You Had Asked About My Dad

FenelonSpoke, saw late that you had asked about my dad, who shares your bdy yesterday. I mentioned he would've been 98, but has been gone for 48 years.

There were things not to be proud of, which resulted in mom divorcing him. I didn't understand that much when I was 12. That damage to our family lives on, generations later.

But he was, seems to me, not a bad man, just a foolish one.

His proudest role was as GOP chairman from Oklahoma. Back then, the state was hard Democrat (like most Southern states then). The GOP, like the GOPe today, was not so much interested in winning as in the power and profit from being the loser party.

Dad worked on a door-to-door county-wide get-out-the-vote campaign ("we'd like you to vote Republican, but mainly we want you to vote" was the slogan) that turned brought him to the attention of the state GOP. Despite them (as he once told me), he managed to turn the state around, and get our first Republican governor elected. The state GOP has been strong ever since, despite its infections of RINO-itis. (His work merited a whole chapter in Gov Bellmon's biography.)

My brother once wrote Nixon, asking if he recalled our Dad. Nixon sent back a signed copy of his latest book, with the note that he was sorry our Dad hadn't lived to see "our victory in 1968." (My cynical thought was, yeah, but if he had lived, Nixon's resignation probably would've killed him!)

I never got to know my dad as an adult. He was stern, too quick to anger (although I only got The Belt once), but generous and loving in my memory. I miss him.

Gov Bellmon went on to the Senate, where he was deeply disappointed, coming from a state that worked to a body that didn't. The GOP, and DC in general, may be truly hopeless today, but knowing Dad's work is the reason I haven't given up yet. That, and my super belief in the triumph of "truth, justice, and the American way."

With that, I'm going to head offline for a while.