Looking très French in his beret and silk apron, sculptor Rene (of course his name is Rene) Shapshak adds the final touches to his clay model of former President Harry S. (“You Dropped A Bomb On Me”) Truman in early 1956 at the Federal Reserve Bank Building in Kansas City, Missouri, the state from whenst Truman sprang. While interweb sources all declare that this would become a bronze bust, to be unveiled in Israel on Truman’s 73rd birthday, I can find no such bronze bust. It would seem the bust itself was a bust.
Five years after he’d left the White House, Truman (not visibly flanked by any Secret Service) took a monthlong Mediterranean tour. Here, he walks through the alleys of St. Paul de Vence. Behind him are his traveling companions, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Rosenman.
Other vacations were less formal, like this trip to Key West, Florida in November of 1951. The man holding up swimming trunks is General Harry H. Vaughan.
Doesn’t he look happy as a clam in the Key West “chow line” for lunch?
Nothing slowed old Harry down.
President Truman didn’t pass until the day after Christmas of 1972 at the age of 88. His wife, Bess, outlived him by another decade, making her the oldest living First Lady to date.
Here they are with daughter Margaret in the lounge of the American President Lines’ President Cleveland, April 28, 1953, before sailing for San Francisco and home after a one-month Hawaiian vacation.