O ne other memorable event happened to me in the summer of 1963. On August 28, nine days after I turned seventeen, I sat alone in a big white reclining chair in our den and watched the greatest speech of my lifetime, as Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial and spoke of his dream for America. In rhythmic cadences reminiscent of old Negro spirituals, his voice at once booming and shaking, he told a vast throng before him, and millions like me transfixed before television sets, of his dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood, and that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character..Cartier Love Bracelet Replica.
It is difficult to convey more than forty years later the emotion and hope with which Kings speech filled me; or what it meant to a nation with no Civil Rights Act, no Voting Rights Act, no open housing law, no Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court; or what it meant in the American South, where schools were still mostly segregated, the poll tax was used to keep blacks from voting or to round them up to vote as a bloc for the status quo crowd, and the word nigger was still used openly by people who knew better..http://www.finditireland.eu/h-jewelry/h-bracelets.
I started crying during the speech and wept for a good while after Dr. King finished. He had said everything I believed, far better than I ever could. More than anything I ever experienced, except perhaps the power of my grandfathers example, that speech steeled my determination to do whatever I could for the rest of my life to make Martin Luther King Jr.s dream come true..http://www.finditireland.eu/c-jewelry/c-bracelets.
A couple of weeks later, I started my senior year in high school, still on a high from Boys Nation, and determined to enjoy my last shot at childhood..moncler outlet.
The most challenging course I took in high school was calculus. There were seven of us in the class; it had never been offered before. I recall two events with clarity. One day the teacher, Mr. Coe, handed back an exam on which I had all the right answers but a grade reflecting that Id missed one. When I asked about it, Mr. Coe said I hadnt worked the problem properly and therefore must have gotten the correct answer by accident, so he couldnt give me credit for it; in the textbook, the problem required several more steps than I had used. Our class had one true genius, Jim McDougal (no, not the Whitewater one), who asked if he could see my paper. He then told Mr. Coe he should give me credit because my solution was as valid as the one in the textbook, indeed better, because it was shorter. He then volunteered to demonstrate the validity of his opinion. Mr. Coe was just as much in awe of Jims brain as the rest of us, so he told him to go ahead. Jim then proceeded to fill two full blackboards with symbolic mathematical formulas analyzing the problem and demonstrating how I had improved on the textbook solution. You could have fooled me. I had always liked solving puzzles, still do, but I was just clawing my way through a maze. I didnt have a clue about what Jim was saying, and Im not sure Mr. Coe did either, but at the end of his bravura performance I got my grade changed. That incident taught me two things: that in problem-solving, sometimes good instincts can overcome intellectual inadequacy; and that I had no business pursuing advanced mathematics any further..cartier love bracelet replica.
Our class met at fourth period, just after lunch. On November 22, Mr. Coe was called out of class to the office. When he returned, he was white as a sheet and could hardly speak. He told us President Kennedy had been shot and probably killed in Dallas. I was devastated. Just four months before, I had seen him in the Rose Garden, so full of life and strength. So much of what he did and saidthe inaugural address; the Alliance for Progress in Latin America; the cool handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Peace Corps; the stunning line from the Ich bin ein Berliner speech: Freedom has many difficulties, and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people inall these embodied my hopes for my country and my belief in politics..Cartier Love Bracelet Replica.
After class, all the students in the annex where our class met walked back to the main building. We were all so sad, all of us but one. I overheard an attractive girl who was in the band with me say that maybe it was a good thing for the country that he was gone. I knew her family was more conservative than I was, but I was stunned and very angry that someone I considered a friend would say such a thing. It was my first exposure, beyond raw racism, to the kind of hatred I would see a lot of in my political career, and that was forged into a powerful political movement in the last quarter of the twentieth century. I am thankful that my friend outgrew it. When I was campaigning in Las Vegas in 1992, she came to one of my events. She had become a social worker and a Democrat. I treasured our reunion and the chance it gave me to heal an old wound..cartier love bracelet replica.
After I watched President Kennedys funeral and was reassured by Lyndon Johnsons sober assumption of the presidency with the moving words All that I have I would have given gladly not to be standing here today, I slowly returned to normal life. The rest of senior year passed quickly with DeMolay and band activities, including a senior band trip to Pensacola, Florida, and another trip to All-State Band; and lots of good times with my friends, including lunches at the Club Caf, with the best Dutch apple pie Ive ever had, movies, dances at the Y, ice cream at Cooks Dairy, and barbeque at McClards, a seventy-five-year-old family place with arguably the best barbeque and unquestionably the best barbeque beans in the whole country..cartier love bracelet replica.
For several months that year, I dated Susan Smithers, a girl from Benton, Arkansas, thirty miles east of Hot Springs on the highway to Little Rock. Often on Sundays, I would go to Benton to church and lunch with her family. At the end of the meal Susans mother, Mary, would put a pile of peach or apple fried pies on the table, and her father, Reese, and I would eat them until I practically had to be carried away. One Sunday after lunch, Susan and I went for a drive to Bauxite, a town near Benton named for the ore used to make aluminum, which was dug out of open pit mines there. When we got to town we decided to drive out to see the mines, going off the road onto what I thought was hard clay soil, right up to the edge of a huge open pit. After walking around the site, we got back in the car to go home, and our mood took a sharp downward turn. My cars wheels had sunk deep into the soft, wet ground. The wheels turned over and over, but we didnt move an inch. I found some old boards, dug down behind the wheels, and put them in the space for traction. Still no luck. After two hours, I had burned all the tread off the tires, it was getting dark, and we were still stuck. Finally I gave up, walked to town, asked for help, and called Susans parents. Eventually help came and we were towed out of the huge ruts, my tires as smooth as a babys behind. It was way past dark when I got Susan home. I think her folks believed our story, but her dad sneaked a look at my tires just to be sure. In that more innocent time, I was mortified...
