When I was a teenager, my family lived on Mercer Island next door to President Franklin Roosevelt's daughter, Anna Boettiger, and her husband. A private driveway branching off a main road served both families. Involved in my own teenage activities, I gave little attention to our famous neighbors.
One day my boyfriend rattled down the driveway in his old Ford, and we drove across the floating bridge to Seattle to attend a school dance. On our return trip over the bridge, we noticed numerous boats circling Mercer Island, lights flashing, engines throbbing. Along the main island road, armed soldiers stood at attention every 100 feet or so, and police cars cruised behind and ahead of us.
My companion and I were too startled by this strange sight to say much to each other. When we finally reached the private road that led to my home, we were stopped by a military officer who demanded identification and searched us carefully. Satisfied, he dismissed us. My companion and I walked with uncertain steps toward my house.
At the front door my boyfriend, with an air of conspiracy, whispered, "There's an awful lot of activity going on around here. Have you been a bad girl today, Marie?"
Neither of us knew until later that President Roosevelt had flown across the country to visit his grandchildren at the house next door - as any ordinary grandfather might do. I was more impressed by this fact than the might of the protective forces that surrounded him.
Marie Edwards grew up in a faded Victorian house on Queen Anne Hill before moving to Mercer Island as a teenager. She still lives on the island.