Kids, you need to learn who the presidents are.

When my mom visited me in Ukraine in 2012, the two of us took a train to Poland. We had a lot of time on that train so I introduced my mom to one of my favorite games: name the 44 presidents. So technically, there have only been 43 men that have been presidents, but stinkin’ Grover Cleveland took spots number 22 and 24, totally messing up the whole number thing. So you have to remember that when you play. I’m pretty good at this game. My mom was ok, but not great. I practice this game on occasion, but never have I actually named all 44 presidents without any help.

My interest in the order of the presidents didn’t exactly begin in fifth grade as it should have. Rather it started when I was 26 and living in Eugene, Oregon. My apartment was on the corner of 11th and Jefferson. I had no car so I was forced to move around the big city by bike or by foot so I did. I learned the presidents pretty quickly. I usually didn’t walk all the way to Garfield, but I knew where it was. Because I quit riding my bike when the rain started, I never figured out how far the streets went. What president do they stop with? Do they have to wait until presidents are dead to name streets after them? My sister Shelli would never live on Bush Street and I know a few family members who would rather live in a van down by the river than live on a street named after our current leader. I’m indifferent. The thing about where I end up living is that even if I live on the corner of a president’s street and a numbered street, my address always ends up being on the numbered street. SWEET! No conflict of interest there. (I just thought of this: my dream presidential street to live on would Kennedy Street, because hello, the guy started Peace Corps. Holla!)

Now that I live in Corvallis, I live on another presidential corner. Harrison is my current president and as I walked to my Weight Watcher’s meeting in another area of town, I walked the whole way. On the way back, I followed Grant down to 9th, the main street that goes towards campus. While I was walking, I kept trying to do the math. Grant minus Harrison equals what number? Grant is the 15th president, right? No. He was president after Lincoln. And there was another president between Lincoln and Grant so he was actually number 18. Sheesh. (See how hard this is!) Harrison (after looking this up) was the 9th president. So 18 minus 9 equals 9. Nine blocks isn’t that far, if you think about it. But when you start the equation Grant minus Harrison, things get a little more frustrating.

Do you know your U.S. Presidents? Do you care to know? Even if you’re not that into history or walking in the part of your city where streets are named after presidents, I suggest you try the list the presidents game. It’s sort of like the 50 states game Chandler plays at Thanksgiving on Friend. If you lose, what’s going to happen? The presidents will glare at you from their perch on the coins in your pocket. I doubt it. I highly doubt that could ever happen.

Have a good one!

Rece

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