17 February 2017

Published February 15, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Condolences to Suzanne Joshi on the loss of her husband. https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/break-from-blogging

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            He bowed. “Shall we dance, my dear gadfly?”

            Alice took a final puff from her cigarette. “Certainly, Father.”

            “Despicable, unladylike habit.” He waltzed her across the ballroom. “Mother asked me to speak with you.”

            “Stepmother. Did Emily Spinach sneak into mumsy’s boudoir again?” 

            “It’s not about your snake. We’re disturbed by your public escapades such as gambling and jumping into swimming pools fully clothed. Must you insist on being the center of attention?”

            “Moi?” Alice Roosevelt bristled. “You’re the one who wants to be the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, and the baby at every christening.”




Theodore Roosevelt and Family 1903

Theodore Roosevelt and Family 1903




142 comments on “17 February 2017

  • Another fascinating woman, Rochelle. Boy, what a character she was! I love that quote from Roosevelt about her. Seems as if she would be amazing to know and to have as an ally, but dreadful as an enemy. Love your snippet of conversation, too and it does seem as if daughter took after father to an extent, doesn’t it? Fab picture this week too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lynn,

      I’d say daughter took after father to a large extent. I’m not sure she ever said the last line to his face but it’s a direct quote that was too delicious not to include. And, true, I don’t think you’d want to be on Alice’s bad side. 😉 Thank you for your kind words re my story.



      Liked by 1 person

      • I love the sound of her, though. Tough to be so strong when you weren’t expected to be (or when people really didn’t want you to be). A woman who could have easily been meek, living in the shadow of such a huge character as her father. She must have been one heck of a girl.


    • Dear Iain,

      The sad truth is that Alice never felt he loved her one-third as much as his other children which probably had something to do with her incorrigible behaviour. At the same time, I don’t think the apple fell far from the tree. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 2 people

  • Hmm. A president that can’t control his daughter. Go figure. You make all of us want to know more about this little rebel. She was obviously quite a character. Great story, and not particularly fiction, but more like Historical Fraction. The whole is the sum of its parts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      Some kids rebel no matter who their parents are. I can call it fiction because the place, time and conversation didn’t happen that way to my knowledge. Glad it rang true. Thanks for reading and commenting, M’Luv.



    • Dear Sandra,

      Years later, an interviewer asked her about her jumping into the pool (on an ocean liner on a diplomatic trip) fully clothed. She laughed and said it would have caused more of a stir if she’d been naked. After all, the swimsuits of the day were little less than skirts and blouses.
      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cuzzin Notnek,

      “If Hot Lips Houlihan dated Joe Stalin all she would remember was that his mustache tickled.”
      From what I’ve read, Alice was a handful into her 90’s. Thanks for dropping by.


      Cuzzin Shelley


  • Dear Lovely Rita,

    You’ll be happy to know that Detective Lowry checked out your photo on the Hollywood Squares Authors Block and you’ve been cleared of any possible connection to nose thievery.

    As for Alice, I imagine your father was in a similar predicament as poor Theodore, and my sympathies (and kudos) go out to Jan for attempting to corral such a wild mustang.

    Dr. Cyrano Blockson

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dr. Cyrano Blockson,

      I heave a sigh of relief.

      Since my father is no longer around to corroborate the alleged facts and you can’t believe Jan, I’ll simply bat my eyelashes and say, “Why, whatEVER do you mean?”

      Thank you for stopping by.


      Lovely Rita PHP

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali,

      The Roosevelt clan set ‘fire’ to the White House. 😉 I have to laugh at the image of Alice sitting on the roof of it puffing away on her cigarette. After all, her father did tell her “not under my roof.” Thank you for coming by.



      Liked by 2 people

  • Querida Rochelle,
    Alice reminds me of F.Scotts Fitzgeralds wife. During that era, women were considered scandalous for things we wouldn’t even think much about today.
    Alice has sharp comebacks which was, by far, the sign of more to come. You made me want to know more about her and the Roosevelts. Write more with a bundle of juicy details. : )
    Muy bien escrito, mi amiga.
    Hasta la próxima …
    Abrazos y amor,
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Plaridel,

      Some years later when an interviewer asked her about jumping into the pool fully clothed, she laughed and said it would’ve caused more of a stir if she’d jumped in without clothes. Besides, she pointed out, bathing suits of the day were little less than a skirt and blouse. Thank you for reading.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I really enjoy this, Rochelle and you told the story well.
    I hadn’t heard of Alice Roosevelt before and had to go and look her up. What a woman! I also love the Roosevelt quote. As others have commented, it makes me feel better about my own parenting efforts.
    Thanks very much!
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle, what a wonderful slice of historical fiction you have created. I read through all the comments and found them very useful as well. Like others, I too am a big. big fan of your writings. Keep inspiring us with more of your historical fictions.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    From experience, I’d say that if a girl is too like her father and her father likes to be in charge, it can lead to huge clashes, as they can’t both be in charge!

    Alice certainly was a beauty. It just shows that if the genes are strong enough, smoking doesn’t kill, although it can kill others through passive inhalation, so the roof was a good place for Alice to go. Some might say she would have lived to 120 if she hadn’t smoked 😉

    I knew of a man who drank half a bottle of port a day from about the age of 20 and lived well into his 90s, his liver in tact.

    A great story. You’ve made me want to find out more about Alice. I bet she doesn’t get mentioned in classroom history books in the US.

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      I don’t recall learning about Alice Roosevelt in American History. On the other hand, I don’t remember learning much of anything in those classes. I was a terrible student. Do you suppose if someone had challenged me to write historical fiction I might have done better? 😉 I did, however love reading biographies.
      Famous American comedian George Burns lived to be 100 and never quit smoking cigars. My mother died at 67 from lung cancer due to smoking. Go figure.

      Thank you for your comments/compliments.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle,
        Ditto. I was a terrible student, too. History was dire at my senior school. I got Grade 9 for my final history exam because my teacher was really boring and droned on about the Industrial Revolution and Victorian politics, which she could have made interesting with a few anecdotal stories, or stuff about the every day lives of ordinary people. Instead, it was a load of dates, names of politicians, and bills passed in Parliament.
        Today, I beat my husband at a Math test based on contemporary GCSE papers for 16-year-olds. In fact, I got full marks. But when I was a teenager, I failed my Math’s O-level 5 times D: This just goes to show something…not sure what. Either I’ve become more intelligent, or the papers have become easier, or I’m better when I do tests for fun rather than under pressure. …”Go figure” (thought I’d steal your words for a bad pun!).
        All best wishes,

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Emily,

      I have to confess that I built the story from the last line up. I knew her quote but didn’t realize until I started digging that Alice was as much of an outrageous showoff as her father. Thank you.




    • Dear StepHonie,

      I really want to know more about Alice. It seems that I read somewhere that photography back then wasn’t as simple as snapping the shot. The subject had to wait so long that it was difficult to maintain a smile. I also suspect, where Alice was concerned, some of that expression illustrated her attitude.
      Thank you re my story. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

  • Really enjoyed reading about Alice and her exploits. Admittedly, it took me a minute to figure out your tie to the photo (cigarettes?), but I always enjoy your historical pieces and the rabbit holes they send me down. Not great time management, but always interesting! This one, particularly so; fascinating woman!

    Liked by 1 person

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