My Latest Letter to President Trump

April 15, 2020

Dear President Trump,

It’s a shame you didn’t grow up in Frankfort, Indiana. For one thing, you would have been taught how to write your signature in a legible fashion.

What’s with that mess you scrawl on documents? The three peaks and stuff all crunched together? Are the peaks your attempt at drawing a picture of a big bridge and the crunched up stuff perhaps undocumented immigrants crowded together underneath it?

Mr. McKibben would not have stood for that. He taught penmanship. He was patient but firm. You had to write your name so people could read it. He once told me I had a very good lower case “l,” nice and straight. Readable, legible.

Like you, Mr. McKibben had challenges of the hair. He took those challenges like a man. He wore a wig. He didn’t spend 47 minutes and four pounds of grease, doing a silly comb-over. Somedays the wig he had on was a little different color than the day before. As someone who has changing hair colors, you ought to identify with that.

Mr. Waddell would have taught you what you needed to know about the U.S. Constitution. Maybe those fine points about how we don’t have a king with “total” authority. He might have also pointed out there are three equal branches of government and would have made sure you understood one of those branches was not Wall Street.

Mr. Waddell was a coach and part of his class time focused on upcoming basketball games. He would have set a good example for you on race relations. In 1954 a new black kid had arrived at Frankfort High School and went out for the basketball team. Coach Waddell told my class of Social Studies that he planned to start the five best players. He didn’t care who they were. Again, this was in 1954 in a small (15,000) Indiana town. Mr. Waddell didn’t have to do that or say that. As it turned out, the new kid was on the starting five and deserved to be.

Had you gone to Frankfort High, other students would certainly have seen you more than once being marched down the hall with Mr. Belcher’s stub of a finger in your ear. (The stub was still attached to Mr. Belcher’s hand.) He did this at times because of smartass comments by teenage boys, other times it was just good-natured horseplay with both Mr. Belcher and the boy enjoying themselves.

Students at Frankfort High in the 1950s had fun in school and learned things at the same time. We laughed and clowned around but also studied. You don’t seem big on either laughing or studying.

One member of the class of 1955 became president of the University of Nebraska, a real university where there were real classes, real teachers. How about that? Another classmate went to the Air Force Academy and retired as a general.

I’d send you my 1955 yearbook to sign if you promised to write like a normal person.


Larry McCoy

Class Clown FHS class of ‘55



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Larry McCoy

Larry McCoy

Retired journalist, posts essays at, a new book, “Grandma Told Me To Never Believe Anything Grandpa Says,” is now available at book sellers