Teddy Roosevelt visits Walpole Library

Roosevelt has an audience member swear him in as President.

By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Contributor

Walpole residents were having a bully good time as they met the 26th President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt, at the Walpole Library last Wednesday night.

“Hail to the Chief” played and the audience stood up to greet Teddy Roosevelt, portrayed by actor Ted Zalewski, as he shook hands and made a presidential entrance.

Zalewski’s performance as Roosevelt was from the view of Roosevelt in his final days as President of the United States of America. He told stories about Roosevelt’s youth, during which time he suffered from asthma and was a prodigious reader of different stories of great adventurers, such as Daniel Boone.

“As President of the United States, I have been guided by the philosophy that every man, woman, and child in America should have a square deal. A square deal socially, economically and politically. I am proud of our accomplishments,” The former president said with his hands raised in the air and chest held high.

‘The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.’ - Theodore Roosevelt

‘The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.’ - Theodore Roosevelt

The audience learned about the different eccentric characteristics and deeply-held values that made Roosevelt the man he was, including his deep appreciation for nature, and the fact that he is the reason that stuffed bears are now known as “Teddy bears.”

Glenn Coffman was at the library to see the program and learn about one of the most famous presidents from U.S. history.

Roosevelt was the first President to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Roosevelt was the first President to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

“He gave a personal feeling of what it was like growing up and then becoming president,” Coffman said, “I just think the library is a tremendous resource for information and these kind of programs.”

Zalewski talked about Roosevelt’s time spent attending Harvard, where he met his first wife, Alice. The impersonator talked about the great sorrow Roosevelt felt when she passed away. He also went into detail about other members of the Roosevelt family and the years Teddy spent with the Rough Riders.

The president who was known for speaking softly and carrying a big stick left with these parting words for his Walpole audience: “And to you, my fellow Americans of Walpole, Massachusetts, the charge I leave tonight is take good care of this, our country. We are not building America to last for days, but we are building America to last through the ages.”

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