President Bios contest rears its head

James Garfield
James A. Garfield is a subject in this year’s Beacon Presidential Biography Contest. (Charles J. Guiteau)

By A. Finn Moss | Won the contest in 1985

When President George Washington took the stage in the form of a letter to announce his reluctance to seek re-election to the Presidency, he had no idea that one day he would be liked by Elmer Sgluebottle of Bass Lake.

Sgluebottle so admired the first Preisdent of these United States that he invented a contest to celebrate Washington’s singularity.

Others would follow in Washington’s footsteps, of course. And in recognition of Sgluebottle’s obsession, here we are at the doorstep of the 36th or 37th Annual Bass Lake Beacon Presidential Biography Contest.

Fifth-graders at Bass Lake Elementary School once again submitted 45-word biographies of their favorite President. Here are the top three bios for 2018. (Losers’ bios can be found out back of the school.)

Donald Trump by Dylan Figgnottle
Donald J. Trump, aka “The Donald,” is the current and 45th President of the United States of America. Forty-four Presidents came before him but only 43 people, a curious fact made possible by the non-sequential election of Grover Cleveland as the 22nd and 24th Presidents.

Thomas Jefferson by Ghent Treaty
Thomas Jefferson was the third President. He liked to do exploring things like canoe rides and reading. He bought Louisiana from France in 1803 for $15 million. He loved lots of people, including Sally Hemmings, his half-sister-in-law. He also owned her. He died July 4.

James A. Garfield by Laura S. Denominator
James A. Garfield got shot a few months after becoming the 20th President. But it took him more than two months to die. He holds the record for the longest assassination of a President. I bet that hurt. He almost doesn’t count as a President.


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