Thursday, November 14, 2013

Peter and Jennie Bilezikian, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, John Travolta and Marash Girl

Standing in the family living room and surveying Claflin Park, the cliffs and the meadow directly across the street from the family home, Peter of Marash would say, "I wouldn't go across the street to see the President of the United States."  His wife, Jennie (her ancestors from Aintep) would reply, "I would!"  Of course, Peter didn't have to go across the street to shake the hands of the President of the United States.  Calvin Coolidge, the then President of the United States, and gone across the country and shaken hands with 12 year old Peter at a service in Peter's congregational church in Brighton. (See It was with that philosophical mix that Marash Girl approached the world.  So when she had the opportunity to shake hands with President Ronald Reagan at a fundraiser in Washington, DC, she was thinking, "I wouldn't go across the room to shake hands with the President of the United States!"  That is, until she remembered her mother's response: "I would!"  And so for her mother, Marash Girl walked across the room, and reached her hand over the crowds towards the outstretched hand of Ronald Reagan, the then President of the United States.  He reached over the crowds, grasped Marash Girl's hand, looked in her eyes, and for less than one second, made Marash Girl feel as if she was the only person in the room, standing there, clasping hands with the President of the United States.

And so it was that many years later, not in Washington, DC, but in Nonantum, Newton, Massachusetts, that Marash Girl had the courage to call out to John Travolta, and John Travolta dutifully walked over to Marash Girl, put his arm around her, and posed for the photographer with Marash Girl.  (See yesterday's blog post.) But John Travolta, kind as he was, was not "there" with Marash Girl; unlike Ronald Reagan, John Travolta was already on stage, waiting to deliver his next lines. . . But then John Travolta was not attending his own fund raiser, nor is he President of the United States . . . yet!


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