|Charlie Miner (Seated) and L to R: Alice Tepper |
Marlin, Suzanne Hyatt, John Tepper Marlin and
Charmaine Caldwell. We were celebrating John's
75th birthday and Charlie's 95th.
Charlie, as he calls himself (his cousins have called him Chas, pronounced Chaz), is one of three surviving grandsons of FDR's first Treasury Secretary, William H. Woodin.
Charlie's mother Mary was the eldest daughter of Will and Nan Woodin. Mary married Charlie Miner Sr.
FDR was able to devote the time to perfecting his first Fireside Chat because he delegated the calming of the panicked financial markets entirely to Will Woodin, an unjustly forgotten Republican member (one of three recruited by FDR from the GOP) of FDR's first Cabinet.
Joining us at lunch were Charlie's daughter Charmaine Caldwell and his niece Suzanne Hyatt.
I picked up some new stories from Charlie about his life. His late wife Mary Mae (Maisie) was from the south. He had previously told me that marrying her opened up to him a part of America with which he was unfamiliar, and which he came to know more about, appreciate and love. He gave some examples and ended, as he often does, with some dry humor:
We had a man in East Hampton named George who would take care of things for us. When we had a problem, Maisie would say: "Let George do it."Besides the first FDR Fireside Chat, we were celebrating retrospectively Charlie's 95th birthday in December and John's 75th birthday earlier in March.
Back then, the main job of girls in the south was to look pretty... nice hats, you know. We played tennis but she was more of a spectator at sports. When I stopped playing tennis I started playing golf more.
Maisie is buried in the John's Island cemetery. It's on the river side. I asked them whether I could get a few more spots in the cemetery and they said I couldn't get as many as I wanted. I guess people are dying to get in.