If you ever find yourself hereabouts in upstate New York, try to visit Springwood, President Franklin Roosevelt’s family home in Hyde Park. Seeing it is like stepping back into the America of the first half of the 20th century. Having been there several times, I always smile when I pull into the lot and realize again that he lived on what is today non-descript Route 9 – although well back at the end of a massive “driveway.”
Less well-known, his wife Eleanor’s Val-Kill. Springwood was her mother-in-law’s home, so her having her own personal retreat was no shock. It’s a drive over – it’s not on the Springwood estate – but it’s not far away and, although naturally much smaller than Springwood, really shouldn’t be missed. It’s a modest house any of us could imagine living in ourselves.
Since visiting it a couple of years back, I had been meaning to buy a biography of her. (I was also the only man on our house tour of about a dozen – including the guide – but we’ll leave that there.) I’d thought Amazon for Christmas would do. I added one to my “Wish List.”
How Amazon has changed the book world. You may recall I had had a bit of a laugh when I had accidentally noticed who Amazon identifies as among my own novels’ literary “competition.” Here, I noticed what others who’d bought that same Eleanor Roosevelt biography had also purchased:
Hmm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Others of the Roosevelts. F.D.R. and Churchill.
Sam Seaborn’s Rob Lowe’s autobiography, of course! Also, notice the huge number of reviews his has received compared to the others! 🙂