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June 14, 2010 / howardmestas

SAGAMORE HILL

Teddy Roosevelt Home

 

MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT  

Today was a very happy one for me as I was able to celebrate the life of a person very dear to my heart.  Anyone who knows me personally understands that my greatest joy is spending moments of solitude, making that magical connection to the natural world.  For the past week I have been immersed in the most fascinating urban center on earth and although it has been spectacular, I have still been in touch with the natural side.  I am fascinated by the variety of trees on the east coast, even in the cities, and I am on constant lookout for living things besides humans.  Even on the busiest streets I have seen squirrels and butterflies, turtles and moths.  And the birds, so many wonderful birds! I have seen everything from pigeons to raptors, cardinals and house finches.  All of these creatures are aloof to the goings on of the hordes of humanity surrounding them.  It is springtime and they are busy finding mates, building nests and nurturing young.  It is amazing to see how many creative ways a sparrow can use a man made structure to manufacture a nest.  Wild things can make it with or without us; it’s just more fun when we choose to be partners and not just masters of the ecosystem.  All of which brings me back to Teddy Roosevelt; a man who had the foresight to fight for our natural resources while there was still something left to save.  A visionary who realized that all distant generations could experience wild creatures, only if we preserved the habitat essential to their survival.  By the turn of the 20th Century some sixty million American Bison were reduced to a herd of less than a few hundred.  In opposition to a powerful industrialist lobby, Roosevelt created the very first national park called Yellowstone.  It was the beginning a concept that should be sacred to all who love wild places.  Being Green is a popular movement, but it had a champion long ago.  Today it was an honor to pay homage to the final resting place of Teddy Roosevelt, on a hill alive with the vibrant activity of creatures in the forest.  Rest well my friend; each time I delight in the bliss of public lands, I remember you with fondness.

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5 Comments

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  1. Karin / Jun 22 2010 7:44 pm

    Hi Howard,
    I enjoyed your writing about TR and Sagamore Hill. I too, relish and enjoy being away from the concrete jungles that enmesh our lives all too frequently. After 10 days in the hustle and bustle of NYC, it was extremely peaceful to listen to the birds, leaves in the wind, and the smell of plants in bloom. I cannot imagine what our country would be like without the influence of TR and the setting up National Parks. I learned a great deal about Roosevelt that I had not known and he is now up there as one of my favorite presidents as well! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Karin

  2. evallejos / Jun 16 2010 4:19 am

    Howard I really enjoyed reading you comments about T. Roosevelt. Although I wasn’t crazy about his house and all the dead animals, I loved the setting. I, like you, love the quiet serenity of the outdoor and can hardly wait to get back to Colorado to go camping.

    • howardmestas / Jun 18 2010 8:49 pm

      So you don’t like seeing dead animals? Just kidding Eloyda, I know where you’re coming from. I am a hunter and even I didn’t like seeing all the carcasses strewn about. But then we have to realize that he did more for American wildlife than any other person in history. The great naturalist John Muir asked him, “If you love animals so much why do you keep shooting them?” I don’t know what his answer was, but it was a good question. I love the setting of his house as you did and our tour guide was one of the best we had on the trip. She was a young girl in her early twenties, but she was so good you would have thought she lived with the family. The more I learn about TR the more I like him, especially how he dealt with the death and his first wife and his mother on the same day. Like you, I can’t wait to get into the outdoors in Colorado.

  3. Howard Mestas / Jun 15 2010 12:30 am

    Wouldn’t you like to have him as president now? For that matter for the last 10 years! I think we would be a lot better off than we are now. By the way, hunters realize that if there is loss of habitat, there will be no wild game or fish. Most of the hunters I know (Texans excluded) believe in the old adage that the chase is more gratifying than the kill. Some of the best hunting seasons I have ever had were years in which I did not fill my tags.

  4. marksims / Jun 14 2010 10:36 pm

    I also agree with you about Roosevelt, but I never really gave it much thought about his great impact on the environment. Sure I knew he helped create the first National Parks, but I really liked him as the presidency suited him well. He charged ahead and outsmarted Congress and was a master at reading people and getting them to see his views.
    I also find it ironic that the hunters our usually the greatest champions of the environment.

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