Late last year I posted about my great-great grandfather (pictured above), Will H. Chandlee (Ana) : illustrator, writer, artist, magician (or illusionist, especially if you’re an Arrested Development devotee).
Recent communications with some Chandlee relatives and some time on my hands has had me thinking about this figure of some ancestral lore. Today, looking through some of his writings, I found this small sample, below, surely a prelude of sorts to a story meant to drum up excitement for his Lumen-X illusion display.
Yet somehow, though it was most likely written in mid-20th century or earlier, it seems to have a fable-like parallel to today’s President and the press’ characteristic relationship with him in their coverage of terrorism, the Iraq “war” and, well, most things really:
One would say, off-hand, that it would be impossible for The President of the United States to appear unobserved from a brilliantly-lighted room while surrounded by a goodly company of his friends and fellow citizens. It did happen however, but where he had gone and why, and the time and manner of his departure were deep mystery not only to his personal atendante [sic] and a detail of secret service operatives, but to the unusual number of reporters in attendance; these “blood-hounds of the press” who are popularly supposed to “see all and know all.”
By Will H. Chandlee (1865-1954)
(no date, no title, handwritten on lined, loose leaf)
A later discovery of a typed sheet of this beginning and more, with many pieces missing, reveals that the President in question is Teddy Roosevelt, who during a gala event requested an audience with Mr. Chandlee to express his interest in acquiring the original copy of a cartoon Ana had drawn depicting him “holding an inverted cocktail glass, with the line ‘Another One Downed’; referring what I believe was some senate measure he had railed against.” The press and everyone else were unaware of this slip out of sight to talk with Ana because, as he put it, “I doubt that at the moment a majority of those present had at the time other than a hazy idea of their own where-abouts.”
If find this and other references to alcohol intake amusing in light of the picture above, wine not only in hand but an integral part of the pose.
More on discoveries of Ana’s writing later, perhaps his fox and hen fable.