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A fter the year in New Orleans, Mother came home to Hope eager to put her anesthesia training into practice, elated at being reunited with me, and back to her old fun-loving self. She had dated several men in New Orleans and had a fine time, according to her memoir, Leading with My Heart, which Im sure would have been a bestseller if she had lived to promote it..bvlgari rings replica.
However, before, during, and after her sojourn in New Orleans, Mother was dating one man more than anyone else, the owner of the local Buick dealership, Roger Clinton. She was a beautiful, high-spirited widow. He was a handsome, hell-raising, twice-divorced man from Hot Springs, Arkansas Sin City, which for several years had been home to the largest illegal gambling operation in the United States. Rogers brother Raymond owned the Buick dealership in Hot Springs, and Roger, the baby and bad boy of a family of five, had come to Hope to take advantage of the war activity around the Southwestern Proving Ground and perhaps to get out of his brothers shadow..Christian Louboutin Replica.
Roger loved to drink and party with his two best buddies from Hot Springs, Van Hampton Lyell, who owned the Coca-Cola bottling plant across the street from Clinton Buick, and Gabe Crawford, who owned several drugstores in Hot Springs and one in Hope, later built Hot Springs first shopping center, and was then married to Rogers gorgeous niece, Virginia, a woman Ive always loved, who was the very first Miss Hot Springs. Their idea of a good time was to gamble, get drunk, and do crazy, reckless things in cars or airplanes or on motorcycles. Its a wonder they didnt all die young..bvlgari rings replica.
Mother liked Roger because he was fun, paid attention to me, and was generous. He paid for her to come home to see me several times when she was in New Orleans, and he probably paid for the train trips Mammaw and I took to see Mother..bvlgari rings replica.
Papaw liked Roger because he was nice both to me and to him. For a while after my grandfather quit the icehouse because of severe bronchial problems, he ran a liquor store. Near the end of the war, Hempstead County, of which Hope is the county seat, voted to go dry. Thats when my grandfather opened his grocery store. I later learned that Papaw sold liquor under the counter to the doctors, lawyers, and other respectable people who didnt want to drive the thirty-three miles to the nearest legal liquor store in Texarkana, and that Roger was his supplier..bvlgari bracelet replica.
Mammaw really disliked Roger because she thought he was not the kind of man her daughter and grandson should be tied to. She had a dark side her husband and daughter lacked, but it enabled her to see the darkness in others that they missed. She thought Roger Clinton was nothing but trouble. She was right about the trouble part, but not the nothing but. There was more to him than that, which makes his story even sadder..hermes bracelet replica.
As for me, all I knew was that he was good to me and had a big brown and black German shepherd, Susie, that he brought to play with me. Susie was a big part of my childhood, and started my lifelong love affair with dogs..hermes bracelet replica.
Mother and Roger got married in Hot Springs, in June 1950, shortly after her twenty-seventh birthday. Only Gabe and Virginia Crawford were there. Then Mother and I left her parents home and moved with my new stepfather, whom I soon began to call Daddy, into a little white wooden house on the south end of town at 321 Thirteenth Street at the corner of Walker Street. Not long afterward, I started calling myself Billy Clinton..cartier love bracelet replica.
My new world was exciting to me. Next door were Ned and Alice Williams. Mr. Ned was a retired railroad worker who built a workshop behind his house filled with a large sophisticated model electric-train setup. Back then every little kid wanted a Lionel train set. Daddy got me one and we used to play with it together, but nothing could compare to Mr. Neds large intricate tracks and beautiful fast trains. I spent hours there. It was like having my own Disneyland next door..www.fsagraduates.co.uk.
My neighborhood was a class-A advertisement for the postWorld War II baby boom. There were lots of young couples with kids. Across the street lived the most special child of all, Mitzi Polk, daughter of Minor and Margaret Polk. Mitzi had a loud roaring laugh. She would swing so high on her swing set the poles of the frame would come up out of the ground, as she bellowed at the top of her lungs, Billy sucks a bottle! Billy sucks a bottle! She drove me nuts. After all, I was getting to be a big boy and I did no such thing..www.sigmund-freud.co.uk.
I later learned that Mitzi was developmentally disabled. The term wouldnt have meant anything to me then, but when I pushed to expand opportunities for the disabled as governor and President, I thought often of Mitzi Polk..http://www.panchro.co.uk.
A lot happened to me while I lived on Thirteenth Street. I started school at Miss Marie Purkins School for Little Folks kindergarten, which I loved until I broke my leg one day jumping rope. And it wasnt even a moving rope. The rope in the playground was tied at one end to a tree and at the other end to a swing set. The kids would line up on one side and take turns running and jumping over it. All the other kids cleared the rope..www.onescreen.cc.
One of them was Mack McLarty, son of the local Ford dealer, later governor of Boys State, all-star quarterback, state legislator, successful businessman, and then my first White House chief of staff. Mack always cleared every hurdle. Luckily for me, he always waited for me to catch up..www.onescreen.cc.
