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The Doctor, Dave, and Mr. Tommy

July 12, 2017

Eventually Dave became a real estate broker, but during his early years he was the “colored” butler of a Southern family.  Even after the Doctor and his wife had passed away, Dave continued to follow their son’s career with great interest.  After all, Dave had made a promise to the Doctor.

It happened when the Doctor was in his late seventies.  His son was pursuing a successful academic career up North, and he had taken his father into his home, but the Doctor was restless.  He often traveled south, sometimes to visit his wife’s grave, but more frequently to visit the town where he would have access to Dave.

“Mr. Tommy is a smart man, Dave!”

Dave tacitly agreed.

“Dave, he’s one of the smartest men in this country.”

Dave was in obvious agreement.

“Dave, come here.  Let me tell you something.”

Dave came closer.

“One of these days Mr. Tommy will be a candidate for President of the United States!  I won’t be here, Dave, but you will.  Are you still voting?”

Remarkably, despite Jim Crow, Dave was one of the few blacks of his day who had not been disenfranchised.

“Dave, promise me this:  When I’m gone and Mr. Tommy is running for President, you will go down to the polls and put in my vote – not yours, Dave, but mine – mine!”

On November 5, 1912 Dave Bryant kept his promise to the Rev. Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson.  Tommy won that election, defeating two men who had already served as President.  We remember Tommy as President Woodrow Wilson.

By the way, the Doctor, who died in 1903, predicted his son’s Presidential candidacy more than a dozen years before it happened.


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