Loretta Krzyminski was born in 1921 and orphaned at the age of 3. Her mother died shortly after giving birth to her, their 7th child, and her father died when he was hit by a streetcar in 1924. An uncle took care of the children until her oldest brother married in 1927. Then, he and his wife raised Loretta and her 5 brothers and sisters.
Shortly thereafter, President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, were scheduled to make a stop in their hometown of Hammond, Indiana, to dedicate nearby Wicker Memorial Park to World War I veterans. In order to make the President and his wife feel welcome, it was decided that a little girl should present the First Lady with flowers. That little girl was Loretta.
On June 14, 1927, President and Mrs. Coolidge stepped off the train in Hammond, Indiana, and 6-year old Loretta graciously handed Mrs. Coolidge a large bouquet of flowers. Today, Loretta proudly has three photographs of this momentous occasion on display in her apartment at Layton Terrace senior community. In two of the photos, the President is holding her, and in the third photo, President Coolidge is holding her hand while she is standing between him and the First Lady. “I’ve been told that these photographs are somewhat rare because President Coolidge hardly ever smiled,” comments Krzyminski. Every February, as our nation celebrates President’s Day, Loretta fondly remembers this day. She says, “It’s hard to believe that we’ve had 14 Presidents since then.”
Photo: Loretta, age 92, shows off a photograph of her unique encounter when she was chosen to greet President and Mrs. Coolidge at the train station in Hammond, Indiana.
Layton Terrace is a Laureate Group senior community that offers independent and assisted living apartments as well as compassionate dementia care. For more information visit www.laureategroup.com
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