Nerd Trips may now be helping me with the crossword puzzle! Yesterday’s (1/17) New York Times crossword featured the following clue: “President who was once New York’s governor.” Unfortunately, we have not had a major Nerd Trip to see places associated with this man, so I didn’t get it right away. But, I knew the puzzle had a Sesame Street theme, so with the letters I had, I was able to fill in “Grover Cleveland.”
This prompted me to look up Grover Cleveland in the presidents’ guide. There are definitely some locations we need to visit!
However, I had forgotten that we had a brief Cleveland encounter in September 2011 when we had a “Bonus Nerd Trip” to Princeton. (My brother called it a “hijacked family trip”). We saw Grover Cleveland’s grave in Princeton Cemetery, but I haven’t written up that trip yet* (it involves the first ever “aborted Nerd Trip.”) In Princeton Cemetery, we had a bonus within the Bonus Nerd Trip – discovering some other famous folks buried there, including Aaron Burr!
I have no idea why there are beads draped across the markers of President Cleveland and some of his family members. I tried looking it up on the Internet, but my brief searching did not uncover anything. I will e-mail the cemetery director to see if we can get an answer.
Looking up President Cleveland in some of my reference books, here are a few facts about our 22nd and 24th president (the only president elected to two non-consecutive terms):
-Before he was president, Cleveland worked as a clerk, a teacher and a lawyer
-His mother was born in Baltimore
-His first name is actually Stephen
-During his first term, the United States accepted the Statue of Liberty from France (1886)
-He vetoed more than 400 bills in his first term
-He had the nickname of “Grover the Good”
-He was the only president to be married in the White House
(As an aside, my cat Gus was almost named Grover as I got him when I was living in Cleveland. Also, Mike Hargrove was managing the Indians at that time and his nickname was Grover. I also liked Grover from Sesame Street. However, Gus was named after a football player, at the urging of my father, but that’s a different story)
Just a heads up, tomorrow (1/19) is big day in Baltimore, the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe. For decades, the mysterious Poe toaster brought a rose and some cognac to Poe’s grave at Westminster Hall, which is very near my office. But, for the past few years, the Poe toaster has been a no-show. I will let you know tomorrow if he shows up. It may also be a good opportunity to revisit the Mini Nerd Trip to the Poe House in Baltimore, which is still under threat of closing due to lack of funding. Here’s a link to a Baltimore Sun article about the possible visit of the Poe Toaster tomorrow: https://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts/bs-ae-poe-0118-20120118,0,3331884.story
*P.S. Since I wrote this original post, I have written about our Nerd Trip to Princeton Cemetery. Here’s a link: https://bit.ly/1zVs7iO