A Part in History

“Partin was a big tough-looking man with an extensive criminal record as a youth. Hoffa misjudged the man and thought that because he was big and tough and had a criminal record and was out on bail and was from Louisiana, the home states of Carlos Marcello, the man must have been a guy who paints houses.”

Charles Brant and Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran in Frank’s 2014 memoir,“I Heard You Paint Houses,” a reference to mafia lingo for a hitman who paints the walls of a house red with splattered blood.

To understand Wendy and me and our relationship, a bit of history may help; the Cuban story continues in the next chapter, if you’d like to skip this.

Anyone could put together most of my life history if they had internet access and knew my full name and my parents names: my mom was Wendy Anne Rothdram Partin, my dad is Edward Grady Partin Junior, and I’m Jason Ian Partin. My grandfather’s Wikipedia page changes becaue it’s Wikipedia, but usually mentions his ties to Hoffa and a few of his major crimes that sent Big Daddy to prison in 1980, five years after Hoffa vanished and the Partin family protection with him.

My dad was sentenced to federal prison in Arkansas just as Big Daddy was released from a Texas penatentary is 1986, while I was spending school months with Wendy in Louisiana. My dad stayed in Arkansas and quickly got his GED, graduated with honors from The University of Arkansas with a dual major in history and political science, and earned his jurus doctor a few years later, graduating magna cum laude. He passsed the bar exams for Arkansas and Louisiana’s unique and outdated Napoleonic system the frist time each, but had to sue both states to practice law as a convicted felon. Both suits reached the state supreme court levels, and he represented himself and won. Those cases are documented online and detail his long history of trouble with the law in both states, beginning with selling opiods when I was an infant and cummulating with the two of us being arrested in the summer of 1985 by a posse of about 20 deputies, armed with shotguns and hunting rifles, who confiscated a smidgen over two pounds of shake from the floor of our barn and probably had no idea who Ed Partin Senior was, or they probably wouldn’t have joined the posse pursuing his son. Edward Grady Partin, Junior, J.D., is currently listed on several websites as a public defense attorney in Slaughter, Loiusiana, adjacent to Wendy’s town of Saint Francisville. Though they hadn’t spoken in almost thirty years, Wendy would still laugh nervously about the humorous ironies of my dad living in Slaughter and her living next door in a town named for the patron saint of kindess to animals. I probably inherited her sense of humor, centered around ironies and coincidences.

Wendy died from liver failure secondary to alcohol abuse soon after I arrived home from Cuba, not suicide like I had feared and worried about uselessly, unless you count alcholhism as slow suicide. The obituary I wrote summarizing her life is online, bookended by advertisements that keep the archives running.

Wendy Partin Obituary

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Wendy Rothdram Partin, a resident of St. Francisville, LA, passed way on Friday, April 5th, 2019 at the age of 63. Wendy attended Glenoaks High School in Baton Rouge, LA, and retired from Exxon Mobil. She is survived by her son, Jason Ian Partin, of San Diego, CA. She was preceded in death by her mother, Joyce Rothdram, and her aunt and uncle, Lois and Robert Desico, all of Baton Rouge, LA. During her retirement, she became a master gardener and enjoyed helping people with their lawns. She enjoyed cooking, and took food to anyone she knew who was ill or grieving. Wendy loved animals, and worked with local shelters to foster dogs until they found permanent homes. She passed away unexpectedly from liver failure. In lieu of gifts or a service, please spend time sharing what you love with your neighbor, listen to what they love, and help each other.

Published by The Advocate from Apr. 8 to Apr. 9, 2019.

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If you were or wanted to be a sleuth, you could track down Joyce Rothdram’s obituary and learn that she’s Joyce Hicks Rothdram, preceeded in death by her father, Harold “Hal” Hicks. He was a professional ice hockey player in the National Hockey League, wearing jersies for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Detroit Cougars, Detroit Falcons, and Montreal Maroons. As of 2019, his Wikipedia page ommits the Maple Leafs, but I remember seeing his jersey hanging on Aunt Mary’s wall in Tornonto and trust her more than Wikipedia. He retired from hockey and married Grandma Hicks and they settled in Richmond Hill, a suburb of Toronto, though he was from Quebec, and became a respected manager of the English half of the Canadian railroad system. He died in 1965, seven years before I was born, so I’ve only heard stories about him and read news articles about his hockey days and service in the rail system. He seemed to be universally respected, unlike Big Daddy, and adored by friends, family, teammates, employees, and travelers and cargo shipping companies who apprecaited how he ran the English speaking portions of the Canadian rail system; to this day, the Canadian vote to split thier country in two is about 51/49 against, but no one judged Hal for being French.

Grandpa and Grandma Hicks had a happy life in the post depression boom, and after WWII they raised three daughters: Aunt Mary, Auntie Lo, and Granny. Auntie Lo married Robert M. Desico, a French speaking manager of Montreal’s Bulk Stevendoring company, which oversees workers loading and unloading cargo ships, and they moved to Baton Rouge in the late 1950’s when Uncle Bob accepted a role managing American operations for Bulk Stevedoring’s American headquarters near the port of New Orleans, which is America’s second largest port, after New York, and the home of most trade between North America, which most Americans forget includes Canada, and Central and South America and the Carribbean.

Auntie Lo and Uncle Bob never had children, and they splurged on themselves and bought a three bedroom, two bath home in Baton Rouge’s Sherwood Forest subdivision near the relatively exclusive Sherwood Forest Country Club, where Uncle Bob played golf and they both drank themselves into a stuper before bedtime every weekend. He kept an appartment in the more expensive and densely populated city of New Orleans, which is about 80 miles downriver of Baton Rouge, and he was only home on weekends, bringing home jazz albums he bought in New Orleans and talking only briefly about his foreign travels negotiating contracts on behalf of Bulk Stevedoring, usually over prodigious amounts of booze and using racial slurs with whatever dignitary was talking the most. Mostly, though, he and Auntie Lo embraced a child free life by embracing the country club lifestyle and warm southern winters previously unknown to them because they were from, what is to me, the frozen tundra called Canada; even when I visited Aunt Mary in the summer, I shivered while they talked about how warm it was, and I can see why Auntie Lo and Uncle Bob loved Louisaina so much.

