We can imagine. During the presidency of any commander in chief, regardless of party, that there comes a moment or two in which he’s thought with fond anticipation of the most pleasant part of the presidency: being an ex-president.

The only real way to escape the presidency, apparently, is to leave office. And there can be real joy in being an ex-president, too. Consider “Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure,” a 2009 book, now in paperback, that offers a lively account of a nearly three-week road trip undertaken by Truman after he left office in 1953.

On June 19, 1953, Truman packed the trunk of his Chrysler New Yorker and hit the road with his wife, Bess, headed for New York City.

No entourage accompanied the Trumans, not even Secret Service agents. As author Matthew Algeo tells it, Truman had a ball, turning heads along the way as unsuspecting citizens encountered the former president of the United States.

One newspaper said of Truman that he looked “as carefree as a schoolboy in summer.”

Carefree. That’s the promise of being an ex-president, and it sounds not bad at all.