By Judy Kurtz
His teepee preference once almost got him in hot water decades ago when, as a judge, an inmate sued him, alleging the judgment against him was invalid because Poe had signed it with a tent drawing rather than his name.
The five-term congressman recalls while the court considered his signature “quirky,” it ruled the teepee stood as an acronym for Poe and could be used.
But court ruling or not, Poe’s signature still won’t fly in Congress. The lawmaker says, “The House, however, when I do the voting part, they require the actual six-letter mess.”
Poe’s peculiar John Hancock has now become a staple of not only his writing, but of his wardrobe.
“On my boots that I wear I don’t have my initials, I have a teepee. And then on the sleeve of my shirt where normal people put initials, I have a teepee,” he explains with a hearty laugh.
Remembering when the idea to draw a teepee came to him years ago he says, “Sure enough, I stuck with it.”
Poe is not the only bold-faced name in Washington with an unusual signature. President Obama mocked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew earlier this year for his loopy scribble, saying, “Jack assured me that he is going to work to make at least one letter legible in order not to debase our currency should he be confirmed.”
Photo: Rep. Ted Poe's signature from a Feb. 22 letter to President Obama.