CHAPTER X.

1 The catastrophe of my big meeting in the Mayflower seemed complete. I had put all I had into that final effort, including money and thought, time and work. And it had been just another session of talk, like all the rest, like almost everything else going on in the right-wing. But I reckoned without the hand of an inscrutable destiny which I have come to know and to trust.

2 One of the men who had come to that last meeting in the Mayflower was Robert B. Snowden, an extremely wealthy plantation owner from Hughes, Arkansas. He had heard of me through my friend, Congressman Gwinn of New York and then had called me to say he was coming up from Memphis for the meeting. Part of my humiliation at the meeting had been Snowden's speech. He had used the occasion to tell the group of his own organization and his plan to do exactly what I was proposing, in a different way. He had, moreover, plenty of money of his own, plus many thousands of dollars at his disposal from other wealthy Americans. He had the active backing of many congressmen and influential people and his organization, unlike mine, was 'in business' and seemed to be a booming success. With all this, he very understandably preached that the support I was asking would be much better put into his organization which was called The Campaign for the 48 States. It made sense. In effect, he simply stole my meeting.

3 But the fact that his proposals made sense was no consolation to me the next morning as I surveyed the wreckage of my political career. With no more money, no organization, paper or business, it was hard to figure a next move. Then the telephone rang. It was Snowden.

4 "Can you come over to the Congressional Hotel?" he asked bluntly.

5 "Sure," I said, having nothing to lose by talking to a millionaire. "When?"

6 "Right now."

7 "Be right over."

8 I hung up the phone and scurried over to his suite in the hotel which was right next to the halls of Congress. He was in his BVD'S, drinking whiskey from a tumbler. He offered me some in his hearty, bluff manner and I accepted. I liked him. He was big, florid of fact, outspoken, even blunt, and he obviously 'knew the score', as it is termed among the loose mess of people called 'the movement'.

9 There was no "die-hard" old lady about Snowden.

10 "I liked your pitch," he growled. "You've got the stuff we need. I want to put you on the payroll. How about it?"

11 I felt like a man in the electric chair being offered a reprieve. 'Would have probably agreed to go on the payroll of Nikita Khrushchev at that moment, with two hungry families waiting for me to bring home some bacon and one of them with a warrant and jail ready if I didn't bring home some bacon. But Snowden had seen me at my best, in plush surroundings and knew my record of accomplishments, so I tried to keep cool.

12 "Doing what?" I asked. "And for how much?"

13 "Helping me organize the Campaign, raising funds and writing scripts for TV films."

14 "What's the payroll?" I repeated, trying to keep down my excitement at this offer of what appeared to be heaven plus a salary. Writing TV film-scripts sounded like the answer to my prayers!

15 "Eight thousand."

16 We gulped his bourbon and dickered. Several people came and went and he held court for them in his BVD'S. We liked each other. The job, of course, was my heart's desire, although I hid my wild elation over it for a decent period of time. We settled the details and it was agreed that I would stay right in my home in Virginia and write five half-hour TV shows to be filmed in promoting the five amendments to the Constitution which comprised the 'trick' of the Campaign for the 48 States in sneaking the government back from the usurpers.

17 Snowden got dressed and we adjourned to the bar below, where we met a friend of mine, Bill Evans, who had been kicked out of the Navy, despite his being a senior lieutenant and a graduate of Annapolis, because he pointed out the gross treason going on in the Korean War when he was aboard a destroyer. Evans knew more about the 'movement' and the people - which ones were phonies, etc. - than anybody I knew at the time, and I thought he might be able to help in the Campaign. Snowden didn't think Evans would be of any help, but felt so expansive and generous that he loaned Evans $800 on the spot to get his wife and children back from overseas, where they had been stranded, now that Evans was down in his luck after his bout with the pinko bureaucrats of Washington. Showden's impulsive generosity I found attractive, but I was soon to learn another side of the man.

18 I used my last funds to get set up properly in my home in Vienna to write and organize the TV films for him, as ordered. I Was to send him the scripts and layouts as they were completed.

19 But before I could get started, I received a hurry-up call to report to a big meeting in New York, where I was to help Snowden and Gwinn raise funds at a luncheon. Upon my arrival, I found the Campaign had been able to gather some of the greatest names in U.S. industry at this sumptuous private dinner. Snowden and Gwinn both made little talks asking for $495 from each of the assembled capitalists - the largest non-reportable contribution. The results of the plush atmosphere and the smooth pitch were excellent and I was very pleased to be part of the outfit - for a few minutes.

20 Then, as we parted for the day, Snowden suddenly informed me that he had hired a firm, which I later found was dominated by Jewish interests, to write the TV films and I was to move to Memphis to work in the office with him! This was an awful blow - creatively, financially and family-wise. I would not write the films I was working so happily on. I would have to sustain the severe financial strain of giving up our pretty little Virginia home and moving over 1000 miles into the South. I would have to rip up my family's growing roots and inform my wife of the new hegira, and my wife was getting understandably sick, and tired of hegiras. We had already moved four times in two years. But I was on the payroll, and working in politics, which was my chosen career, so there was nothing to be said or done except to move.