Granny, the youngest Hicks girl, got drunk and pregnant in Tornonto at age 18 and married a man whose last name was Rothdram. She fled him when Wendy was five years old. I never asked why, and I never learned that grandfather’s first name; Wendy couldn’t remember. Granny and Wendy moved to Baton Rouge and lived with Auntie Lo and Uncle Bob and she found secretarial work at DuPont, along Baton Rouge’s newly formed Chemical Alley twenty minutes north of the airport, and bought a small, 680 square foot home directly under the flight path and near Glen Oaks Elementary, Middle, and High Schools for her and Wendy; the doors of her well stockedd liquor cabinet rattled from overhead jet engines every twenty minutes or so, but she was happy with her bottles of Scotch and cartons of Kents and subscription to Readers Digest. She never remarried or had other children. Aunt Mary settled down with Uncle John in Richond Hill and they raised a happy family quietly, just like Grandma and Grandpa Hicks had, and to my knowledge they never did anything to warrant a Wikipedia page.

Granny, Uncle Bob, and Auntie Lo would all pass away from alcohol and tobacoo related diseases in rapid succession between 1989 and 1993, all before age 64; Aunt Mary passed in 2020, in her late 90’s and during the pandemic, but unrelated to Covid-19. After all, at some point we all simply pass away from old age, and in your late 90’s we don’t need to define the cause more precisely. All of their obituaries can be traced by an intereped researcher. Wendy and I shared had no other blood relatives in America, and I lost track of my second cousins from Toronto, who married and changed names before the internet allowed people to keep in touch more easily. I never learned what happened to Grandpa Hicks’s Maple Leaf jersey, and no one left alive remembers it, so you’d have to trust my memory more than the internet about his hockey career.

I have a handful of medical device patents in the USPTO database as either Jason Partin and Jason Ian Partin, things like hyrogel spinal implants to replace the nucleus pulposus that adapt to diurnal changes in disc height; bone healing screws that adapt in situ to continuously apply active compression; and, a personal favorite, a pyrolytic carbon wrist resurfacing implant with a fin to stabalize it in the radial bone that looks exactly like inspired it, a stubby surfboard commonly seen in San Diego’s mushy summer waters and called a fish. The second author on the surfboard patent, as we called it, is Arnold Palmer, M.D., a former president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and internationally known expert and textbook author on hand and wrist surgery, with hundreds of peer review publications on a wide range of orthopedic research. I’m on a few publications here and there, though I stopped publishing when I started patenting. Andy and I have a few other patents together, though people abandoned our surfboard nomeclature because, as most surgeons know, a wrist fracture is accessed from the palm’s side, the palmar approach, so some of our plates are called “Palmar Plates” as a wink and a smile to acknowledge Andy Palmer. Some of our patents were under the ownership Kinetikos Medical Incorported, a San Diego company of 36 people with around $5 Million in annual sales, which was purchased for $42 Million in 2006 by an international medical device corporation with dozens of thousands of employees.

I’m not on social media, except for Linkedin. When I joined Linkedin ten or fifteen years before Cuba, it was primarily a professional network that I used for my burgeoning medical device consulting business, and I keep it out of habit. In 2019, I was shown on Linkedin as managing an innovation lab called “Donald’s Garage” and leading engineering classes at the newly dubbed University of San Diego Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, named after Donald Shiley, a mechanical engineer and inventor of the world’s first pyroltic carbon heart valves that sold to Pfieser for hundreds of millions of dollars, and his widow, Darlene Marcos, who donated $21 Million for a hands on lab at USD in 2016 to inspire future innovators to learn by doing, hands-on, less talking and analysis and more iterating. As Edison said, he knew 1,500 ways not to make a light bulb, and Einstein said success was ten percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration; even Hemmingway iterated, and his museum in Ketchum, Idaho, where he put a shotgun to his head, has 37 drafts of The Sun Also Rises to show how long remarkable work can take.

Donald’s Garage made the news once or twice for sharing the lab with middle schools in the poor and racial diverse city within San Diego, City Heights, an area populated by United States refugee programs and exploited by drug dealers and sex trafficers, but with phenominal ethnic cuisine from 82 cultures crammed in a mile and a half radius; that’s where JoJo was born, and where I used to spend a lot of time volunteering as a CASA and entrepreneurship fascilitator.

If you scrolled down my Linkedin profile to roles I had thirty years before, you’d see that I served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and the quick reaction force of Presidents Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton in the early 1990’s, when the JFK and Martin Luther King Junior Assassination Report was first released publicly, and that I briefly held a diplomatic passport as a peacekeeper in the Middle East and served as a communication laison with the Multinational Force and Observers in 1993. The MFO had, interestingly to me, been created by President Carter in 1979, just as the congressional JFK Assassination Report was first shown to a president for the firt time. I don’t know why Carter didn’t release it, or why it was hidden for so long, or why parts are still classified. Carter’s MFO base was a temporary solution and resisted publicly, like Guantanamo was for 9/11 prisoners, but it’s still in the Sinai peninsula buffering Egypt and Israel and using taxpayer money for reasons I don’t understand. That forgotten fact may help explain my interest in obscure military bases on foreign soil that people have forgotten about, and why I wanted to wander around Guantanamo Bay while climbing in Cuba.

Before that, I was listed in obituaries as a surviving grandson or nephew. And I recently learned that I’m online from a 1990 wresting tournament, two weeks before I was listed Big Daddy’s surviving grandson: I had placed second in the Baton Rouge City Wresting Tournament, loosing to Hillary Clinton, a humorous name now, but practically unknonwn to anyone outside of Arkansas until Bill Clinton became president in 1992 and, coincidentally, released the first part of the JFK Assassination Report. Hillary inadvertantly broke my left ring finger escaping form my cradle in the first round, and threw me to my back and pinned me 42 seconds into the second round; he went on to win state again, the same week of Big Daddy’s Baton Rouge funeral. Of course, Big Daddy overshadowed my measly second place city medal in the news, but I’m still proud of it. The Louisiana Wresting Association recently uploaded that tournament and a bunch more from old paper archives, so it’s now online with Big Daddy’s obituary. I don’t have a Wikipedia page like Big Daddy or Grandpa Hicks, but I’m still young.

Long before Linkedin existed, Jason Ian Patin showed up with Wendy and my dad in court documents when I was a kid and before I knew my middle name. In Septermber of 1976, when I was about four years old, Judge JJ Lottingger of the East Baton Rouge Parish 19th judicial district had a few things to say about Wendy and me. Like with any author, especially a judge, it’s useful to look at their background and the situation as they saw it before forming opinions about what they wrote. I met Lottingger when I was a kid, but I don’t recall the details, so what follows is my understanding of him and the context surrounding my 1976 court records that are, for reasons I don’t understand, available online.

