Grandpa Romney

grandson Miles

This photo provided by the Romney family to Parade Magazine is wonderful. The horizontal arms, the beaming face of a happy boy having as much fun as a boy can. Grandpa can’t help looking good in a photo like this. To take a picture like this three elements of preparation are required.

First, marry your nineteen-year-old sweetheart when you are twenty-one.

months before wedding

Second, begin rearing several children together over the next decade.

Romneys in 1982

Third, grow old enjoying the company of your adult children, their spouses, and your many grandchildren.

2010 Christmas photo

Most of the photos will be ordinary-to-bad, but as with the dozens of photographers in the endzone each hoping he will capture the touchdown pass with just the right angle at just the right instant, given enough grandchildren and opportunities, some of the snaps will be gems like the one above of little Miles on the snow.

Ann Romney told Parade that if her husband is elected “You are going to see horses at the White House. And lots of grandchildren.” The latter would be a rarity, as few presidents carried out the three steps above before being sworn in. Looking back at the last several decades, only one managed it.

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About John Mansfield

Mansfield in the desertA third-generation southern Nevadan, I have lived in exile most of my life in such places as Los Alamos, Baltimore, Los Angeles, the western suburbs of Detroit, and currently the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. I work as a fluid dynamics engineer. I was baptized at age twelve in the font of the Las Vegas Nevada Central Stake Center, and on my nineteenth birthday I received the endowment in the St. George Temple. I served as a missionary mostly in the Patagonia of Argentina from 1985 to 1987. My true calling in the Church seems to be working with Cub Scouts, whom I have served in different capacities in four states most years since 1992. (My oldest boy turned eight in 2004.) I also currently teach Sunday School to the thirteen-year-olds. I hold degrees from two universities named for men who died in the 1870s, the Brigham Young University and the Johns Hopkins University. My wife is Elizabeth Pack Mansfield, who comes from New Mexico's north central mountains and studied molecular biology at the same two schools I attended. We have four sons, whose care and admonition, along with care of my aged father, require much of Elizabeth's time. She currently serves the Church as Mia-Maid advisor, ward music chairman, and choir director, and plays violin whenever she can. One day, I would like to make shoes.

8 thoughts on “Grandpa Romney

  1. I am not sure this is the only pathway worthy of emulation. President Obama did not marry a 19-yearl old, but he has been faithful since his wedding. It’s just that his granddad pix will come later. In the meantime the Obamas are a wonderful example of a loving family in progress.

  2. Agreed, Naismith, though he will have far fewer pictures to comb through. President and Mrs. Obama are a fine example of faithful marriage and family formation and a blessing to the nation in that respect. Like Jimmy Carter, Obama entered office relatively young. Carter’s first grandchild was a year old when Carter was sworn in as president. Still, Romney’s current throng of grandchildren, something rarely seen in the White House, is something that gladdens my heart and I will celebrate.

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