21 Thora and I, Ricky, Grampaw and Jeannie, the baby, piled into our Plymouth station wagon and we drove the long road to Memphis. On the way, I thought many hours about what might lie ahead and resolved to take out 'insurance' against any more of this total uprooting of my family. I tensed, with Snowden's sudden switch, the possibility that my political career, even on -salary', might not be too secure. I resolved not to buy or rent a house or, apartment, but to get a big trailer. If there were to be any more sudden moves, I would be ready to hitch up and go.

22 Snowden ran a miniature dictatorship in his Memphis office, ruling like a tyrant over his other assistant, Fred Rosenberg (German) and his secretary. It had been "Bob" and "Linc" before, but when I walked into the office, I was ordered summarily to address the boss as "Mr Snowden". This did not bother me too much. I do not mind the boss exercising his -authority or dignity. In fact, I insist on this myself, but his next orders did bother me.

23 Having come all the way down to Memphis, I found myself required to make out, by hand, little receipts for the $3.65 contributions which poured in from all over the U.S.A., thanks to the organization's slogan: "A Penny a Day." These receipts could have been printed and stamped, as they had been in my offices in two businesses. It seemed silly to pay a man $8,000 and have a thousand miles with his family in order to write out receipts eight hours a day. When he left for lunch, I asked my new associates about the foolish business.

24 "He's just like that," they said. "He's showing you who's boss.'

25 It did no good for me to emphasize that I was happy to acknowledge him boss, call him "Sir" and obey his orders without cavil. Day after day I reported to work with my sandwiches and sat for hours scribbling out those eternal little receipts. While I thus 'occupied' my talents, I watched Mr Snowden swashbuckling around the office, commanding the other two in his imperious manner. I tried very gentle and extremely diplomatic gambits in offering helpful suggestions, particularly as to methods of cutting out a great deal of inefficient and useless paperwork, such as the endless little receipts. This only made him angry, so I gave it up.

26 Then one day he got the first scripts from his expensive New York deal. He read them with growing consternation. He did not let me look at them, but he showed them to Rosenberg, complaining bitterly about the deadness and stupidity of them. He wrote the firm, with whom he had an iron-bound contract, a nasty letter and received more lousy scripts.

27 I had already carried out my resolution to buy a trailer and I went home -to this rather palatial, if compact, home and sat up all night writing the script as I thought it should have been written. The next morning I silently handed my effort to Mr Snowden, who accepted it with equal silence and read it. He said nothing and went out to lunch.

28 When he came back, he gruffly told me to get busy and write the scripts, so I put away my receipt book and returned to the work I could have been doing back home in Virginia, the work I was doing before he paid the other outfit to do it, only to discover, as he should have known, that only a dedicated, informed and creative right-winger could write those scripts. It annoyed him, however, to have me sitting there above his immediate commands, so he told me to go home and write them - a most welcome order.

29 I pitched in and wrote the shows which, I understand were finally used although I never saw them, but not without his 'help'. His blue pencil had to insert itself into carefully-written bits of propaganda, like a wrecking bar, to sledge-hammer it around to his own tastes.

30 In the middle of this, I was ordered by the Navy to take a couple of reserve squadrons from Anacostia, D.C. ' to Grosse Isle, Michigan, for a summer 'cruise' of two weeks' intensive flight training. I Was commanding officer of Fasron 661 at Anacostia, flying a weekend every month in Washington, and now I was appointed task force commander of the training group. Thus I had to leave Memphis, my family and Mr Snowden for two weeks to serve in the Navy. During this period of my absence, Mr Snowden offered to take my wife and children for a visit to his sumptuous plantation at Hughes, Arkansas, where he had a lake for swimming.

31 It was on this cruise at Grosse Isle that I learned at last the full extent of the 'Jew-democratic' rot which has emasculated our fighting forces. My orders as task force commander were to take my own Fasron 661 and a scouting squadron attached to Grosse Isle Naval Air Station for two weeks of intensive drill and training to insure the combat-readiness of the officers and men. We were all drawing full duty pay and enjoying all the benefits of active service in the Navy, so it seemed to me that we owed the taxpayers of America everything we could do to insure the genuine battle-readiness of the squadrons, the officers and the men.

32 One of the most elementary necessities in combat-readiness is discipline, and discipline, in turn, requires instant obedience and respect. This is the reason for most of the saluting, the honors, ceremonies, dignities and services accorded seniors by juniors in all effective military organizations. I made the terrible 'mistake' of trying to include this most necessary element in the training program. I ordered all juniors to salute all seniors once a day, and all commanding officers to be saluted every time they appeared, except under active working conditions or when flying, and so forth. This is no more than standard procedure aboard ship where decent discipline prevails.

33 The result was that some of the officers and men complained to Anacostia, and I got chewed out thoroughly, almost receiving an unsatisfactory fitness report. I got a lecture on the new 'democracy' and the need to make 'pals' out of the troops, etc. It was hard to believe it was the same Navy I had been in when I was a catapult pilot on the old Omaha, sixteen years before.

