A Fabulous Fourth

What a glorious way to spend our nation’s birthday.  “President Roosevelt” enjoyed a three day stay in “Nebraska’s Fourth of July City” — Seward, Nebraska.  Sharing the stage with Winston Churchill (portrayed by the enormously talented Ted Kachel) was a blast.  The two WWII leaders offered thoughts and wisdom on their shared experiences and leadership roles.

We delivered a “live” Fireside Chat over the radio, presented a session on leadership to Nebraska National Guard officers and enlisted men, gave presentations to packed museum audiences and conducted a question and answer session following a FDR documentary screening at a historic local theater.  Of course, we led the Fourth of July Parade in vintage WWII era jeeps.

The hospitality provided by Museum Director Jerry Meyer and numerous sponsors was first class.  It is always such a thrill to find hidden treasures in our nation such as Seward, Nebraska–a small town with a big heart that epitomizes “Americana.”

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“A Fireside Chat”

I am very happy and proud to announce my newest and most unique FDR Lives presentation.  On February 15, 2019 I premiered the two-act, one man show “A Fireside Chat.”  The sell-out audience at the Schauer Center for the Arts in Hartford, Wisconsin delivered a standing ovation to FDR (well, me actually) at the end of the evening.

The show mixes humor, anecdotes and historical facts to entertain and inform the audience about FDR’s triumphs, regrets, life highlights and historically significant events.  Audience members are drawn into the production even further as the president chats with them and solicits answers to questions.  The hour and forty-five minute production (including intermission) gives an honest and thought-provoking portrait of the President who ranks with Washington and Lincoln as the three greatest U.S. Presidents and the one person most responsible for shaping the twentieth century.

The production is ideal for community theater “dark nights” since it requires only a very simple stage configuration, two set pieces, as well as simple lighting and sound cues.  But it also works well for presentations to organizations, or community events.  I would love to talk with you about it or answer any questions you might have.  My contact information can be found under the “Booking”  tab.

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Semper Paratus

What a wonderful greeting President Roosevelt received from the men and women of District 15 of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  Our 32nd President delivered the keynote address at their Change of Watch and talked about his love of, affection for and connection to the sea.  It was a wonderful afternoon in Glens Falls, New York.  The hospitality of Michael West was incredible, topped off with a gift of an genuine autographed photographic portrait of FDR (originally given by the President to Congressman Clyde Ellis. )

While I was in the area I was able to present my newest program, “My Life Changer” which talks about FDR’s polio–how it struck, his rehabilitation and how it changed his life and philosophy.  The program was enthusiastically received at three retirement communities in the Albany/Niskayuna, New York area.  I have visited these communities numerous times and the residents are warm, inviting, attentive and knowledgeable.  It is a joy to present here.  I’m beginning to make contacts at retirement communities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (my new home) and I look forward to meeting the wonderful seniors here, as well.

Now it’s time to enjoy the holiday season.  I look forward to picking up my busy schedule in the new year.  FDR will be “on the road” again, soon.

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Freedoms Shared

What a great experience I had this past week sharing background on The Four Freedoms with middle schoolers who attended Camp History at the DiMenna Children’s Museum, which is part of the New York Historical Society.

The camp ran two, separate week long sessions and I was able to share FDR’s thoughts and experiences with campers each week. These bright young people were a wonderful audience and the interaction between them and “the President” was amazing.

We talked about events leading up to the Four Freedoms speech and the implications and ramifications of that, now famous, speech which was the closing section of the 1941 State of the Union address by FDR. The campers offered their ideas of important freedoms and the President talked about his personal freedoms.

All in all, this was one of the most gratifying experiences I have had in my FDR career. I hope I can return to the museum and other NYC venues.

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WWII Revisited

The weeks surrounding Memorial day were very busy for our 32nd POTUS.  A WWII encampment, a visit to a wonderful museum and an air show were all on the agenda.

The Museum of American Armor at Bethpage on Long Island, New York is an amazing assemblage of WWII armored and support vehicles.  All are kept in working order and are brought out for special weekend recreations and demonstrations.  FDR was on hand to greet visitors at the MOAA WWII Weekend.

Then it was on to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and the Wright Museum of World War II.  This is a spectacular museum in a beautiful resort town.  Exhibits capture our country at war and also focus on how the war affected the home front.  My presentation on the home front fit right in with the marvelous exhibits.  A sell-out crowd was very engaged and posed great questions.  If you are in the area make sure you visit the Wright Museum.

On Memorial Day weekend FDR was honored to greet guests at Republic Airport (back on Long Island) who came to watch take off and landings of vintage aircraft, the Canadian Snow Birds and U.S. Navy Blue Angels as they participated in the Jones Beach Air Show.  Sheltair Aviation was the host for this great event.

I can think of no better way to spend time around Memorial Day than to portray the President who guided our country  through the dark days of World War II.

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Cousins Reunite

It has finally come to fruition.  “The Roosevelts:  A Conversation with the Rough Rider and the New Dealer” has come to life.  The talented Adam Lindquist and I premiered our TR and FDR show to a corporate audience in Rochester, Minnesota on May 8.

The reception was fantastic!  The audience was engaged throughout the hour and a half presentation.  And the questions at the end were intelligent and inspired.  We couldn’t have been more pleased.

The two presidents, who are consistently named in the top five of historians’ lists of most important, effective and influential presidents of the United States have a lot in common besides their last names.  The sell-out audience in Rochester were both entertained and educated on two giants who helped shape the 20th century of our country.

We look forward to bringing “The Roosevelts” to audiences throughout our country.

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My Home on the Hudson River

FDR was quoted as saying, “All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River.”  When you visit the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site it is easy to see why he said that.  The home (Springwood), the library and the Henry A.Wallace Visitor and Education Center welcome, educate and inspire the thousands of visitors who come to this beautiful spot in Hyde Park, New York.

Whenever I am given the opportunity to present there as our 32nd President it is a thrill and an honor.  That was certainly the case for President’s Day 2018.  The presentation was sold out in four days (a record) and the audience was enthusiastic and engaged.  Their questions for the President at the end of the presentation were intelligent and inspired.

Franceska Macsali-Urbin, Scott Rector and Bill Urbin at the site are wonderful people to work with and true professionals.  I look forward to seeing them again and going “back to my home on the Hudson River.

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