In 1975, Judge Lottingger transferred from thirty years in Louisiana state legislative law in the Baton Rouge capital building, not to far from Big Daddy’s office in Teamsters Local #5, and Lottingger had worked with three governors over fifteen years, trying to rid Louisiana of my grandfather. My case was one of his first after Judge Pugh, the original trial judge for my case who removed me from my parents custody in 1973, allegedly committed suicide around the time Hoffa disappeared from the Red Fox restaurant parking lot in Detroit on July 30th, 1975, which motivated many books and films and conspiracy theories, including the 2019 film The Irishman and sparked my interest in researching my family while I was in Cuba, and why I had so many court records downloaded on my phone when I was in Havana. I obviously never met Hoffa, or at least I don’t remember if I did and I can’t imagine him traveling to Baton Rouge to chit chat with Big Daddy before he disappeared, but I’ve always felt a connection to his story because of how much it overlaps with mine.

In 1962, The Blood Feud had been in full swing for almost ten years, and reporters called the multi million dollar pursuit of Hoffa by Bobby and the FBI’s Get Hoffa Squad the most fruitless use of taxpayer money ever; though they obviously hand’t done their homework, because we’ve wasted much more money on much greater follies, like prosecuting Chong’s Bongs, and probably will again. FBI director J. Edgar worked for Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, but with great independence, and he had been monitoring Big Daddy because of Teamster activity in and out of the port of New Orleans and possible affiliations with Fidel Castro; Hoover was vehemently anti-communist. Soon after the FBI began monitoring Big Daddy, he was arrested for helping a Teamster from Local #5, Sydney Simpson, kidnap his two young children after Sydney disputed a jduge’s custody decision, and while in jail additional charges of manslaugher were filed because of Big Daddy’s hit-and-run in Mississippi earlier that year. He was facing life in prison. He used his phone call to contact the New Orleans FBI office, and forty eight hours after being put in jail he was freed by Walter Sheridan, head of the Get Hoffa Squad, and negotiated a deal with Bobby Kennedy to infiltrate Hoffa’s inner circle in exchange for being free. Ten months after President Kennedy’s murder in 1963, Big Daddy became nationally known as the Baton Rouge Teamster leader whose testimony sent Hoffa to prison, showcased in a Time magazine feature shared with the new presidental family, the Johnsons, because by then everyone wanted to know who was brave or dumb enough to testify agaisnt Hoffa.

Hoffa appealed with a team of lawyers who also represented the most notorious mafia families in America, like Frank Ramano, J.D., who represented Carlos Marcello in New Orleans and Cuban exhile Santos Trafacante Junior in Miami, and they attacked Big Daddy’s character. In return, Bobby showcased his only witness as a hard working family man, plastering the Partin family across national media, like Look! and Life magazines, and Hoover supported this by partially releasing his 1962 surveillance and allowing America to know that the FBI had been recording Hoffa and Big Daddy in plots to kill Bobby Kennedy. Big Daddy was shown to be an all-American hero who may have saved Bobby’s life, and risked his own to stop labor union corruption from ruining America. Their story became the narrative for 1983’s Blood Feud film. And, like almost all films I know, like The Irishaman, it was far from the truth; yet, the a lot of the truth was hidden in plain sight if anyone walked into the U.S. Supreme Court and asked to see Jimmy Hoffa’s 1966 appeal, Hoffa vs. The United States, where he and his team of mafia lawyers had spent two and a half years fighting Big Daddy’s testimony all the way to the Supreme Court, one of only a handful of cases to reach that level each year.

Hoffa’s case was overseen by Chief Justice Earl Warren, a household name back then because of landmark cases like Roe vs. Wade, Brown vs. The Board of Education, the case that gave us Miranda Rights, and, of course, the 1964 Warren Report that erroneously stated Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot and killed President John F. Kennedy, and that Jack Ruby acted alone when he shot and killed Oswald in a Dallas police station and on live international television two days later; 110 Million people saw it, and few doubted Ruby’s guilt, and many trusted Earl Warren’s report on the assassination. By the time of Hoffa’s trial, people listened to what he had to say, almost as if he had a Twitter or X account and millions of followers. He was the only one of nine judges to dissent in Hoffa vs The United States, to vote against using Big Daddy’s testimony to convict anyone, not just Hoffa. Warren was less concerened about the guilt or innocence of Hoffa than concerned about the process used to convict him. He explained his logic at the end of Hoffa vs. The United States, a permanent record for posterity to ponder, which, as Big Daddy’s posterity, I’ve done every now and then. I learn something new every time.

Warren had this to say about my grandfather and the threat to American justice he represented:

Here, Edward Partin, a jailbird languishing in a Louisiana jail under indictments for such state and federal crimes as embezzlement, kidnapping, and manslaughter (and soon to be charged with perjury and assault), contacted federal authorities and told them he was willing to become, and would be useful as, an informer against Hoffa, who was then about to be tried in the Test Fleet case. A motive for his doing this is immediately apparent — namely, his strong desire to work his way out of jail and out of his various legal entanglements with the State and Federal Governments. And it is interesting to note that, if this was his motive, he has been uniquely successful in satisfying it. In the four years since he first volunteered to be an informer against Hoffa he has not been prosecuted on any of the serious federal charges for which he was at that time jailed, and the state charges have apparently vanished into thin air.

This type of informer and the uses to which he was put in this case evidence a serious potential for undermining the integrity of the truthfinding process in the federal courts. Given the incentives and background of Partin, no conviction should be allowed to stand when based heavily on his testimony. And that is exactly the quicksand upon which these convictions rest, because, without Partin, who was the principal government witness, there would probably have been no convictions here.

Here, the Government reaches into the jailhouse to employ a man who was himself facing indictments far more serious (and later including one for perjury) than the one confronting the man against whom he offered to inform. It employed him not for the purpose of testifying to something that had already happened, but rather for the purpose of infiltration to see if crimes would in the future be committed. The Government, in its zeal, even assisted him in gaining a position from which he could be a witness to the confidential relationship of attorney and client engaged in the preparation of a criminal defense. And, for the dubious evidence thus obtained, the Government paid an enormous price. Certainly if a criminal defendant insinuated his informer into the prosecution’s camp in this manner, he would be guilty of obstructing justice. I cannot agree that what happened in this case is in keeping with the standards of justice in our federal system, and I must, therefore, dissent.

