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by Abigail Van Buren

Good Story Is Bad History, We Learn to Our Chagrin

DEAR ABBY: I read your column and find it entertaining and often educational. But I think you have a problem. Today I read a "true" story in your column about a woman who couldn't remember the name of someone she ran into on the street. As she racked her brain, the other lady mentioned something about her brother. Figuring it might give her a clue to the lady's identity, the woman asked, "Your dear brother -- what is he doing these days?"

"He's still president of the United States," she replied. (She was Calvin Coolidge's sister.)

Well, Abby, that's a cute story, but it cannot possibly be true. President Coolidge's only sister died in 1890, many years before he became president in 1923.

If you print this, please do not use my name. -- TEXAS READER

DEAR TEXAS READER: Well, hit me with a history book -- but please, not too hard because I'm beginning to feel like a battered woman. I apologize for the error.