Saturday, February 23, 2008

I still get a thrill when one of my children answers the phone and says, "Mom, President Roosevelt is on the phone for you!"

Usually he is in Long Island...Oyster Bay...when he or near his beloved Sagamore HIll, Teddy Roosevelt's home until he died in 1919.

But, I swear, if you meet James Foote, you'll question history or your sanity.

We were fortunate enough to be invited for an amazing week-end with "President Roosevelt" in Greensboro, North Carolina while we were house guests of one of our all-time favorite families (who shall remain anonymous because they don't like any more attention than they already naturally garner). Dinners were fascinating. Children and adults alike were rapt in every word the President uttered.

James Foote is a man who has spent his adult life immersing himself in learning every single, minute detail about our 28th President of United States of America who coined the phrase "speak softly but carry a big stick."

Of course Mr. Foote looks like Teddy, but his mannerisms, the intonation of his voice, the way he carries his body and even his haircut is so smack-on, that it will give a fan of Teddy pause.

The coolest thing about Mr. Foote is that when he is in character and costume, he speaks with the exact words -- going on for minutes at a time -- that Roosevelt actually spoke. It's amazing how creatively Mr. Foote can answer just about any question using Roosevelt's own published words.

Mr. Foote travels more than 20,000 miles a year across the United States as President Roosevelt, he is invited to the White House for special occasions, has been on Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, and he meets Presidents and President-wanna-bes (including a batch of Presidential candidates from this election cycle)on their turf -- or his -- which is Sagamore Hills.

Mr. Foote takes great joy (you can just tell) in bringing history together for regular folks -- especially school children. If you have a special event or want a living-history opportunity available to young people you know, click here to contact James Foote and for booking information...this is a big anniversary year for him, so he'll get booked quickly.

Need a little review of the Bull-Moose candidate?...

"Teddy Roosevelt was a weak, asthmatic child who grew up to be one of the most robust and ambitious U.S. presidents ever. A former New York City police commissioner, author, and hero of the Spanish-American War, he reluctantly accepted an offer to become William McKinley's vice president upon McKinley's re-election in 1900. When McKinley was assassinated in 1901, Roosevelt became the youngest man ever to become president. He served two terms, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905, and strengthened the executive branch through his progressive agenda and the sheer force of his personality. He is often remembered for his policy pronouncement, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." He was succeeded in 1909 by William Howard Taft.

Roosevelt was the first president to visit a foreign country, Panama, in 1906... He was the 26th U.S. president... The Rough Riders were an all-volunteer cavalry regiment organized by Roosevelt and Leonard Wood in 1898; on July 1 of that year he led the Rough Riders on successful charges up Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights (better known as San Juan Hill) near Santiago, Cuba, thus cementing his fame in America," according to

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