Our 2021 Road Trip #18: More American Presidents Cornered

Bill Clinton statue!

Something about a Bill Clinton statue in front of a pawn shop feels just right.

Our previous photo gallery featured statues bearing likenesses of twenty Presidents of the United States of America, highlights from the City of Presidents art-walk around downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. Now we present the rest of them because YOU, the viewers, demanded it!

Wait, no, you didn’t. But I don’t feel like relegating 43 American Presidents to the outtake pile, and Anne co-wrote a joke I really want to see in print. So here we go again!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. We were each raised in a household that couldn’t afford annual out-of-state family vacations. We’re geeks more accustomed to vicarious life through the windows of pop culture than through in-person adventures. Eventually we tired of some of our self-imposed limitations and figured out how to leave the comforts of home for the chance to see creative, exciting, breathtaking, outlandish, and/or bewildering new sights in states beyond our own, from the horizons of nature to the limits of imagination, from history’s greatest hits to humanity’s deepest regrets and the sometimes quotidian, sometimes quirky stopovers in between.

We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

Technically not even 2020 stopped us. We played by the new rules of the interim normal and wandered Indiana in multiple directions as safely as we could. This year the long-awaited vaccines arrived. For 2021 we agreed we had to go big. Our new primary objective was Yellowstone National Park, 1500 miles from Indy…

One value-added bonus in completing the collection: glimpses of Rapid City itself as Easter eggs in each shot. We’ve visited dozens of cities over the past 22 years, not all of them equally. As I’m aging and regretting some past superficial treatments, it’s nice to spend a bit more time in some locations, walking around their environs and getting a more tactile feel for them. Many cities and towns deserve to be more than a drive-thru for hurrying tourists.

James Monroe statue!

James Monroe prepares for his big tap-dance number.

John Quincy Adams statue!

John Quincy Adams, from the very first among the few Presidential “dynasties” we’ve had to date, for what theirs was worth.

John Adams statue!

His father John Adams, not quite the Paul Giamatti profile etched into my mind by HBO.

George H.W.Bush statue!

George H.W. Bush leaning on a globe like he leaned on Reagan’s approval ratings for support.

Herbert Hoover statue!

Herbert Hoover, whom we were JUST talking about the other day.

Calvin Coolidge statue!

Calvin Coolidge shortly before he rode off into the sunset of history.

Chester A. Arthur statue!

Chester A. Arthur, best known to today’s students as the guy who had a school named after him in Die Hard with a Vengeance.

Ulysses S. Grant statue!

Ulysses S. Grant, first to the buzzer in an 1870s game show.

James K Polk statue!

James K. Polk comes with his own barrel full of Tennessee moonshine.

William McKinley statue!

William McKinley on the phone with his agent, demanding to know why he isn’t a household name today.

Grover Cleveland statue!

Grover Cleveland, the guy with non-consecutive terms who ruined our historical numbering so we’ve had 45 Presidencies but only 44 actual Presidents. History math is hard.

James Garfield statue!

Imagine a timeline in which Orson Welles starred in a James Garfield biopic instead of those crappy wine commercials.

Dwight Eisenhower statue!

Dwight Eisenhower reminds me it’s been years since I’ve seen any live human in perfectly ironed pants.

Andrew Johnson statue!

An alt-timeline Andrew Johnson receives a fan letter.

James Madison statue!

Maybe the real James Madison was an okay guy, but he was no Okieriete Onaodowan.

Millard Fillmore statue!

“Good evening, I’m Millard Fillmore and thanks for watching Buffalo Today.”

Woodrow Wilson statue!

Do you dare gaze into the twin abysses of the eyes of Woodrow Wilson?

Warren Harding statue!

Warren Harding is accompanied by Laddie Boy. his Airedale terrier, rather than having a bucket-sized teapot dumped over his head.

Franklin Pierce statue!

Franklin Pierce, the fashion plate all Dickens characters would later emulate.

Martin Van Buren statue!

Martin Van Buren, waiting for Godot.

William Howard Taft statue!

Holding a baseball behind his back, William Howard Taft’s statue winds up for a pitch, as the first President ever to open a Major League Baseball season thusly. This caption has been MCC’s annual sports content.

Lyndon B Johnson statue!

Anne decided she wanted a photo with one statue, not really caring which, and chose the President nearest our parking space. That’s the full, true story behind our Lyndon B. Johnson statue photo.

To be continued!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my faint signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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