By Chuck Woodbury
Something is fishy about the stories I hear from operators of historic hotels. It seems that Teddy Roosevelt spent the night in about two-thirds of them.
On the dozens of tours of old hotels I’ve ever taken, most in the West, the guide will come to a certain room, open the door and say Teddy Roosevelt spent the night in that very room. Or he will stop in the lobby, point to the balcony and say, “Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech there.”
I say “Bully!”
In my hometown of Edmonds, Wash., there’s a Teddy tale about when 24-hour telephone service came to town. The story goes that then-President Roosevelt was staying in a local hunting lodge (now a home). Telephone service was only available during the day, but Teddy insisted he needed it 24/7. And so the phone company kept operators working round the clock. The town folks were so happy about it that they insisted the 24-hour service remain after the President left.
I don’t believe all the stories about “Teddy Slept Here.” I think the people that tell them are just repeating what they heard from someone else, who were just repeating what they had heard, etc. I don’t think Teddy could possibly have done so much sleeping around.
Oh, one more thing: All, or at least most of the best known photos of Teddy in hunting and military garb were shot in a New York photo studio. Teddy was pretty good at working the media.
I don’t believe all the Elvis slept here stories, either.