Some Fine Seasons
Ken and I will be in Vegas again, third Xmas in a row. Can’t wait. Vegas keeps the holiday real: people from all over the world who do not celebrate Christmas hit the city this time of year. There are people of all ages who will, and some by choice, be all alone on the holiday so revered for bringing families together. Merry Xmas one and all. Double arrrggghhh.
My Book World
Alice French is a friend who once lived in Lubbock, Texas. For years she worked as an on-air personality for KCBD-11, the NBC affiliate in town, including a talk show for women. She later developed the student-run cable TV station for the Lubbock Independent School District, as well as ran her own media firm. Her late husband, Rich Weaver, was head of the theater department at Texas Tech University for many years. For the first three years of their retirement, they toured the U.S. in an RV, and Alice has many interesting tales to tell about their experiences. She now lives in Holiday Island, Arkansas—and has a beautiful view of the famed hills from her living room window.
I shouldn’t watch C-SPAN’s Book-TV quite as much as I do. There are so many great books presented by the authors themselves. What is more inviting (in most cases) than that? Sometimes I get enough information just by watching the reading. Other times, as with this book, I can’t resist buying my own copy.
While Rosenfeld was speaking on C-SPAN, I became reacquainted with this era of unrest, the early and middle 1960s, and after I finished the book I became more and more satisfied with the fact that I’d never mustered much respect for the gipper (or is it gypper?). Rosenfeld produces evidence that Reagan began buying favors from J. Edgar Hoover by turning in certain Hollywood celebs who were suspected of being communists. In exchange, he would later ask Hoover to tail his eighteen-year-old daughter, Maureen, in the Washington, D.C. area to see if she was truly living with a man much older than she. Why would a leader who hated excessive government exploit said government for private reasons instead of hiring his own private investigator? Was he just cheap? Why would Reagan use his power as California governor to remove a liberal chancellor at UC Berkeley by seating himself as one of the regents? All throughout his life as a politician of “less government,” he used more government to further his own political standing. Our upstanding Reagan, according to Rosenfeld’s information, was quite promiscuous by way of starlets as much as fifteen years his junior during the period following his divorce from Jane Wyman and before he met Nancy Davis. He neither cared much for nor spent much time with his “Wyman" children, and, well, we know through Patty Davis how great a father he was to the “Davis" kids. What an all-around wonderful human being he seems to have been—having justified all his actions on behalf of his brilliant career. If you can stand getting angry all over again, as I did, you might enjoy reading how Rosenfeld documents everything that seemed to be true about Reagan and his horrible misuse of power but which one couldn’t prove. By the end of the book, you realize that Rosenfeld’s title, Subversives, is true not only (according to the media and popular culture) of the UC students who rioted for reform but also of Reagan, who used his power to subvert democracy, the very ideal he purported to be protecting.