Sunday, February 24, 2013

Keepers of the Flame

Don’t stop me, if you’ve heard this one, particularly if you heard it from me.  Maybe one day you will be my age, and you may feel different about old geezer jokes, anecdotes, and twice-told experiences. 

I have cited previously more than once, and probably will again, that the Monroe Doctrine was the brainchild not of President James Monroe, by whose name this cornerstone of U.S. international policy is known, but rather his Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams.  Of the long list of special and interesting things I know about John Quincy Adams, this was the first, and I learned it in the American History class of Robert Hawkins at Grady High School in Atlanta.

Equally unforgettable to me from the American History class lecture notes of Robert Hawkins was the anecdote about Calvin Coolidge, sometimes known as “silent Cal.”  A woman allegedly said to him, “I have a bet with someone that I can get you to say more than three words to me.”

President Coolidge is quoted as having said, “Madam, you lose.”

General William T. Sherman, after marching through Georgia, was urged to run for President of the United States.  His response: “If nominated, I will not run.  If elected, I will not serve.”  

These are not necessarily the most important things I learned from Robert Hawkins.  What I really learned was a love of American history.  Teachers like Robert Hawkins are the keepers of the flame.

The following can be found on the website of Flanigan Funeral Home, Buford, Ga.

Mr. Robert Austin Hawkins, age 81, of Auburn, GA passed away on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. He is survived by his wife of twenty-nine years, Jean Sims Hawkins, Auburn, GA; son and daughter-in-law, Randall and Cara Hawkins, Woodstock, GA; daughter and son-in-law, Suzanne and Paul Fogleman, Hickory, NC; step son, Jason Harris, Chicago, IL; grandchildren, Eric Hawkins, Nick Hawkins, Austin Fogleman and Paul Fogleman; two great grandchildren, Lily Anne Hawkins and Bo Hawkins; brother and sister-in-law, Jerald and Patt Hawkins, Ft. Myers, FL; and sisters, Francis Farr, Rocksprings, GA and Carol Davis, Marietta, GA.; numerous nieces and nephews.  A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home. Interment will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Georgia National Cemetery Columbarium in Canton, GA with Navy Military Honors. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday morning March 15, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

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