As my senior year drew to a close, I became increasingly anxious about college. For some reason, I never even considered applying to any Ivy League school. I knew just where I wanted to go, and I applied only there: the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. I didnt want to go into the foreign service and I had never even seen the Georgetown campus when I was at Boys Nation, but I wanted to go back to Washington; Georgetown had the best academic reputation in the city; the intellectual rigor of the Jesuits was legendary and fascinating to me; and I felt that I needed to know all I could about international affairs, and that somehow I would absorb all I could learn about domestic issues just by being in Washington in the mid-sixties. I thought I would get in, because I was fourth in my class of 327, my College Board scores were pretty good, and Georgetown tried to have at least one student from every state (an early affirmative action program!). Still, I was worried...
I had decided that if I got turned down at Georgetown, Id go to the University of Arkansas, which had an open admissions policy for Arkansas high school graduates, and where the smart money said aspiring politicians should go anyway. In the second week of April, my acceptance notice from Georgetown arrived. I was happy, but by then Id begun to question the wisdom of going. I didnt get a scholarship and it was so expensive: $1,200 for tuition and $700 for room and fees, plus books, food, and other expenses. Although we were a comfortable middle-class family by Arkansas standards, I was worried that my folks couldnt afford it. And I was worried about being so far away and leaving Mother and Roger alone with Daddy, though age was slowing him down. My guidance counselor, Edith Irons, was adamant that I should go, that it was an investment in my future that my parents should make. Mother and Daddy agreed. Also, Mother was convinced that once I got there and proved myself Id get some financial help. So I decided to give it a shot...
I graduated from high school on the evening of May 29, 1964, in a ceremony at Rix Field, where we played our football games. As fourth-ranked student, I got to give the benediction. Subsequent court decisions on religion in public schools, had they been law then, might have taken us prayer leaders off the program. I agree that tax money should not be used to advance purely religious causes, but I was honored to get in the last word at the end of my high school years...
My benediction reflected my deep religious convictions as well as a little politics as I prayed that God would leave within us the youthful idealism and moralism which have made our people strong. Sicken us at the sight of apathy, ignorance, and rejection so that our generation will remove complacency, poverty, and prejudice from the hearts of free men. . . . Make us care so that we will never know the misery and muddle of life without purpose, and so that when we die, others will still have the opportunity to live in a free land...
I know that some nonreligious people may find all this offensive or nave but Im glad I was so idealistic back then, and I still believe every word I prayed...
After graduation, I went with Mauria Jackson to our senior party at the old Belvedere Club, not far from our Park Avenue house. Since Mauria and I were both unattached at the time and had been in grade school together at St. Johns, it seemed like a good idea, and it was.
The next morning, I headed into my last summer as a boy. It was a typical, good, hot Arkansas summer, and it passed quickly, with a sixth and final trip to the university band camp, and a return to Boys State as a counselor. That summer I helped Daddy for a couple of weeks with the annual inventory at Clinton Buick, something I had done a few times before. Its hard to remember today, when records are computerized and parts can be ordered from efficient distribution centers, that in those days we kept parts in stock for cars more than ten years old, and counted them all by hand every year. The small parts were in little cubbyholes in very tall shelves set close together, making the back of the parts department very dark, in stark contrast to the bright showroom in front, which was only large enough to accommodate one of the new Buicks.
The work was tedious, but I liked doing it, mostly because it was the only thing I did with Daddy. I also enjoyed being at the Buick place, visiting with Uncle Raymond, with the salesmen on the car lot full of new and used cars, and with the mechanics in the back. There were three men back there I especially liked. Two were black. Early Arnold looked like Ray Charles and had one of the greatest laughs I ever heard. He was always wonderful to me. James White was more laid-back. He had to be: he was trying to raise eight kids on what Uncle Raymond was paying him and what his wife, Earlene, earned by working at our house for Mother after Mrs. Walters left. I lapped up Jamess armchair philosophy. Once, when I remarked on how quickly my high school years had flown by, he said, Yeah, times goin by so fast, I cant hardly keep up with my age. Then I thought it was a joke. Now its not so funny.
The white guy, Ed Foshee, was a genius with cars and later opened his own shop. When I went away to school, we sold him the Henry J I drove, one of six badly burned cars Daddy had repaired at the Buick dealership in Hope. I hated to part with that car, leaking hydraulic brakes and all, and Id give anything to get it back now. It gave my friends and me a lot of good times, and one not-so-good one. One night, I was driving out of Hot Springs on Highway 7 on slick pavement, just behind a black car. As we were passing Jessie Howes Drive-In, the car in front stopped dead in its tracks, apparently to see what was showing on the big screen. One of its brake lights was out, and I didnt see it stop until it was too late. The combination of inattention, slow reflexes, and iffy brakes plowed me right into the back of the black car, driving my jaw into the steering wheel, which promptly broke in half. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt, and I had insurance to cover the other cars damage. The guys at Clinton Buick fixed the Henry J as good as new, and I was grateful that the steering wheel had broken instead of my jaw. It didnt hurt any worse than when Henry Hill had slugged me a few years earlier, and not nearly as badly as when the ram had almost butted me to death. By then I was more philosophical about such things, with an attitude rather like the wise man who said, It does a dog good to have a few fleas now and then. It keeps him from worrying so much about being a dog.