Alan & Helen Rouzei Frank
12/14/02…This was the first I received about the current President’s lack of response to seniors wanting greetings. Since then, I’ve heard from dozens of ignored citizens. Only in the last two months, has the White House been granting cards again. Frank Kaiser, October 5, 2003.
Hi, my name is Frank Duval and several months ago I read in your suddenly senior information column about living presidents retired and presiding congratulating senior citizens on their eightieth birthday. I sent my wife’s info to all of them and a note to our governor Pataki. About 2 weeks back my wife received congratulations from presidents Carter and Ford and a very nice letter from gov. Pataki. I have heard nothing from the pres. Bushes, Ronald Reagan nor Clinton. After the first letters arrived, I explained the presidential policy to her and see her disappoint every day that the expected letters do not arrive.
I thought you should be informed in order that you might pass the information on in your column that circumstances might negate reception of some of the birthday congratulations.
Thank you, and thanks for your column.
And, as of April 2004 …
I had found part of this service as early as 1979 when I began having cards from the then-current President sent to my over-80 grandmother. In 2003 I found your website and wrote for cards from all the living Presidents for my father’s 80th birthday in January, which was just after they announced that former President Reagan’s health had worsened significantly and his Alzheimer’s had robbed him of recognition of anyone, and at that point, I guess his staff discontinued the practice altogether because his was the only one that wasn’t received. Dad was thrilled. Thanks for having this information available for us. By the way, I always include the recipient’s full birthdate AND birthplace in case there might be any doubt as to the validity of the request, and I have never failed to get a response.
I requested a presidential birthday greeting card for my 95-year old aunt. Never came. She has since passed so I can not request one for next year. I also requested cards for another aunt and uncle who fortunately are still living. The president didn’t send them either. I may get a chance to try again in ’05. I have now prepared a request for my mother who’s birthday is in late March. Let’s see how that turns out.
After viewing your site, I sent requests to President Bush and to Willard Scott to send congratulations to my mother-in-law – Perl Ackley – who turned 100 years old on February 4, 2004. These requests were sent in October. The card from President and Mrs. Bush was received, however, nothing was received from Willard Scott. I sent emails to the Today Show and received no response. Finally today I called Willard Scott’s office (212-664-3924). The information I received was a recording that stated that if the birthday was during the week, it would be “considered” for announcement on the Today Show either Tuesday or Thursday, however, if the birthday was on the weekend, no announcement would be made on the Today Show, but that Willard Scott would send a congratulatory card to the birthday person. Neither one of these was received by me or my mother-in-law.
I thought you should know this information and perhaps prevent someone else from being disappointed as we were. All-in-all, the party for Mom was enjoyed by 9 of her 12 children and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
My Dad was 91 last Sunday, May 2, 2004, here received two more cards, one from Jimmy Carter and another one from Bill Clinton. They both came on the day we had his birthday party so that was so neat. He had got one from Gerald Ford before that. Thanks to your nice web page I was able to write to all of them and he is so proud. Those cards he carries in his pocket so show off.
Thank you very much, this is really great.
Blessings, Marge Geddes