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TRUMPED BY THE DONALD

Like anyone else, I knew who Donald Trump was, but hardly gave him a second thought. I neither liked nor dis-liked the man until his birther nonsense raised my ire.

My grandson received a scholarship to a private prep school in Calabasas, California, attended mostly by offspring of the aristocracy of the San Fernando Valley. Unbeknownst to me, Tiffany Trump was in his graduating class. We got to his graduation ceremony early and were seated near the front of the outdoor venue. About twenty minutes after our arrival, we saw a familiar figure in a blue suit with a red tie come into view, accompanied by his bodyguard. This was before Trump's presidential run and right smack dab in the center of his birther controversy. In the worst way, I wanted to go up and ask him for his birth certificate, especially when I saw that smug look on his face. I had my opportunity, because he sat in the chair directly in front of me. He's a big man and with that hair, I couldn't see the stage, which was no big deal since graduations are boring affairs. People are there only for that one moment when their loved one crosses the stage to receive a diploma.

There was still a good half hour before the ceremony was to start, so I had plenty of time to approach this celebrity. I had second thoughts. I saw in my mind his bodyguard accosting me and having me thrown out of the proceedings. I still regret not playing my little joke on him, especially after his disastrous presidency. I did have plenty of time to observe our forty-fifth president. Whenever I saw his face, it had a permanent scowl on it. He continually fidgeted in his seat and you could tell he was only here out of obligation. So were many others for that matter. When he first sat down, he was joined briefly by his second wife, who gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, exchanged a few pleasantries, then left for greener pastures. Many in attendance approached him to shake his hand. After each one did, his bodyguard handed him a handy wipe, so he could wipe away the germs of a lower species. As president, he was forced to give up this habit.

I'm afraid I came away from the ceremony with a negative impression of our future leader. I did not see the proud father in his greetings to his daughter. I did not see grace in his greetings of the fans who approached him. I did not see a strong figure destined to lead the free world. I saw someone accustomed to adulation looking down on the hoi polloi surrounding his regal presence, wishing he could return to more familiar and comforting surroundings.

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