Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy P-Day, Mr. James K. Polk

I didn't even realize it was Presidents' Day until this evening, when I went to the mailbox and saw no bubblers waiting for me. Really, this happens many days, and those days are always disappointing--a day without baseball card-related mail is a sad day. But no bubblers, no nothing. What gives?

How could I have forgotten this important day? To make amends, I'm giving a shout-out to my favorite president--as far as collecting and historical curiosity goes:

 James K. Polk was a badass, and UD did such a great job with this set. This is one of those cards that sits on my bookshelves and makes me a little happier every day. Polk reminds me to grab on tight to my manifest destiny. Polk completely fascinates me, and I can't exactly explain why. I'm not a huge history buff. I once tried to explain my interest with early and lesser-known presidents to a friend of mine: I think about them like little novelty figurines that you buy for a quarter out of a toy machine, and they pop out the slot in those plastic bubbles, and then you get Taft waving his plastic arm at you from a sudsy bathtub, for instance. Does this metaphor explain my fascination or more explain some peculiar facet of my disturbed pysche?

Why was Polk such a badass? He bought up a huge part of the land we now call America during his presidency, for one. My favorite Polk fact is that he served for only one term, and that was his plan and platform all along. He vowed to get it all done in four years, and he did so much in that time. What kind of politician has that kind of gumption these days? Well, it's a different climate now, but still Polk is awesome, and They Might Be Giants wrote a song about him:

So hail to the Polk today. And if any of you have any more Polk cards besides the ones here, I'd love to trade for them.

PS: I try to keep this part of my life separate from the blog--I don't want to bore you guys--but if any one's interested, I have a semi-historical and completely ridiculous story featuring James K. Polk that was published at the literary magazine Cream City Review. You would have to order a copy to read it.

If you're really, really interested, an electronic version of this story could probably find its way to your inbox.


  1. Did you know that he did not allow dancing or music during he tenure in office? I guess that's how he got so much accomplished.

  2. lol on ryan.

    you're right, hoff. this post needed to be read.
    but, i'm not so sure that song needed to be heard. >.<