Warren’s missive was long, even for a missive, and he eventually got around to mentioning Mamma Jean, though not by name. Warren seemed more focused on telling posterity what “bullshit” it was to accept Big Daddy’s testimony agianst Hoffa.

Upon his arrival in Nashville, Partin manifested his “friendship” and made himself useful to Hoffa, thereby worming his way into Hoffa’s hotel suite and becoming part and parcel of Hoffa’s entourage. As the “faithful” servant and factotum of the defense camp which he became, he was in a position to overhear conversations not directed to him, many of which were between attorneys and either their client or prospective defense witnesses. Pursuant to the general instructions he received from federal authorities to report “any attempts at witness intimidation or tampering with the jury,” “anything illegal,” or even “anything of interest,” Partin became the equivalent of a bugging device which moved with Hoffa wherever he went. Everything Partin saw or heard was reported to federal authorities, and much of it was ultimately the subject matter of his testimony in this case. For his services, he was well paid by the Government, both through devious and secret support payments to his wife and, it may be inferred, by executed promises not to pursue the indictments under which he was charged at the time he became an informer.

Hoffa vs The United States is still used as a precident case, preventing similar wire tapping, or ambiguosly constitutional cases monitoring Ameircan using whatever technology was possible, from reaching the Supreme Court, and helped many federal agencies monitor suspects with less restrictions than before. I’m no lawyer, but the most remarkable consequence of allowing Big Daddy’s testimony against Hoffa was after 9/11, when President Bush Jr.’s legal team used it and a few subsequent cases in The Patriot Act, allowing the cell phones of millions of Americans to be monitored. Warren obviously didn’t know about cell phones in 1966, but in his missive about Big Daddy he predicted what could happen, saying, “[Partin] received from federal authorities to report “any attempts at witness intimidation or tampering with the jury,” “anything illegal,” or even “anything of interest,” Partin became the equivalent of a bugging device which moved with Hoffa wherever he went.” and, “[The government] employed him not for the purpose of testifying to something that had already happened, but rather for the purpose of infiltration to see if crimes would in the future be committed.” In other words, Hoffa vs The United States set the stage for preemptive monitoring not unlike premptive strikes, and Warren felt that was against the values of Ameirca, regardless of the transiet concerns about one person’s guilt or innocence. For a society based on values to work, the legal process used to prosecute people must adhere to those values. I don’t know what Chief Justice Earl Warren would have said about keeping prisoners in Guantanomo Bay wihtout access to an attorney, like in the Miranda Rights for American soil, much less torturing them with humiliation and waterboarding.

What was hidden was that Mamma Jean had fled Big Daddy in 1962, though she shyed away from discussing that in her letter to us, because it still tortured her children and all but two are still in therap; my dad is one, though most people would say he could use it most of all. Mamma Jean hid him and his siblings throughout Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi in hunting and fishing camps of her family unknown to Big Daddy and the Teamsters, who were known to kidnap kids. But Walter found them, and Mamma Jean respected his skill as an FBI agent and soft spoken mannerism, and she agreed to meet Bobby, who offered her a deal to protect the reputation of his star witness against Hoffa. The federal government bought Mamma Jean a comfortable house big enough to raise her five children and open a home based hair saloon in a middle class Houston subdivision “through devious and secret support payments, and somehow arranged for the payments to continue as long as she remained silent and Hoffa remained in prison, if he were to be convicted. He was, based soley on Big Daddy’s word, though a few other charges were filed after. In 1964, Americas most intense and well known man was sentenced to eleven years in a New Jersey penatentary, and Bobby celebrated winning The Blood Feud.

I’m sure Hoffa was furious. He had several years of beating the stuffing out of mattresses – literally, because his work service in prison was making mattresses – to ponder what he’d do when he got out. I don’t know what I would have pondered while beating the shit out of thousands of mattresses, every day over many years, all because of Big Daddy’s testimony, especially if you were a man who actors had to portray as having “intense rage,” an appropriately rudundant adjetive to describe Jimmy Hoffa.

Bobby was shot and killed in 1968, the same year Puerto Rican Teamster leader Chavez, who had publicly threateded Big Daddy for testifying against Hoffa, was murdered. By then, Hoffa had been in prison since 1966, about two thousand mattresses. Soon after Bobby and Chavez were killed, neither with any connecting story I know, Big Daddy was mentioned nationally again for his part in The Blood Fued. He was showcased again in Life magazine again, which was unlikely to be, in Hoffa’s words, “Robert Kennedy’s tool.” It was a monumental, multi issue expose, and Big Daddy was a part in it.

Life was featuring an extensive, multi-month expose on the newly acknowledge threat of organized crime, the mafia. It’s hard for me to imagine a time when Americans didn’t know about the mob, probably because I grew up with an onslaught of mafia films after 1972’s Godfather set the standard we all know by now. But, at the time, the concept terrified typical Americans, who struggled to imagine that crimes weren’t committed by single people but were as organized as governments, if not more so. That may be why so many people believed the Warren report and resisted the ideas of organized efforts to kill a president, trying to focus on a killer they could remember, one who used three names, like John Wilkes Booth. When the concept of organized crime became more accepted, typical Americans wanted to see all-American heros standing up to the mob, and Big Daddy was thrust into the spotlight again, especially because of the links between organized crime and organized labor. Life showed Big Daddy sitting in his Teamster chair, discussing how he turned down Marcello’s milion dollar bribe and pressure to recant his testimony against Hoffa. Pundits dismissed the thought of a mob boss bribing anyone, though they didn’t undestand the situtation back then.

