Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not a Clever Peasant

One day at lunch, Dad told me that a Superior Court colleague (a Judge, not a Commissioner) had called him "a clever peasant."

And Dad took it as a compliment!

I said, "not true and not funny and no compliment." Fortunately I have a short memory and do not recall the offending Judge's name.

How do you learn when you're doing farm labor to help supplement the family income or moving from the Nebraska farm to the Portland logging camp and thence to Julian and then a Romona chicken farm? All before you are fourteen years old with your father weak and arthritic and your mother taking in laundry?

Had he been given the advantages I have had, or, that my Stanford- and Brown-educated step-children have had, he might have been President.

Or not.

His burning ambition was lit by the flames of poverty and his compulsive self-education ignited by insecurity.

He told the Daily Journal columnist that he equated poverty with stupidity and assumed he was intellectually inadequate until he sought out a psychologist
and asked for an IQ test.

Then he left (my) home to make his mark in the world.

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