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[Tidbits] A Presidential Piece of Jewelry

You ever get the feeling that no matter how hard you try there’s
always more you don’t know than you do know? Tell me about it. But
before I go another step. there’s a minute possibility that I did
this Tidbit before. If I did. I apologize. if I didn’t. I hope you

Some time in the 1920’s a French jeweler by the name of Marcel
Boucher came to New York City. He apprenticed under Pierre Cartier
and in 1937 started his own company. The only reason I even mention
his name is that he specialized in mechanical jewelry. and if the
piece you are about to see is not his. it is never-the-less
reminiscent of his era.

As to our mechanical piece of jewelry. it is unsigned. clearly made
by an unknown master. consists of enameled metal. stands 1 5/8
inches high. and has its face covered by a hinged enameled ersatz
paper bag which swings back to reveal the visage of a famous
president of ours. And hereby hangs my tale.

I’ll tell you a bit about him. See if you can guess who he is before
I end my narrative. I will try my best to be as obscure as possible.

He was responsible for establishing the Environmental Protection
Agency. In his growing years he refrained from alcohol, dancing, and
swearing. No easy task for a growing young ‘un. He had four
brothers. making them a family of five boys. four of whom were named
after English kings. Four of the brothers’ names were Harold,
Donald, Arthur, and Edward. Better, I’m guessing, than Huey, Dewey,
Louie, and their uncle Donald.

At three years of age (1916) he made his newspaper debut by
contributing five cents to a fund for war orphans. He was
clearly–even then–destined to be renowned. At age twelve it was
thought he had tuberculosis and was forbidden to play sports.
However. his destiny could have been said to have been foretold as
he became president–at the age of thirteen–of his eighth-grade
class. Some of us start earlier than others.

His father owned a grocery store and most mornings–during his
junior year in high school–he rose at 4 a. m. to drive the family
truck into town to purchase vegetables at the market. bring them
back. wash them and display them for his father before going on to

He was offered a tuition grant to go to Harvard. but his
brother–who was ill–and his mother’s need to take care of him
forced our president-to-be to attend the local college and help out
at the family store. He later attended Duke University School of Law
where he graduated third in his class. The year was 1937. He then
applied to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was
accepted and then promptly rejected due to budget cuts. Imagine when
you get to the end of this what the world would have been like had
he been accepted. So. any ideas yet?

He was cast in a play called The Dark Tower and played opposite a
high school teacher with whom he immediately fell in love and
subsequently married. In 1942–after completing Officers Candidate
School, he was commissioned as an ensign and his first post was as
an aide to the commander in the Ottumwa Naval Air Station.

In 1948–as a member of the House Un-American Activitees
Committee–he broke the Alger Hiss spy case. His political career
was on the rise. He was responsible for the term “Ping Pong
Diplomacy” when in 1971–after having announced he would visit
China–Chairman Mao invited a team of American table tennis players
to visit his country and play against top Chinese players.

There’s more. Too much more, in fact. So I stop here. Does anyone
recognize our president? Let me know if you got it. His name was
Richard Milhous Nixon and he was named after a king of England
called Richard the Lionheart.

So now go. Look at the mechanical Tricky Dick. hands held out in
either peace symbols or victory symbols. depending on the year this
image is being related to.

Okay. You know where. The visit to the image… also known as the
viewing experience. You know where. Home page. Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits. Click.
And there for your sensory optic pleasure you will see the a
mechanical enameled metal charm of the 37th president of these
United States of America.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week.

Benjamin Mark