No one other than Hoffa’s lawyers and the heads of mafia families knew a few facts, and only the FBI knew that Hoffa shared attornies with mafia bosses Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafacante Junior, and that Hoffa was still in control an estimated billion dollars in unregulated, untraceable Teamster pension funds, and had been lending it to mafia families since before Ameirca knew the words mafia or organizzed crime. Hoffa had been lending mafia families millions of dollars a year since the late 1950’s. The FBI didn’t know how much the mafia owed Hoffa, and not even Walter realized how much money Hoffa controlled, but decades later you could extract from a handful of books that when Hoffa was responsible for more than a billion dollars in unregulated Teamster dues and continuously raked in about $15 million a month from almost three million Teamsters, and in prison the mafia owned him about $121 Million, which was a lot of money back then. And people still don’t realize how much legitamite buisness the mafia controled and still controls: Hoffa lent them money to build casinos in burgeoning Las Vegas and hotels in their home cities, and, remarkably, Hollywood films; many real estate developers and entertainment producers are deceded from those families, and even recently Italy has been trying to free olive oil orchards from mafia family control. In exchange for lending money to families, Hoffa’s Teamsters received contracts to truck goods and products from ports like New York and New Orleans to the casinos along the newly built I-10, and to move filming equipment and operate the trailers that housed actors in different locations across America. To the mob, being forgiven $121 Million and freeing Hoffa so that he could resume lending them money from the billion dollar kitty seemed like smart business. Hoffa, incidentally, required around $40,000 simply to listen to what a mob boss had to say for a few minutes, even with Hoffa in prison, which tells you a lot more about who Hoffa was than anything else I could say.

Around the months Wendy met my dad, Big Daddy was in the news again because Hoffa, still in prison, and presidential Nixon sent Audie Murphy to Baton Rouge with a promise of a presidential pardon if Big Daddy recanted and freed Hoffa. In exchange, Hoffa promised Nixon campaign funding and his endoresement, and presumably the support of three million voting Teamsters. It was an offer Nixon couldn’t refuse. But, Big Daddy did, and Audie died in a plane crash a week after flying his private plane from Baton Rouge to Virginia, and all four passengers died. Big Daddy was the main suspect. Years later, Audie’s death was attributed to pilot error, but conspiracy theorists wouldn’t have known that and they locked onto the story. Most people in my familly felt that it wasn’t unlikely that Big Daddy would orchestrate the death of a plane full of people, and Big Daddy never denied it and only smiled subtly when it was suggested. Audie was a famous movie star of almost forty war films who had filed bankruptcy and was hoping for a new movie or business deal funded by Hoffa, and he was adored by all sides of the political spectrum because he was a handsome, articulate man and famous as America’s most decorated war veteran, having won every medal the United States could bestow and with a verified kill count of 278 Germans, a number that impressed even the mafia hitmen who were trying to intimidate Big Daddy. Anyone who could kill Audie Murphy shouldn’t be triffed with, and attacks subsided and Big Daddy said he would help Hoffa, if possible, but not by changing his testimony, even with Nixon’s promise to pardon him.

Hoffa decided to fund and endorse Nixon anyway, and one of the first things newly elected President Nixon did was pardon Hoffa on December 21st, 1971, in time for Hoffa to return home to his family for Christmas. From that day on, Big Daddy was no longer needed to keep Hoffa in prison, and the Partin family lost the small army of federal marshals secretively protecting them. Walter became a nationally recognized NBC news correspondent, focused on educating people about the behind the scenes actions of mafia, Hoffa, and Nixon that threatened American democracy because of voter ignorance, which I think is why he rushed his book into publication and focused so much on Audie Murphy, who was still mourned by all sides of the political parties in 1972.

All of that was happening behind closed doors when Wendy met my dad. She, like a lot of people, probably didn’t give much thought to news and assumed Big Daddy was as portrayed, an all-American hero. She’d learn a lot quickly. The rest of America would begin learning more as I languished in the foster system, unknowingly a sad statistic. Most of what I’m relaying is pulled straight from court reports and books published while I was climbing trees and fishing with PawPaw, who never had a negative thing to say about my family or anyone, no matter how many people they killed or how negligent they were at caring for the stately oaks in their yards. I’m an internet sleuth.

Hoffa published a book in 1975, just before he vanished, Hoffa: The Real Story, to combat the plethora of books being published out about him by people vying for lucrative deals, and to help him regain public support and overrule Nixon’s requirement that Hoffa remain out of The International Brotherhood of Teamsters for a few more years. He had a few things to say about national media, and his hatred of the dead Kennedys radiated from the pages of his book a decade after their deaths. Of course, he talked about Big Daddy.

But then came the killing shot that was to nail me to the cross.

Edward Grady Partin.

And Life magazine once again was Robert Kenedy’s tool. He figured that, at long last, he was going to dust my ass and he wanted to set the public up to see what a great man he was in getting Hoffa.

Life quoted Walter Sheridan, head of the Get-Hoffa Squad, that Partin was virtually the all-American boy even though he had been in jail “because of a minor domestic problem.”

Let’s take a look at this “all-American boy” and his record, which was carefully kept from the jury by Judge Wilson and the government.

In December, 1943, he was arrested in the state of Washington for breaking and entering. Pleading guildy, he was senteneded to fifteen years in the state penitentiary, from which he escaped twice.

Freed, he joined the Marine Corps and was dishonorably discharged. He had been accused of raping a young black girl.

Becoming head of the Teamster local in Baton Rouge, he was charged by certain members with embezzling $1600 in union funds and he had been indicted on thirteen counts of falsifying records and thirteen counts of embezzlement.

While out on fifty thougsand dollars’ bond, he had been indicted in Alamama in Septermber of 1962 on charges of first-degree manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.

One day beofe the Alambama incictment, he surrendered on September 25th, 1962, to Louisiana authorities on a kidnaping charge, the “minor domestic problem” to which Life magazine had referred. He had assisted a friend in snatching the friend’s two smallc hildren from teh friend’s wife, who had leagal custody of the children.”

Hoffa would mention Mamma Jean, too, but only for the $1,300 they discoved she had been paid by the prosecutors, which was called “bribery” by his legal team, but was standard practice back then when a wife had to travel because her husband was a government witness. Even Hoffa’s team of mafia lawyers who were paid millions didn’t uncover the whole truth, which would have unquestionably been considered a bribe. But, the timing of the $1,300 in three payments was unique, becuase they occurred before Big Daddy was called as a witness, therefore the Partins are, to this day, considered America’s first “paid informants,” which is different than a witness protection program because our identities were so well known, partially because Bobby Kennedy needed his witness to be known and partly because Big Daddy got a kick out of the publicity.

