• Laurel Contributor

Question of the Day

by Donna Rhodes

Don’t worry, Donna, you’re still as sharp as you ever were.

I play Question of the Day with Alexa.

I know. Nerd-a-rama.

But it lulls me into believing it’s actually helping me stave off senility.

That reminds me of a joke: You know the best part about Alzheimer’s? You make new friends every day.

Now, what were we talking about?

Oh, yeah … today’s question … Which first lady had the White House designated a national museum?

“Jacqueline Kennedy!” I shout.

“You got it,” Alexa chirps.

“Phew. Another day senility-free,”

I sigh.

Alexa babbled on about Mrs. Kennedy’s introduction to the White House. She met with a mish-mash of furnishings, some elegant, some curious, some what-the-frog?

Among the latter were Harry Truman’s who-did-it-and-ran trappings. He had a limited budget. Let’s just say his choices were as colorful as the purchaser. They were not so much period pieces as exclamation points.

This led to Jackie and Jack setting up the White House Historical Association to publicize the heritage of the President’s dwelling. It established a Fine Arts Committee to acquire pieces of pure Americana.

That got me thinking. I could do the same at my house. A couple of years ago I inherited five storage units and two houses jam-up-jelly-tight with all kinds of antiquities going all the way back to perhaps the Babylonians, or, at least the Episcopalians.

Among the hazarai I found George Washington’s shaving cup. It had a missing chunk. A musket incident I understand. Something to do with falling in love with his best friend’s wife. My family is sworn to secrecy. You’ll have to wait for the Broadway musical.

I also found a miniature sarcophagus, crammed with ancient dust, Cleopatra’s remains, no doubt. Then again, it might be a busted vacuum cleaner bag stuffed into Grampa’s humidor. Add to that a Buster Brown shoebox containing a dozen Spoolies, Aunt Nanny’s silver snuff box, and an assortment of gold teeth, all museum quality.

In Mother’s hope chest (where I found anything but), there were scrolls so old the Dead Sea was just getting sick when they were written. There’s more, but you’re dying to know what Spoolies are, so run Google now.

As for moi, I’m going to go play QOTD. And, I dunno why, but I feel like today maybe I have some new friends to make.

The Laurel Magazine

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