-Wife

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