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Westchester Resident Shows Off Presidential Memorabilia

William Reynolds stands in front of his wall of presidential memorabilia. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
William Reynolds has campaign button dating back to 1896 Photo Credit: Sam Barron

OSSINING, N.Y. -- William Reynolds' one-bedroom Ossining apartment could easily be mistaken for a presidential museum.

The walls of Reynolds' apartment are filled with photos and mementos featuring US presidents past and present. Reynolds has a shower curtain with the presidential seal, a sash promoting woman's suffrage from 1917 and has a campaign button collection dating back to 1896. He sometimes wears his 1900 McKinley/Roosevelt campaign shirt.

Reynolds' love of history dates back to when he was four years old and listened to the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960. He previously served as historian for the Village of Ossining.

"I was able to recite the oath of office from memory when I was eight," Reynolds, a history major, said. 

When Herbert Hoover died, he delivered an obituary to his elementary school classmates. In 1965, he attended the inauguration of President Lyndon Johnson after designing a campaign poster for him. 

Reynolds, who previously campaigned for Jimmy Carter, said he is supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. 

"The Republican race is a joke," Reynolds said. 

A longtime Clinton supporter, Reynolds was invited to the White House in 2000 for a farewell reception the-then First Lady was hosting.Reynolds said he fears Bernie Sanders would hurt the Democratic ticket down the ballot.

Reynolds said he plans to start collecting campaign souvenirs for 2016 when the primaries are finished.

Grover Cleveland, the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms as president, is Reynolds' favorite president. Reynolds even has a Grover Cleveland bathmat.

"He went from Mayor of Buffalo to Governor of New York to President of the United States in the span of three years," Reynolds said. "After losing re-election, he had the courage to go back."

Reynolds said he enjoys living in area filed with presidential history. Presidents and presidential candidates like Chester Arthur, Franklin Roosevelt, Nelson Rockefeller, Samuel Tilden, Horace Greeley and now Clinton all have ties to the region.

"I've always been drawn to the presidents," Reynolds said. "This country has shown that someone from the common ranks can achieve the highest office."

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