Walter Sheridan couldn’t deny the facts presented by Hoffa and Warren, and in his 1972 opus, The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hoffa, he premptively addressed what Hoffa’s attorneys had uncovered about the star witness at the apex of Walter’s career. In his exhaustingly thorough book and meticoulsy documented index, Big Daddy’s name appears on almost as many pages as Hoffas, and a few lines stick out to me:

“There is no question that Edward Grady Partin was and is a controversial figure. Perhaps he broght some of his problems on himself. He is a proud, tough, and cunning man operatin in a section of this country with its own unique tradition of justice and an unusual tolerance for corruption.


Partin, like Hoffa, had come up the hard way. While Hoffa was building his power base in Detroit during the early forties, Partin was drifting around the country getting in and out of trouble with the law. When he was seventeen he received a bad conduct discharge from the Marine Corps in the state of Washington for stealing a watch.One month later he was charged in Roseburg, Oregon, for car theft. The case was dismissed with the stipulation that Partin return to his home in Natchez, Mississippi. Two years later Partin was back on the West Coast where he pleaded guilty to second degree burglary. He served three yeas in the Washington State Reformatory and was parolled in February, 1947. One year later, back in Mississippi, Partin was again in trouble and served ninety days on a plea to a charge of petit larceny. Then he decided to settle down. He joined the Teamsters Union, went to work, and married a quiet, attractive Baton Rouge girl. In 1952 he was elected to the top post in Local 5 in Baton Rouge. When Hoffa pushed his sphere of influence into Louisiana, Partin joined forces and helped to forcibly install Hoffa’s man, Chuck Winters from Chicago, as the head of the Teamsters in New Orleans.”

And, to explain to the public why so much attention was being lavished on Big Daddy, even in a state with its own unique tradition of justice and an unusual tolerance for corruption, Walter said, “In Baton Rouge the statge was set for what was to become an all-out effort to destroy Ed Partin.”

Walter, who became a lifelong associate of my family, mistook Mamma Jean’s refusal to discuss anything about Big Daddy as her being quiet, but he had never heard her detail her religious beliefs to door-to-door evangelicals, or expound on the proper way to fry catfish when creating a cookbook as a fundraiser for her church. When pressed for details by anyone, she’d quote Matthew 5:37, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” But there’s no way that Walter would have known that unless he had sat down to a fried catfish dinner with Mamma Jean just as the door knocked and someone either tried to preach to her or asked her about Big Daddy and Hoffa. And, though the marine records say Big Daddy stole a watch, that was only because the captain was embarassed to say that a new recruit had punched him out and removed his watch as an insult to injury. At the time, 1943, Big Daddy was 17 years old and had just been found guilty of stealing all the guns in Woodville Mississippi and accepted a judge’s choice: go to jail or join the marines and go to war. He joined the marines, knowing he’d do something to get out, and two weeks later he punched a captain and was dishonorably discharged and allowed to return to Woodville, ironically stealing a watch after having been convicted of stealing guns. Soon after, he was found innocent of raping the young African American girl when only one juror, a white male from Woodville, wouldn’t vote guilty. Mamma Jean wouldn’t learn any of that until after her house was knee deep in Partin children. I believe she never told Walter anything that was untrue, and I only lied to him once, at Big Daddy’s funeral, when I told him I knew Big Daddy’s final words were, “No one will ever know my part in history.” Aunt Janice had told me that, and I thought it sounded so funny that I lied to Walter, just to say it out loud.

One of the most pressing accusations was Big Daddy’s indictment in a nationally covered trial against the only person ever, to this day, brought to trial for President Kennedy’s murder, New Orleans buisinessman Clay Shaw. The New Orleans district attorney, Jim Garrision, indicted Big Daddy based on a witness saying he drove Lee Harvey Oswald to the New Orleans airport before he arrived in Dallas, and another witness possessing a photo of Big Daddy with Jack Ruby about a month before Ruby shot and killed Oswald in the Dallas police station and in front of 110 Million viewers of live television; things like that are hard to sweep under the rug, even for skilled FBI teams. Most people then remembered that Oswald was born in New Orleans before he defected to Russia, and returend there with his wife and baby and became a pro-Castro activist, and that Garrison was linking Oswald, Shaw, and Ruby with mafia and CIA operatives in New Orleans; but only a few knew that Oswald trained in the Baton Rouge civil air force under the alias Harvey Lee, down the street from Granny and Grandma Foster’s houses and near Glen Oaks High School, where Wendy and my dad met. The witnesses against Big Daddy disappeared, and the photo of him and Ruby never resurfaced. Walter dismissed all of Garrison’s work as politically motivated, including Walter’s own indictment by Garrison for alleggedly bribing a witness against shaw with a job and other benefits, just like he had done for my family, as a way that Garrisoin was abusing his legal power. This was, of coure, foder for people speculating about Big Daddy’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination, especially in Baton Rouge.

The second big event Walter addressed was the repeated claims by Louisiana Governor McKeithen, a vocal advesary against Big Daddy in state news. McKeithen was pro-industry, and every time Big Daddy or the other unions struck, Loiusiana industries would loose tens of millions of dollars in revenue, which discouraged other industries from opening in Loiusiana; conversely, Big Daddy was bringing industry into the state, like Hollywood films and a slew of chemical companies along Chemical alley in a remote area north of the airport, away from rail lines but along the new, taxpayer funded I-110 that allowed Teamster truckers to haul gas, oil, and chemicals without competition from trains. And, like Mamma Jean mentioned, Big Daddy began opening truck stops and a few other buisnesses under other names, to avoid taxes and liabilities, like the now defunct Pelican International Speedway, origninally called the Baton Rouge International Speedway, part of what was becoming known throughout the south as NASCAR; Teamsters built it using materials they requisitioned from their shipments to construction sites all over the south, and the work kept them busy during more than one recession and no one reported Big Daddy’s involvement.

Most of what Big Daddy did to grow his Teamster business was only known to those who benefited and were loyal or smart enough to remain silent, but one incident made so much news that McKeithen had to focus on it. When the Ready Mix concrete factory in Plaquemine, directly across the river from Baton Rouge, refused to use Teamster truckers, a series of confrontations led to a publicized shootout involving dozens of armed Teamsters against just as many mercenaries, Vietnam conflict vets, and low level mafia hitmen paid to protect the Ready Mix factory. A few people died. Big Daddy prevailed, and McKeithen claimed “I won’t let Ed Partin and his ganster hoodlum Teamsters run this state!” To which national news focused on McKeithen being told by Walter to simply “Lay off Patin.” Walter didn’t, and his fued against Big Daddy became so well known that Walter had to focus on it, outlining the financial incentives of everyone involved but missing many points that only our family knew, that Big Daddy secritively orchestrated the success of more industry than he prevented with strikes, another bit of information that comes out long after words are set in stone.

