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Bolling Byrd Clarke on: Her Father's Return
Bolling Byrd Clarke When he finally did get back, I remember him coming to the Navy Yard being welcomed there by President Roosevelt, which was a very unprecedented thing for a President to do. And, I remember when Dad was piped down the ship when it finally arrived and here was a man whom I had last seen straight-backed black haired man and here he was, coming down the gang plank, being whistled down, holding on to both sides of it, with some of his hair having turned gray and all I wanted to do was to just run out to him and just through my arms around him and tell him how much I loved him and how happy I was to see him. But, the part of the Navy Yard where we were, it was a great big square and Roosevelt and the big VIP's and the bands and flags were in the center and all around the perimeter were the crowds behind ropes and I can remember mother putting a restraining hand on my shoulder feeling that I wanted to run out there and to see Dad and I stopped and Dad went up and shook the President's hand. The President gave a speech, Dad gave a speech, VIP's gave speeches, flags waved, drums rolled and I didn't hear a thing. All I wanted to do was to see to see my Dad and finally we went to the White House, had tea with the President and Eleanor and even then I couldn't see my Dad because he was in conversation with Roosevelt. And, I can remember ah Eleanor who was such a beautiful, lovely woman, came to me and she understood what I was going through and put her arms around my shoulder and said, don't worry Bolling, your Dad will be with you soon in your hotel.

After all the speeches were over, the crowds broke through the ropes and I can remember that I just rushed right through and up to Dad and he turned to me and he said, not here dear, later when we're alone and I was crushed. Now Dad did not mean to be cruel but he was raised at a time when you didn't express outwardly love or pain and he, mother too. You kept that to yourself. He may have been crying inside as much as I was but you didn't do that in public.


Q: So, what was it like when you finally did get a chance to see him alone, what happened.

BBC: It was wonderful. We finally, we were alone in the hotel room and I can remember Dad sitting in his chair and all of us were crowding around him and wanting to hug him and sit on his lap talking and just sharing feelings.

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