Friday, April 17, 2015

White House Letter - 1965

I was a real patriotic little kid.* I actually used to watch the Presidential speeches and news conferences etc. And then I would critique them, in my own naive way. This often took the form of encouraging letters from me to the particular speaker. This response to me was written in 1965, by Bill Moyers, after I had written a comment to President Johnson concerning his War on Poverty. I had my own stationary and a typewriter, which made me as old as I wanted to be. I was actually 10 at the time. Sorry, Bill!

But as a result of this letter my parents took my brother and I on a trip into the Appalachian Region to show us the poverty that the President was alluding to in his speech. I had never seen such dire conditions before, and would not again, until on a family trip to Florida in 1969 down Routes 301 and 1 in North Carolina and Georgia. The sight of people living in tin can shacks by the side of the road is not one easily erased from my mind. Actually, the thought of it haunts me to this very day.

Those trips really made an impression upon me and I've always been grateful that my folks took the time and made the effort to make them. 

* I still am.

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