Great State: Hodge’s Presidential Museum
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — Dave Hodgkinson is one of those guys who can’t get enough of the 24-hour news cycle. “I watch every one of the political channels every night,” he says. “It’s constant.”
He can sit for hours and listen to the latest spin on the latest news. “Absolutely,” he says.
Or he can seek a little quiet perspective in his spare bedroom wholly dedicated to the highest office in the land. “I call it my Presidential Suite,” says Hodge as he walks through a door revealing Executive office memorabilia from floor to ceiling. “It’s my tribute to all the Presidents of the U.S.”
His favorite President was Kennedy. Dave grew up suddenly in November of 1963. “I was 8 years old when he was assassinated,” says Dave.
He has lots of Kennedy stuff including a parade sign from a visit to Oklahoma JFK made during his 1960 campaign. “That’s actually one of the signs that hung on the car he was riding in,” he claims.
Dave has a small collection of Presidential action figures about the size of Ken dolls. Press a button and they’re supposed to reel off a famous quote. Unfortunately, Ronald Reagan’s batteries are dead, as are Bill Clinton’s, and George W. Bush’s.
Hodge used to be a flight attendant so he’s met lots of celebrities and candidates too. He once met a young Governor Clinton sitting in coach class.
Bill gave Dave an autograph on one of his first campaign signs. “He pulled this out of his brief case,” says Dave holding the sign. The message in the star above the eye reads, ‘To Dave Hodge, Best Wishes, Bill Clinton.’
Presidents from his own lifetime dominate the small room He just bought a bottle of Nobama Brew beer. Hodge doesn’t dare open his box of Bush bubble gum cigars. “You have to respect the office,”he deadpans.
He finds his material in garage sales. Friends and family bring him items all the time. The only thing that might complete his Presidential suite would be an actual President.
“Well they’re invited,” says Hodgkinson. “Clinton. Come on down. Obama you’re more than welcome in my home.”