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  • Daniel Botkin

Purple Hayes

A few years ago I had some of my artwork in a booth at an outdoor art fair in Peoria. A man stopped by and looked at my work. He said that he had seen my artwork in other places and knew who I was. He shook my hand and told me his name. I thought his name seemed vaguely familiar.

“Your name sounds vaguely familiar,” I said. “Have I met you somewhere before?”

He told me that he was Illinois State Senator Dave Koehler.

I felt really dumb. An Illinois State Senator knew who I was (“Daniel Botkin, local artist”), but I didn’t know who he was. I guess that incident shows how apolitical I am.

I usually vote in elections, but because I’m far more focused on the coming kingdom than on the political scene of this world, I’m pretty much apolitical.

Around election time, we get political ads in the mail urging us to vote for various candidates. Whenever we get an ad from Dave Koehlaer’s campaign, I tell my wife, “I got something in the mail from my buddy Dave again.”

There have been some close elections in American history. One very close election was in 1876, when Rutherford B. Hayes won by just one electoral vote.

Until I read some things about President Hayes, I did not know much about him, except what he looked like. And I knew that information only because I researched what he looked like so I could paint his portrait in purple and call the painting “Purple Hayes” for my Monochromatic Oldies for Boomers series, a collection of 16 monochromatic portraits of famous people that incorporate an oldies song or band name that has some reference to color. (See the collection at

I read an article about President Hayes and I learned that he can provide more than just a surname that can be paired with purple to commemorate an old Jimi Hendrix song. President Hayes also provides a good role model for U.S. Presidents.

President and Mrs. Hayes (Lucy) were devout Methodists. And I’m pretty sure that devout Methodists in 1876 were generally far more serious about their faith than many of today’s modern Methodists. President and Mrs. Hayes were not ashamed of their faith. They began each day with morning prayers and usually ended each day with prayers, music, and singing. On Sunday evenings they had a time of worship at the White House. They distributed hymn books to those in attendance, and all sang.

Lucy Hayes was the first President’s wife to have a college degree, and the first to ban all alcoholic beverages from the White House. This decision earned her the nickname “Lemonade Lucy.” After one dinner at the White House, the Secretary of State sarcastically described the event by saying, “It was a brilliant affair. The water flowed like champagne.”

President Hayes was elected at a time when Washington was riddled with political scandals and corruption, much like it is today. Maybe someday God will grant us another God-fearing President and First Lady like Rutherford and Lucy Hayes.

Thank the Lord that His kingdom is coming, and His will shall then be done on earth as it is in heaven. When He takes the throne and rules the earth with a rod of iron, no one can ever vote Him out of office. We won’t be having any more elections after He returns. And we won’t have our mailboxes stuffed with ads from people running for office. Maran-atha!

| DB


Image: Purple Hayes by Daniel Botkin from his Monochromatic Oldies for Boomers Gallery. See this and all Daniel’s artwork on his art website,

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