April 13, 1936 - Time Magazine - National Affairs - The Presidency, Barracuda Words

From the Coast Guard cutter Potomac somewhere in the Bahamas last week, President Roosevelt dispatched two invitations by wireless. One went to the Hon. Sir Bede (pronounced Beedy) Clifford, His Majesty's Governor and Commander-in-Chief at Nassau, to have lunch next day aboard the Potomac. The other went to the White House staff and correspondents twiddling their thumbs in Miami. Would they like to see what President Roosevelt looked like after a week at sea?

Next forenoon when the Potomac steamed into Nassau Harbor escorted by the destroyers Monoghan and Dale, Franklin Roosevelt had doffed his seagoing shorts and sweat shirt, had decorously attired himself in slacks and a gabardine sport coat to receive his guests. When press and secretaries soared in aboard a Pan-American plane, they found Franklin Roosevelt on the quarter-deck of the Potomac entertaining his guests, the Governor General and Lady Clifford (née Gundry of Cleveland); Sir George Johnson, President of the Bahamian Legislative Council; U.S. Consul Frank A. Henry & Wife.

A week at sea had tanned the President as brown as seaweed and wiped the wrinkles of fatigue from his face. Seated beside a card table spread with a buffet lunch, he was once more Roosevelt the Charming, swift with comebacks, "wowing" his audience with retorts to every question. Had he fulfilled his desire of catching a "denzin of the deep?" No, indeed, but he had caught a fish he did not recognize and was taking it back on ice to have the Smithsonian Institution tell him what it was. Where would the President cruise next? Off Tongue-of-Ocean (A coral reef surrounding an ocean depth of some 30,000 feet.). To fish for sharp campaign words? "Barracuda words," retorted the President. At this capital reply, Sir Bede was stitched with laughter.

Having thus satisfied their curiosity, the correspondents explored the comfortable Potomac, discovered a small elevator concealed in the smokestack. This device was installed on short order by Sedgwick Machine Works of Poughkeepsie so that the President can go below decks if he wishes. Then the press flew back to Miami taking with them Uncle Frederick A. Delano and leaving the President to voyage to the fishing grounds recommended by Sir Bede.

So much fun was Franklin Roosevelt having that he scrawled his signature on a bill to extend for one year the Federal Housing Administration's power to insure remodeling loans and went right on with his fishing, postponing his return to shore until the middle of this week.

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