Judge Lottingger worked under McKeithen, and probably read the news. I’m sure he would have seen a New Orleans newspaper article on 25 June 1971, about events preceeding to the Plaquemine shootout that motivated Ted Dunham, owner of the Ready Mix cement factor, to hire mercenaries to protect his plant; it’s indicative of the type of local reporting that belied national headlines about Big Daddy being an all-American hero, and tells you the type of people Big Daddy kept near him around the time Wend met my dady.

Burly Wade McClanahan, a 36 year old “strong arm” and trusted lieutenant of Edward Grady Partin, says he shot a construction worker at Plaquemine on orders of Partin, a Louisiana Teamsters Union official.

The 36-year-old McClanahan, 6-feet-4 and .250 pounds, told a federal court jury he shot and wounded ,W. 0. Bergeron, a contractor doing business with a competitor of convicted conspirator Ted-F. Dithham Jr., after Partin instructed him to create a disturbance at Bergeron’s job site.’

McClanahan, charged with criminal conspiracy, described himself as a “trusted lieutenant Of Partin” and testified about beatings, shootings, sabotage’ and other means of “solving problems” for Partin.

McClanahan said he and the late Jerry Sylvester led an armed attack on the Plaquemine construction site. He said both men were members of Local 5 in Baton Rouge, paid dues, but had no duties other than strong-arm jobs as needed and ordered by Partin.

I don’t know what happened to Jerry Sylvester. But, as I mentioned, family lore is that no one spoke ill of Big Daddy and lived. Not even America’s most decorated war hero was safe, much less low level strong arms most people never heard of. And though McKeithen lived, he didn’t receive the Teamster’s endorsement, which was like a death sentence, politically.

Another thing made news just before I was born, too late to be included in Walter’s book but often cited, removed, and recited on Wikipedia, was that Big Daddy stole $450,000 in unregulated pension fund from the Local #5 safe. Like Hoffa, Big Daddy had access to unregulated union dues, though not on Hoffa’s scale. The safe was found empty and without fingerprints at the bottom of a murky Baton Rouge river and the only two witnesses were found beaten and bloody. The survivor refused to testify. I never confirmed which river, but I suspect it was the Comite river near the bridge by Big Daddy’s house where I lived, briefly, with my mom and dad. McKeithen, and presumably Judge Lottingger, focused on prosecuting Big Daddy for that. After Hoffa disappeared and Lottingger assumed the role of Baton Rouge’s family court judge, Big Daddy would be found guilty of stealing the $450,000 and a few other charges for racketeering and abusing labor laws, but no one found evidence of murder.

Even without all of the details, Wendy must have been shocked to go from being a 16 year old girl nicknamed WAR to Mrs. Edward Partin, learning about her new family through the news and seeing almost everyone in Baton Rouge named Partin be beaten or having thier homes blown up, especially becasue she was living in one of Big Daddy’s houses with my dad and me, one of the ones by the river where police discovered the Teamster safe. I can’t imagine how terrified she must have felt, and I hope our Partin history conveys her situation and probably emotions without me using a lot of supuferlous and multisyllabic adjectives to describe feelings that can’t be described, especially now that she’s gone.

When Wendy was divorcing my dad and fighting for custody, Lottingger must have known most of my family’s history, yet he didn’t mention it in his 1976 custody ruling. In my mind, his ruling and her 2019 obituary are like bookends of her life, bypassing a lot of details in between for what I hope are obvious reasons. Here’s what Lottingger had to say about our family situation, the first of almost fifty years of court records bookending Wendy’s life:

This is a suit by Edward Partin, Jr., plaintiff, seeking a divorce from his wife, Wendy Rothdram Partin, defendant, after having lived separate and apart for more than one year following a judgment of separation from bed and board. Plaintiff also seeks custody of the minor child, Jason Ian Partin, and the defendant reconvened asking that she be granted the permanent care, custody and control of the minor child.

The Trial Court had previously, by ex parte order, awarded the temporary care, custody and control of the minor to Mr. and Mrs. James Ed White. Following trial on the merits, plaintiff was awarded a divorce as well as the permanent care, custody and control of the minor child, with the temporary physical custody of the minor child to remain with Mr. and Mrs. James Ed White. The defendant has appealed this judgment as it regards the custody of the child.

This couple was married when plaintiff was 17 and the defendant was 16 years of age. Nine months following the marriage, they gave birth to young Jason. While we are not concerned with the facts surrounding the separation and divorce, it was apparently one of incompatibility as defendant testified that at the age of 17 she found herself married to a man who did not love her and so she left. Her testimony was as follows:

“As I say I was emotionally upset. I was receiving little support from Edward. I was scared, very confused. I didn’t know exactly which way to turn. I felt I had no one to listen and help with the situation at hand.”

Several weeks later she returned and lived with her husband again. She found that the situation hadn’t changed, and felt she had to get away again. She heard of a man who wanted someone to share expenses on a trip to California, so she quit her job and with her last wages left with him. She testified that she had no sexual relations with this man, and plaintiff does not accuse her of such. Following this trip she returned to Baton Rouge still emotionally upset. Her husband was suing her for separation and told her he was going to take custody of Jason. She went to live with her aunt and uncle, got a full time job with Kelly Girls paying $512.00 per month.

In February, 1975, the defendant’s mother was injured in an accident and she moved in with her to care for her. In September, 1975, following the recuperation of the mother she returned to live with her aunt and uncle.

During these above periods of time, the minor child lived with Mr. and Mrs. White. The Whites came to regard Jason as their own and, although the separation judgment awarded custody to the plaintiff with reasonable visitation privileges to the defendant, the Whites decided the defendant-mother could only see the child two days a month and that she could never keep the child over night. The reason the defendant did not contest custody at the separation trial was because at the time she felt unable emotionally and financially to care for her son.

[Judge Lottinger wrote a paragraph of legal jargon here, citing the “double burden” placed on Wendy by the deceased Judge Pugh to go above and beyond what was typically necessary to regain custody.]

