The presidents I remember

By Larry Dablemont, Contributing Columnist
Posted 5/29/24

I once shook Harry Truman’s hand, and I have to admit that I was impressed with him, even though I was only about six at the time. He was there dedicating a new hospital and he bent over and …

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The presidents I remember


I once shook Harry Truman’s hand, and I have to admit that I was impressed with him, even though I was only about six at the time. He was there dedicating a new hospital and he bent over and told me my pants were unzipped! Now there was a man who cared enough to do something about it, when he saw a problem. I do quite a bit of public speaking and I always check my zipper beforehand. I can therefore say in all honesty that I often take Harry Truman’s advice in my daily life.

I also liked Ronald Reagan a lot. I can’t remember much about his presidency, as the hunting and fishing was extremely good back then and I was in the woods quite often, somewhat confused about current events. But I really liked him in those western movies he made after he got out of politics.

I have read some things about Teddy Roosevelt that makes me think he was a lot like me, since he liked to hunt and fish so much and float rivers, and did some outdoor writing. I never floated the Amazon like he did, but then he never floated the Piney and the Gasconade and the Roubidoux like I did. He and I looked very much alike too. But of course my favorite president will always be Abe Lincoln, who had two things no president or even presidential candidate will ever have again… he was poor, and he was honest. Earlier in my life I too was poor and honest, and as a matter of fact I am still relatively poor, and I am being honest about that!

My favorite politician was Davy Crockett. He and I were so much alike that it is just amazing, except for the fact that he did get into politics, becoming a Tennessee congressman. My cousins and I watched him on Walt Disney when we were kids, and if you think I wasn’t influenced by him, you should know there is a big sycamore along the Big Piney river with the inscription carved in it.. “L. Dablemont kilt a squarl here.” There were no bears in the Ozarks when I was a kid, which wound up being an unfortunate thing for squirrels which I came across.

Crockett was loved by his constituents, just as I am loved by my readers, except for a few ladies who got mad about an article concerning female bass being fatter than male bass. Crockett was for the downtrodden and forgotten poor country people he grew up amongst. That is the way I am! He sacrificed his political career to stand against legislation which would take land away from the Creek Indians. It was land which the government had promised to them through treaties only a few years before. That makes him a better man, in my mind, than anyone you will find in congress today. He was honest, and he thought of others before himself, and he would not put money above all else. That too is the way I am. Those traits are not found in people in political office today. I left politics never to return when I ran for eighth grade class president and was beaten by Nolan Don Akins 28 to 1.

Crockett said, “to heck with politics if it means I have to go back on my word”, and he rode off to Texas and into history where, as I understand it, he went down fighting a bunch of illegal immigrants from Mexico. I would have loved to have fished and hunted with Davy Crockett, or Abe Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt, and would love to vote for someone today with just a whisker of their character.

It is true that I have a picture of me and Hillary Clinton, taken back when I lived in Arkansas, but it was her that wanted it took, not me. She was one of those ladies that read my column and wanted to learn more about hunting and fishing. And for a short time I had a basement office in the capitol building and her husband was the attorney general. There was nothing between us, and all those rumors are just nothing more than idle gossip. So we fished together on occasion, that don’t mean nothin!’ In the picture, I really did look a lot like Teddy Roosevelt, and she looked a little like Eleanor Roosevelt.

When you look at things today and hear that the presidential election is a dead heat and both fellers are apt to get 50 percent of the vote, then you realize what a bad shape this country is in, if you get my drift. I wish we still had a ‘Whig’ party in this country as they did once. I might vote for a Whig if he was for the poor and honest, like I am.

If you would like to read my summer magazine, or order one of my eleven books, call my secretary at 417-777- 5227. Or you can email me at You can see a photo of me and Hillary Clinton by getting on my Facebook page. See if I don’t look a little bit like Teddy Roosevelt back then.