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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Richard Nixon and Me

Couple days ago I heard about the new work by Ann Beattie on Pat Nixon. Then couple days later I read some of it. I think I will read it all soon.
I remember Ann from 77 and her novel Falling into Place. She had some short jeans on, was leggy and I remembered that was the kinda woman I wanted to find. Found couple resemblances, not quite as urbane as Beattie, but even they were out of my price range--not a pickup mind you but holy relationship of some sort where I was part of the funding--so never quite happenned.
But that doesn't mean i couldn't read her work over the years, or keep up with her evolution.
I think Ann confesses she never met Pat Nixon. Likewise I never met Richard but feel like I knew him in some way, was close on several occasions.
In 62 Nixon spent the night in the Daniel Mansion, what is now the President's mansion right outside the back gate of Furman where I was to matriculate in 71.
My Great Uncle Paul Fox, a Reynolds Aluminum VP was sent by Nixon to China and Iraq where he met the Shah.
Furman friend Dick Doody's sister dated Nixon's good friend in Lauderdale, key Biscayne, John J. Alpanalp's son. And at Furman Dolly Dent, the daughter of Nixon's Southern strategist Harry Dent was a coed for a couple years. And over the last couple years I've had correspondence with her sister, Ginny Brant, who memoir of their father's faith pilgrimage has a charming story about Pat Nixon on a Saturday morning in the White House.
May try to bring that one to Beattie's attention after I complete the book.
Then my good friend Jim Pitts, longtime Chaplain at Furman, is the son of Nixon's barber. And the summer of 1970 I was good friends of Roger Milliken, Jr. whose Dad gave more money to CREEP in 72 than any other man in America.
I visitted the home in Spartanburg that summer and remember seeing pictures of Mr. Milliken on the wall as advisor in Cabinet meetings with President Nixon.
So I feel like I know him. Read a couple of the biographies, seen The Watchmen, seen the PBS Frontline Documentaries, and know something about what it is like to have a righteous Mother.
And the Billy Graham connection especially through the eyes of Marshall Frady is a lifelong consideration for me, almost like Knoxville Tn is for Cormac McCarthy.
Oh, I do know Alabama Gov Brewer whose intrigue with Wallace and Nixon is the stuff of political fable.
Then bout two months ago I'm talking to this fellow who is independent Baptist preacher and sales videos at a kind price on Saturday at Collinsville Trade Day--see Rick Bragg in Southern Living.
I'm talking the Nixon/Frost movie and he says he met Nixon at Key Biscayne and swam in his pool.
I called him a liar, playfully. Turns out he was tellin the truth. His dad worked security for Nixon.
Said Nixon on meeting my friend as a child came over to him and in Classic Nixon style shook the then 8 year old's hand and said Son I want you to do one thing for me.
When you grow up I want you to become a Damn Democrat. And then Nixon started laughing.

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