First Ladies: Why stop at No. 44?

Published 9:36 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

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By Betty Etchison West
For the Enterprise

I have been asked why I did not include Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Biden in the series of articles about First Ladies.
The answer is quite simple. I did not have enough material about the two last first ladies to do an article and I am too darn old to go the library, etc. to find materials. I had many materials here about the other first ladies but not about Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Biden.
Also, I have not visited a site connected to either of these women—I have visited 75 places connected to the first 43 presidents and their wives. At each place I gathered an abundance of material about the president and his wife.
There is material on the internet, but I like to read a number of articles before I write about a person or place. I just didn’t have enough material on Mrs. Trump or Mrs. Biden.
I did find one paragraph about Melania Trump which is a fairly good summary of her life and I will include it here. This was found in a booklet titled, “Life: First Ladies: Portraits of Grace and Leadership,” which was published before Mr. Trump became president.
The following is the paragraph simply titled “Melania Trump:” “The incoming First Lady was born in the riverbank town of Novo Mesta, Slovenia. The former Melania Knauss came to the U.S. to work as a model in 1996 and became a U.S. citizen in 2006.She is the only First Lady to be born outside the United States—besides Louisa Adams who was born in England in 1775, before America existed. Melania and the President-elect Donald Trump have one child together, 11-year-old Barron. Melania has declared cyberbullying to be an issue to which she wishes to devote herself. ‘Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough,’ she said, ‘especially to children and teenagers. It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy in mocked, bullied and attacked’.”
I have never written about the president or the wife of the president while that person is still in office. Therefore I am not going to write about Mrs. Biden.
If I do another series of articles, it will be about places connected to the first 43 presidents which I have visited. I visited the first site in 1950, so you see this has been a life-long quest.
If I do a series it will include bits of information about the president and first lady connected to each site. I have five huge scrapbooks which will provide material as well as a number of books and other materials.
I have not visited a site connected to Mr. Obama, Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden and I doubt I will ever be able to do that. I am 89 years old and my recliner is more inviting now than making another trip.