Theodore Roosevelt found unbounded joys in both the dangerous adventures and the communal family ventures, memories, and celebrations.
With equal fervor and fascination with human beings and mighty nature, Roosevelt is remembered by us as a leader driven by passion, intellect, enthusiasm and patriotic spirit that transcend the ages.
He lived the adventures of the Dakota cattle drives, the enemy’s fire as a rough rider, the loss of beloved family members, the trials of leadership and the joy of living. Through it all he celebrated life.
“When nearly three centuries ago the first settlers came to the country which has now become this great Republic, they fronted not only hardships and privation, but terrible years and risks to their lives.
In those grim years the custom grew of setting aside one day in each year for a special service of thanks giving to the almighty for preserving the people through the changing seasons.
Christmas was an occasion of literally delirious joy. In the evening we hung up our stockings or rather the biggest stockings we could borrow from the grown-ups, and before dawn we trooped in to open them while sitting on father’s and mother’s bed, and the bigger presents were arranged, those for each child on its own table, in the drawing room, the doors to which were thrown open after breakfast.
I never knew anyone who had what seemed like to me such attractive Christmases, and in the next generation I tried to reproduce them exactly for my own children.
I wonder if there can ever come in life a thrill of greater exaltation and rapture than that which comes to one between the ages of six and fourteen, when the door is thrown open and you walk in to see all the gifts, like a materialized fairyland, arrayed on your special table!”
Dakota Datebook: Remembering Theodore Roosevelt is written and performed by Steve Stark. Funding provided by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.