When I became the First Vice-President of California Council for the Social Studies, my next up  for that position, and friend, said, “Marsha, now you are going to have to start looking and acting PRESIDENTIAL.

“You don’t think I’m Presidential?”

“No, but you will be.”

Is Avi Presidential?”



“I don’t know, he just is.”

“Is Brent Presidential?”

“Yes, he’s getting that way.”

“Why, What makes him Presidential?”

“I don’t know, he just is.  A President walks slowly.”

I’m in trouble, I’m thinking to myself as I walk SLOWLY down the wooden stairs GRASPING the handrail with BOTH hands, trying not to wake anyone in Avi’s house at 6:00 in the morning as I head down to the basement to go quietly to the bathroom.  I knew I should have taken off the thick padded black socks I had borrowed to keep my feet warm in the 60 degree night and never removed all night long – BEFORE attempting my QUIET descent.  Do Presidents polish their staircases every DAY?  Is that what makes them Presidential?

“I heard you BUMP, but then I didn’t hear any thing else, so I figured you were all right,” Avi told me later.  Do Presidents just ASSUME things are going to be OK?

By 7:00 I was ready to go out and explore.  As I left, I took off my socks, so my feet would stick to the stairs as I carried all my bags down to the car.  No one woke.  I shut the door behind me, and it was LOCKED.  No problem.  I had my keys, my cell phone, and money. I put them all in my pants pocket, slung my camera with the new lens over my shoulder, and headed off to take pictures of Beautiful Berkeley.

I started by taking a “record shot” of Avi’s house.  Then I walked north, making careful mental notes of what direction I was going, since my internal compass was telling me that I was going south, or west – anything but north.

There are about 50 houses like Avi’s Berkeley Bungalow in a two mile area, but this was not one of them.

This one looked straight from the 1970s.

But this one, nestled behind a small cottage, looked like the start of another monster movie.  I was intrigued.  So I moved in for the kill.  I mean SHOT.

So full frontal view.  OK I couldn’t stand far enough away to get the whole house in one picture, for several reasons, not the least being TREES.

After that I was ready for coffee.  I got back on my beaten path because by this time I had taken too many turns, and I lost track of my self-talk directions.  I headed towards a stop light because I figured where there were lights, there would be traffic, and where there was traffic, there would be coffee shops.  I was right.  I reached into my pocket to call my husband, and them moved on about a block, and all of a sudden, there was a coffee shop.  A couple went in ahead of me laughing and being all romantic.  I fished around in my pocket for my $20 bill, and NOTHING!  I thought, “That couple found my $20, and are laughing about their good fortune, and I’m locked out of the house with NO COFFEE!  I thought about chasing them down as they crossed the street out of my comfortable shouting to strangers, “Bring back my money,” distance.  So I said nothing.  I figured if they did find the $20, they weren’t going to give it back anyway.

I retraced my steps, and when I came to the middle of the street a block away, there was my folded $20 bill right where I had left it.  I bought my coffee, and headed back to Avi’s.  No one was up.  I walked some more.

Nothing could compare to the MONSTER house, but there were some good houses.  This was similar to Avi’s and available.  I didn’t bother to look at the price.

This one is identical to Avi’s, except for the customization mostly in the landscaping.

By 9:00 people were arriving for the meeting and the house was unlocked.

At lunch I got my camera out to take one last record shot before I left, I checked all my  buttons and made sure the camera was on, and as I headed out the patio door, I forgot that I had shut the screen door.  You know the rest of that story.

So what do YOU think?  Am I Presidential YET???

9 responses to “On Being Presidential”

  1. Sonia Chica Avatar
    Sonia Chica

    Marchita, you are so entertaining and a great photographer! only thing, I was hoping to see the “other 50 Avi’s house Look-A-Likes” and the ones you showed were completely different, hummmmmmmmm…tooo funny! thanks for the chuckles and you are a great Blogger. You were right, I feel better since you also Locked yourself out! 🙂


    1. tchistorygal Avatar

      Now we need to blog your story. We don’t need to use names, but it’s a great story!!!


  2. smilingtoad Avatar

    A president walks slowly, like Gerald Ford?? But he kept falling…


    1. tchistorygal Avatar

      Just call me Gerald!


      1. smilingtoad Avatar

        I am SO glad to have found your blog…moments like these keep me roaring all week!!


          1. smilingtoad Avatar

            Grinning away like mad.


  3. smilingtoad Avatar

    “I forgot that I had shut the screen door. You know the rest of that story.” ME!

    I glanced at this earlier and went, “OOO I’m going to check this out later, lovely photos!” and then I read it and roared. This is just too groovy. I love it!!

    I often love to get on the road bike with my camera (never dare shoot while riding, what a disaster that would be), and ride all around the neighbourhoods and take photos of different houses. You have me all inspired now to post a few. This was fascinating! I just LOVE these shots, and your story is just fantastic. That bit with the monster house and going in for the kill- raucous laughter ensued. Oh I just love your blog!

    I felt upon the brink of tragedy when you were unable to get your coffee that broke my heart. It was too funny the bit with the couple, and I felt tremendously relieved when you found the twenty and were able to get the coffee. That wrapped it all up for me as the happy conclusion.

    And then the screen door…

    Love this. Fantastic entry! Wonderful shots!!! You inspire me!

    -Autumn Jade


    1. tchistorygal Avatar

      Thanks, it was pretty funny living through it all, and I even forgot to tell the part about forgetting to pack my pjs and having to sleep in my clothes! I’m SO Presidential!!!


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