Me, I didnt clear the rope. I was a little chunky anyway, and slow, so slow that I was once the only kid at an Easter egg hunt who didnt get a single egg, not because I couldnt find them but because I couldnt get to them fast enough. On the day I tried to jump rope I was wearing cowboy boots to school. Like a fool, I didnt take the boots off to jump. My heel caught on the rope, I turned, fell, and heard my leg snap. I lay in agony on the ground for several minutes while Daddy raced over from the Buick place to get me..http://www.hopeonthestreet.co.uk.
I had broken my leg above the knee, and because I was growing so fast, the doctor was reluctant to put me in a cast up to my hip. Instead, he made a hole through my ankle, pushed a stainless steel bar through it, attached it to a stainless steel horseshoe, and hung my leg up in the air over my hospital bed. I lay like that for two months, flat on my back, feeling both foolish and pleased to be out of school and receiving so many visitors. I took a long time getting over that leg break. After I got out of the hospital, my folks bought me a bicycle, but I never lost my fear of riding without the training wheels. As a result, I never stopped feeling that I was clumsy and without a normal sense of balance until, at the age of twenty-two, I finally started riding a bike at Oxford. Even then I fell a few times, but I thought of it as building my pain threshold.
I was grateful to Daddy for coming to rescue me when I broke my leg. He also came home from work a time or two to try to talk Mother out of spanking me when I did something wrong. At the beginning of their marriage he really tried to be there for me. I remember once he even took me on the train to St. Louis to see the Cardinals, then our nearest major league baseball team. We stayed overnight and came home the next day. I loved it. Sadly, it was the only trip the two of us ever took together. Like the only time we ever went fishing together. The only time we ever went out into the woods to cut our own Christmas tree together. The only time our whole family took an out-of-state vacation together. There were so many things that meant a lot to me but were never to occur again. Roger Clinton really loved me and he loved Mother, but he couldnt ever quite break free of the shadows of self-doubt, the phony security of binge drinking and adolescent partying, and the isolation from and verbal abuse of Mother that kept him from becoming the man he might have been.
One night his drunken self-destructiveness came to a head in a fight with my mother I cant ever forget. Mother wanted us to go to the hospital to see my great-grandmother, who didnt have long to live. Daddy said she couldnt go. They were screaming at each other in their bedroom in the back of the house. For some reason, I walked out into the hall to the doorway of the bedroom. Just as I did, Daddy pulled a gun from behind his back and fired in Mothers direction. The bullet went into the wall between where she and I were standing. I was stunned and so scared. I had never heard a shot fired before, much less seen one. Mother grabbed me and ran across the street to the neighbors. The police were called. I can still see them leading Daddy away in handcuffs to jail, where he spent the night.
Im sure Daddy didnt mean to hurt her and he would have died if the bullet had accidentally hit either of us. But something more poisonous than alcohol drove him to that level of debasement. It would be a long time before I could understand such forces in others or in myself. When Daddy got out of jail he had sobered up in more ways than one and was so ashamed that nothing bad happened for some time.
I had one more year of life and schooling in Hope. I went to first grade at Brookwood School; my teacher was Miss Mary Wilson. Although she had only one arm, she didnt believe in sparing the rod, or, in her case, the paddle, into which she had bored holes to cut down on the wind resistance. On more than one occasion I was the recipient of her concern.
In addition to my neighbors and Mack McLarty, I became friends with some other kids who stayed with me for a lifetime. One of them, Joe Purvis, had a childhood that made mine look idyllic. He grew up to be a fine lawyer, and when I was elected attorney general, I hired Joe on my staff. When Arkansas had an important case before the U.S. Supreme Court, I went, but I let Joe make the argument. Justice Byron Whizzer White sent me a note from the bench saying that Joe had done a good job. Later, Joe became the first chairman of my Birthplace Foundation.
Besides my friends and family, my life on Thirteenth Street was marked by my discovery of the movies. In 1951 and 1952, I could go for a dime: a nickel to get in, a nickel for a Coke. I went every couple of weeks or so. Back then, you got a feature film, a cartoon, a serial, and a newsreel. The Korean War was on, so I learned about that. Flash Gordon and Rocket Man were the big serial heroes. For cartoons, I preferred Bugs Bunny, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Baby Huey, with whom I probably identified. I saw a lot of movies, and especially liked the westerns. My favorite was High NoonI probably saw it half a dozen times during its run in Hope, and have seen it more than a dozen times since. Its still my favorite movie, because its not your typical macho western. I loved the movie because from start to finish Gary Cooper is scared to death but does the right thing anyway.
When I was elected President, I told an interviewer that my favorite movie was High Noon. At the time, Fred Zinnemann, its director, was nearly ninety, living in London. I got a great letter from him with a copy of his annotated script and an autographed picture of himself with Cooper and Grace Kelly in street clothes on the High Noon set in 1951. Over the long years since I first saw High Noon, when I faced my own showdowns, I often thought of the look in Gary Coopers eyes as he stares into the face of almost certain defeat, and how he keeps walking through his fears toward his duty. It works pretty well in real life too.