Many of my friends think that Hiram Ulysses Grant had no redeeming qualities. I beg to differ. Though I grew up believing Grant to be an inept, immoral, drunkard (this was the South, remember), as I studied the Civil War I still believed he had no redeeming qualities.
But then I visited his home near St. Louis, or rather the family home of his wife, Julia Dent.
Julia came from a prosperous and influential and rather "Southern" family. She was also cross-eyed. (Do you remember when kids wore patches to make their "lazy eye" stronger? We never see cross-eyed people any more. )
Grant, then Ulysses Simpson Grant because of a registration mistake at West Point, fell deeply in love with her. Even though totally devoted to the man's daugher, Grant encountered endless humiliation from his father-in-law and put up with so much crap because he loved that woman so profoundly.
The victor at Appomattox, the president of the United States, at one time Grant was the most beloved figure in America. When he was president, his father-in-law sat on the porch and entertained guests with the feats of Robert E. Lee. Grant should have shoved him under a passing coach, but no, he tolerated the old man because he loved Julia so dearly.
What a lucky woman to find a man whose deeds matched his actions, at least when it came to her.
P. S.--I have friends on the other side of the Mason-Dixon line who not only find redeeming qualities in the 18th president, but also revere him. We call them "Yankees."
While wandering in the wilds of the West yesterday, Michelle Martin snapped this photo of the wild weather. Whoa, Nellie!