Eisenhower Library

Long drive today from Denver. Started at 5am after Alex left at the Denver Airport. Finished in Columbia, MO at around 7pm.

Stopped off to see the Eisenhower home and library in Abilene, Kansas. Eisenhower is the most familiar president in that he was an ordinary guy. His rural Midwestern background is not one I grew up with, but I knew lots of people who did. Guys like Ike probably could not have been my uncle, but they could have been Chrissy’s.

Eisenhower was president when I was born. While I do not have any memory of him, his America was the America of my childhood. The living room in my picture below, for example, is very familiar, right down to Walt Disney on the TV.

Eisenhower was thought to be just an amiable guy and not a very effective president when I was in college in the 1970s. Since that time, historians have come to appreciate his abilities. He was a guy who did not need to take personal credit, one who could work with and through others. He tried to head off and avoid problems, rather than ostentatiously solve them. This is a great leader, but when such leaders do their jobs very well, people think that stuff just happened.

As is written in the book of the Tao, when the best leaders accomplish their purpose, the people say, “we did it all ourselves.”

My pictures are from the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene. First is the Ike statue, followed by his boyhood home and a mural of him as a coalition commander. Next is a typical living room of the time. Last is a pair of boots the sort that German soldiers wore on the Russian Front to keep their feed warm. Not a pleasant experience in any way.