Every President of the United States has had a valet. But unlike many valet positions, serving as personal assistant to the POTUS involves more than assembling the day’s wardrobe. The president’s valet has always been a factotum and confidante as well.
Their “insider view” of the American Presidency is a rare one, indeed. Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, renowned collector of White House China and other Presidential memorabilia, has known Presidential valets, as well as other “upstairs” level White House aides. Through them, he has collected facts and stories about many of our chief executives and life in the Executive Mansion during their tenure.
ELEGANT PLATE FROM THE WASHINGTON CHINA COLLECTION, CONSIDERED TO BE "THE HOLY GRAIL" OF A WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.
Our first President had a favorite slave – William Lee – who served as Washington's personal assistant. Later in life, when George Washington died, Presidents James Madison and John Tyler also had slaves that served as their personal assistants.
PRESIDENT EISENHOWER AND SGT. MOANEY WERE BOTH SELF-PROCLAIMED "GRILL MASTERS"
One of the most famous Presidential valets was Sgt. John Moaney, a long-time aide to Dwight Eisenhower. Moaney first met Eisenhower when he was transferred to the General’s personal staff during World War II. Moaney traveled from post to post during Eisenhower’s service as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, as did several other enlisted men who also had the privilege to work for Eisenhower as cooks, drivers, secretaries and butlers.
Sgt. Moaney’s official job was in the kitchen, but he also cared for Eisenhower’s two Scottie dogs and the two dozen puppies they produced over the years. When it came time to move to a new post, Sgt. Moaney took charge of packing up the household.
THIS HANDSOME CUSTOM HAND-MADE WOODEN TOOL CHEST, CRAFTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE CARPENTERS, WAS A 1959 CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM MOANEY TO EISENHOWER - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
Following the war, Sgt. Moaney declined to muster out, preferring to stay with General Eisenhower. By doing so, he ultimately became valet to the President. Before that, though, he followed Eisenhower to Columbia University during his stint as president of the college and moved with him to Europe when the General was supreme commander of NATO’s European forces. At Columbia, Eisenhower wore business suits rather than the military uniforms Sgt. Moaney was used to caring for. Moaney had no way of knowing that would prepare him for his future role as valet to the President.
As Presidential valet, tending to the President’s wardrobe was just one of Sgt. Moaney’s responsibilities. He reports he was also called upon to waken the President each morning, organize ingredients so the President could make his favorite vegetable soup, and run the projector so the First Family could watch a movie. Not surprisingly, he also assisted the President by shagging golf balls as Eisenhower practice his swing on the South Lawn.
SGT. MOANEY LINING UP GOLF BALLS FOR EISENHOWER WHILE ABOARD SHIP
Since Richard Nixon’s tenure, Presidential valets have not been life-long personal aides but members of the military or the White House staff specifically selected for the job. Nonetheless, close relationships still develop.
Hired on to Barack Obama’s Senate office staff in 2006, Reggie Love became the President’s “body man” in 2007 and served into 2011. He describes the comprehensive nature of the job: "I was his DJ, his Kindle, his travel agent, his valet, his daughters' basketball coach, his messenger, his punching bag, his alarm clock, his vending machine, his chief of stuff, his note passer, his spades partner, his party planner, his workout partner, his caterer, his small forward, his buffer, his gatekeeper, his surrogate son … his friend."
THE BARACK OBAMA OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION FEATURES A UNIQUE KAILUA BLUE RIM - COMING SOON TO THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.