I used to be chums with the 13th President, Millard Fillmore. We used to hang out at the White House and eat gin-soaked pears in the West Sitting Room. (Originally it was called the Sitting Room, but I encouraged Millard to add the ‘West.’)

Once he told me, “Mr. Bee, this country of our’n is in a tumult, as if salt and pepper were mixed up in the same shaker, and were fightin’ for dominion.” I nodded vigorously. He said, “I ‘preciate your concurment.”

I’ve discovered over the years that a good deal of nodding is the best way to make a friendship stronger.

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