34 In those days, the Navy still maintained its aristocratic fighting traditions, even though some of the troops might have had their 'democratic' feelings hurt by not being 'pals' with their officers. In fact, every effort was made to create a gap between juniors and seniors. There was a greater gap then, between ensigns and junior lieutenants, than there is now, between ensigns and captains! Before we got 'democracy', even a junior naval officer was assigned his private mess boy, as the privilege of a gentleman whose profession was war. This was before the Jews had managed to spread the idea that every admiral and general should wash his dishes and his dog and that it is beneath the 'dignity' of a Negro to do these tasks for a man whose responsibilities may include the fate of nations.

35 Rank really meant something in those days, and the other ensigns and I never thought of referring to a lieutenant, junior grade, as anything but "sir". There was even a 'head' or washroom for lieutenants and above, and once, when I was already one of the jg's, I got caught by a lieutenant using his sacred chamber between flights to save a long run up and down two ladders to my quarters in the 'black hold of Calcutta'. This dignitary of a higher world was not as popularity crazy as are today's officers, and very properly chewed me out in the saltiest tradition for thus intruding on the privacy of my betters. Even as few years back as 1941, American fighting men of all ranks could understand the simple fact that nobody can preserve the dignity of command and maintain the respect of large numbers of men when commanders and commanded all stand together in the most undignified of tasks in the most undignified of places, as they sometimes do now in the military establishments.

36 An enlisted man or a junior officer with the right attitude and spirit does not feel himself degraded and humbled by saluting, honoring and granting privilege to a good officer. -But many of today's officers have become obsessed with a desire to be popular, rather than good officers.

37 Back in '41, I saluted my commanding officer every time I saw him and was damned proud to salute this fine, tough officer. I did not have the democratic 'privilege' of wee-weeing together with him, but I did have the privilege of following his leadership and of feeling real, solid, eighteen carat respect for an officer and a gentleman who would have unhesitatingly had me clapped in irons for any willful and flagrant failure to show such respect.

38 Sure, we had tyrants and bullies when commanding officers had the real power they used to have, but sometimes we learned that the tyrants had a purpose in their roughness and it paid off in combat. More often than not, our commanding officers were outstanding leaders. Today, a C.O.' is sort of a businessman executive and school-teacher who is expected, above all things, to be 'popular' in the cheapest sort of way, and then to be a technical expert and paper-shuffler. If he tries to establish the proper conditions of dignity and respect for effective leadership, which always involve the elements of privilege and fear, in addition to popularity, he is promptly accused of not being 'democratic'.

39 To add to this sour experience, my return from the two-week Navy cruise was the occasion for a new battle with Snowden, this time of a serious nature. He later settled the matter out of court and I agreed not to divulge the details of the affair, and thus cannot do so here.

40 After that encounter, things in the office were worse than difficult. In the interest of the cause and my job, I tried to be extremely, even formally respectful and helpful, but my boss redoubled his arbitrary tyranny. I tried to tell him I had established good contacts with Russell Maguire at Mercury magazine, and other contacts which could get us good publicity, but Snowden scorned these offers and hired a man he admitted knowing was a pinko to do the publicity, one of the jobs for which I was hired.

41 One morning I walked into the office to find Snowden there early. He asked me to look at a bill or something at his desk and, as I did, I could not help seeing a note reading "Fire Rockwell." I asked him what it was and he tried to hide it, but it was too late. We had it out, and I stamped out of the office, with him ordering me back to hear more, all the way to the elevator.

42 Thankful that I had the foresight to get the trailer, I hurried home with the awful news for my wife, who was beginning to feel like a badminton bird. We bought an old '49 Cadillac and I hitched up that 44 foot giant - bigger than a truck - and piled the family inside the dwarfed car.

43 Few combat flying experiences have been so 'hairy' as that first trip, hauling such a gigantic trailer, with a car full of wife and children. The thing swayed dangerously going down hills and there was one time when I saw a huge Greyhound bus roaring down a hill opposite as I roared down another hill toward the point at the bottom where the road narrowed to a tiny bridge over a creek! It was obvious that we would meet in the middle and the bridge was barely wide enough for both of us - less than a foot to spare! I waved my arm frantically to the bus driver to stop, since I couldn't stop, but he kept on with the usual elephantine speed of a bus. My fingers gripping the steering wheel in a clutch of deathly, cold fear, we shwooshed past each other on that bridge in a hair-breadth escape that literally exhausted my wife and me. The kids thought it was fun, of course! We also had a fearful time getting around tight corners in towns and my wife often had to jump out of the car to guide me around, while flagging other cars down.

44 On the way, our trailer hitch broke and we almost had a catastrophe as the trailer dropped with a horrible thud, but we managed to battle and struggle our way up to Washington, D.C.', and finally pulled into the lovely park at Haine's Point, on an island in the middle of the Potomac - with a gigantic sigh of relief!