Our neighbor, the President

Just so you know, I’ve been wishing Mr. Truman “Happy Birthday” for quite a long while now, but I’m just being neighborly.

The personal thank-you I received from President Truman.

The personal thank-you letter I received
from President Truman.

We moved to Independence in 1967, into a house that was in the neighborhood between Truman’s home and the Truman Library.

In the first few years, it wouldn’t be unusual to see Mr. Truman out for a walk in the neighborhood. And for several years, it wouldn’t be strange at all to run into Mrs. Truman, or their daughter, Margaret, at the local Kroger grocery store — on one occasion, I recall Margaret was having a time with one of her kids staying seated in the grocery cart.

Mr. Truman also went to the same chiropractor we did. One afternoon, as he was leaving the doctor’s office, he looked down at me and my brother playing on the waiting room floor.

“Are these boys for sale?” he asked our mom.

“Some days, Mr. President, they’re for free!” Mom blurted, her face immediately turning bright red, realizing what she had implied to the former President of the United States about her two little angels.

Meanwhile — I was very excited about the prospect of getting to live in the big Truman house and hanging out with Mr. Truman, and was sorely disappointed when Mom didn’t close the deal!

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