The Rough Rider Storms the Capitol igi
A little later in May of that same year, 1899, he writes me in patient answer to various questions: "In reference to my attitude on the bills that have not passed, there are hundreds of people to whom, if I had time, I should explain my attitude, but I have not the time. I have the gravest kind of doubts, for instance, as to the advantages to the State of our High School system, as at present carried out. . . . I strongly believe that there has been a tendency amongst some of the best educators recently to divert from mechanical trades, people who ought, for their own sake, to keep in at the mechanical trades." He was always so willing to answer my questions, even when pressed by many harassing affairs.
From Oyster Bay, on July 17, 1899, he writes as one freed temporarily from the cares of state, and speaking of my eldest boy, who was then sixteen, he says: "I am afraid it is dull here for Teddy. You see, we have no one here quite his age and he has passed the time when such a simple pleasure as a scramble dawn Cooper's Bluff appears enthralling, although I take him down it nevertheless. He is a very fine fellow.... I have been giving him information about his hunting trip." Again the painstaking effort to be helpful to me and mine, and, indeed, all those who needed his help or advice.
On December 18, having returned to Albany, he plans a hurried trip to New York, and writes characteristically: "On Thursday, December 21st, may I have dinner at seven o'clock? If you are going out, do remember, that seriously, I am quite as happy with bread and milk as with anything else. Ever yours, Theodore Roosevelt." What could be more unusual than the governor of New York State being "quite as happy with bread and milk as with anything else" ! And I really think he was rather happier with bread and milk than with anything else, much to the occasional discomfort of the fastidious companions who sometimes ran across his rather primitive path.
My last letter of that year, and, indeed, of the period during which he was governor, was late in December, 1899, and it ran