FDR on his Houseboat: The Larooco Log, 1924-1926
Keys History & Discovery Center Presents…
Larooco Log: FDR on the Houseboat
With Author and Poet Karen Chase
In the midst of the Jazz Age, while Americans were making merry, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken by polio and withdrew from public life. From 1924 to 1926, believing that warm water and warm air would help him walk again, he spent the winter months on his new houseboat, the Larooco, sailing the Florida Keys, fishing, swimming, playing Parcheesi, entertaining guests, and tending to engine mishaps. During his time on the boat, he kept a nautical log describing each day’s events, including rare visits by his wife, Eleanor, who was busy carving out her own place in the world. Missy LeHand, his personal assistant, served as hostess aboard the Larooco.
For many decades FDR’s log was virtually unknown to the public, appearing only once, in 1949, in his son Elliott’s four-volume collection of Roosevelt’s personal letters. One afternoon, while the poet Karen Chase was writing Polio Boulevard, a book about her own girlhood polio in which FDR looms large, she began trolling around in these letters and stumbled upon the log. She was captivated by FDR’s humor, his language, and the down-home details of his cruises, and this book is the result. Come hear stories of Karen’s findings as she reviewed and researched FDR and his log, a chronicle of a most private time in his very public life. A book-signing follows the presentation.
Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation
82100 Overseas Highway at the Islander Resort, Islamorada, 33036, FL, United States
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