We note that the petition for separation was grounded on habitual intemperance, as well as abandonment of the husband and the minor child. There are no other grounds listed for the separation nor for custody. The petition for the separation and custody of the minor child was not contested by the defendant, and a default judgment was granted. Defendant testified in the instant proceedings that the reason she did not contest custody in the separation proceeding was that she was not financially or emotionally capable of caring for the minor, and that knowing the Whites were going to be caring for him, she knew he would be in good hands.

Though the petition for separation had as one of its allegations “habitual intemperance”, the plaintiff in the instant proceeding testified that he had never accused his wife of drinking, nor had he ever seen her drink.

[Judge Lottinger goes on to cite a few precent cases, verdicts from previous judges in higher courts used to justify his opinions, a detail that’s less important in Louisiana’s unique version of the Napoleonic legal code still lingering from the Louisiana purchase that gives judges more freedoms than in all other states.]

The welfare of the child is the main issue that the Court is concerned with. This issue is more important than any wishes or wants the parents may have. Fulco v. Fulco, 259 La. 1122, 254 So.2d 603 (1971), rehearing denied (1971). As a general rule, and in particular where children of young age are involved, preference is given to the mother in custody cases. This preference is very simply explained, the mother is normally better able to care for the child and look after the education, rearing, and training necessary. Estes v. Estes, 261 La. 20, 258 So.2d 857 (1972), rehearing denied (1972).

No argument is made that the mother is not now morally or emotionally fit to care for the child, or that the house in which she lives is not a proper place to rear a child. In fact, the Trial Judge admitted that it was a fine home.

The Trial Judge has not favored us with written reasons for judgment, however, we must conclude from various statements by the Trial Judge that appear in the record that he could find no fault with the defendant, nor was there anything wrong with the house in which she lived. It thus becomes apparent to this Court that the Trial Judge applied the “double burden” rule to the defendant. We have already ruled that the “double burden” rule does not apply in this situation, and thus, under the established jurisprudential rules, we can see no reason why the defendant-mother should not be granted the permanent care, custody and control of the minor child with reasonable visitation privileges granted to the father.

In consideration of our above opinion, there is no need to discuss the specification of error as to the ex parte granting of custody to the Whites.

Therefore, for the above and foregoing reasons, the judgment of the Trial Court is reversed, and IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the defendant-appellant, Wendy Rothdram Partin, be and she is hereby granted the permanent care, custody and control of the minor, Jason Ian Partin, and IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that this matter be and it is hereby remanded to the Trial Court for the purpose of fixing specific visitation privileges on behalf of plaintiff-appellee Edward Partin, Jr. All costs of the appeal are to be paid by plaintiff-appellee.

I’d languish in the foster system for a couple of more years because of appeals by my dad and his lawyers, and PawPaw and MawMaw’s efforts to adopt me; I called Mr. and Mrs. Ed White PawPaw and MawMaw. I’d finally live with Wendy beginning around 1979, just before Big Daddy finally went to prison for stealing the $450,000 and a few other, lesser charges.

Wendy and I didn’t have an ideal relationship, and I petitioned a court to be emancipated when I was 16. Though not visible online, maybe because there aren’t advertisements bookending emancipation records of 16 year old kids, I have a news clipping from the Baton Rouge Advocate and court paperwork from Judge Robert “Bob” Downing emancipating me from both the Partins and Wendy in 1989. He, knew my family well, and was happy to help.

Wendy and I hadn’t discussed my time in the foster system, other than a few times when she said how proud she was of me, and how proud Uncle Bob and Granny would have been; Auntie Lo was such a drunkard that Wendy often omitted her. I did share with her my service as a CASA, sharing it’s history with her. Coincidentally, the national CASA nonprofit organization began almost immediately after Judge Lottingger’s decision, and my time as a CASA was part of the reason I didn’t vist home for a while after moving to San Diego; it’s surprisingly a lot of work to navigaet the bureocratic foster system, and doing so helped me appreciate why I languished in the sytem for so many years, and how hard it must have been for her to overcome the “double jeoprary” Judge Pugh had placed on her. She must have felt alone, with no one to help, and there weren’t CASA’s back then. According to the national CASA website:

Inspiration came to Seattle juvenile court judge David W. Soukup in 1976.

Judge Soukup had insufficient information to make a life-changing decision for a 3-year-old girl who had suffered from child abuse.

That’s where the idea came from: These children, who had experienced abuse or neglect, needed trained volunteers speaking up in the courtroom for their best interests.

The CASA program supports volunteers who are almost as legally bound to a kid as PawPaw was to me, but with more neutraility and an ability to legally oversee health and education rights of kids trapped in the foster sytem when social workers are restricted by state budgets and city boundaries and are unable to follow kids as they journey through beurocracy. Becase many of the kids are from abusive homes and are at-risk for more abuse, CASA’s are overseen by a staff that trains volunteers and oversees security clearnanaces, and allows us to maintain relationships kids across county lines and after social workers change jobs or caseloads. I couldn’t talk about the kids I served, but I could tell Wendy about the program and we reminisced about the frustrations of America’s foster system bureocracy and how judges make life-altering decisions based on partial information and assumptions.

Statistically, about 80% of kids who emancipate from the foster system will go to jail, about 30% before they’re 21, and of those most will be released and return again and again, and so will many of their children, because one of the biggest indicators you’ll go to jail is your family history. Only 15% or so of emancipated kids attend college, and only 3% attend graduate school; I don’t know the completion rate. I graduated with honors and engineering degrees from college and graduate school, so I know it’s hard but possible. I haven’t been to jail yet, but I’m still young.

Wendy’s humor was dark and sarcastic, but it came from the best place she could muster and I’ve always believed it was, at least in part, as a way to pass on to me the importance of temperace. If Granny hadn’t gotten drunk and pregnant, if Wendy hadn’t gotten high and pregnant, or if Mamma Jean hadn’t swooned and gotten married, history would be different. But, here we are, and twenty nine years after I was emancipated I was sitting in a Havana bar researching my family’s role in President Kenendy’s assassination and rereading old court documents. History can’t be changed and regret is a harmful emotion; but, if I had a regret, it would be that I hadn’t realized how much I loved my mother sooner. Compassion fascilitates love, empathy aides compassion, and empathy takes effort. Craig Vincent talked more about things like than than nuances of accents that, in the end, don’t really matter, except to have done the best you can while you still could.

Mamma Jean was the first one to quote “honor your mother and father” to me, but I never found a set of instructions on how to do that. Maybe this is it. It’s a work in progress, and may take a few more iterations. For now, I call it, “A part in history.”

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