The Blood Feud

The big and handsome actor Brian Dennehy portrayed my grandfather in the 1983 film about the vicious public battle between Jimmy Hoffa and Bobby Kennedy, “The Blood Feud,” Robert Blake won an academy award for “channeling Hoffa’s rage,” accurately portraying the relatively diminutive Teamster president with slicked back black hair and a loud voice and surrounded by his trusted circle of physically large and intimidating Teamster leaders. Most of the actors seemed to look and act like the real people involved, and Brian Dennehy looked a lot like Big Daddy and had even practiced Big Daddy’s subtle smile and classic southern drawl that made him seem so charming and trustworthy. Earnest Borgnine, famous for always being an international evil villan, portrayed J. Edgar Hoover, amusingly, because Hoover was beginning to be viewed more as a villan than the hero we’d suspect as director of the FBI. Cotter Smith was Bobby Kennedy, accurately portraying the handsome and ambitious young Attorney General. Sam Groom, the handsome soap opera star, portrayed President John F. Kennedy.

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JIP

My grandfather was famous as the Baton Rouge Teamster leader who helped Bobby Kennedy send Jimmy Hoffa to prison in 1964, and he may have also been involved with the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He was Edward Grady Partin Senior, a rapist, murderer, thief, and adulterer who Hoffa described as “a big, rough man who could charm a snake off a rock.” U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy forgave my grandfather’s transgressions in exchange for him committing perjury against Jimmy Hoffa, and Hoffa was sent to prison based on my grandfather’s testimony. Ed Partin was portrayed by Brian Dennehy in the 1983 film about Kennedy and Hoffa, “Blood Feud,” and by Craig Vincent in Martin Scorsese’s 2019 film about Hoffa’s disappearance, “The Irismhan.” Both actors were huge men who accurately portrayed my grandfather as Hoffa’s confidant, but neither of the films disclosed our family history.

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Prelude

I was very high and sitting cross legged and looking through the campfire flames at my friends holding their beer bottles. One of their daughters, my goddaughter, was sitting cross legged beside me.

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Rumors

In 1977, Wendy and I had to leave her small apartment by the Chinese restaurant on Florida Bulevard, the one the trial judge had generously called a fine home, because she accidentally set fire to the kitchen by spilling cooking oil from her cast iron skillet onto the gas burner and sending a wall of flame up. She had cried and called herself stupid while the firefighters put out the fire, and the apartment manager asked us to leave while they repaired the kitchen and she lost her security deposit and didn’t have enough savings to get another apartment. We stayed with Debbie and her family at first, but the crowded rooms and shrieking and thick clouds of cigarette smoke drove Wendy to ask for help from Auntie Lo and Uncle Bob, and we stayed with them for a while.

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Introduction

I’ve had a remarkable life. I’m not famous, nor have I overcome obstacles forced upon many people based on where they were born or their race or gender. I was born a hale white male in America, and I have multiple college engineering degrees, easy access to healthcare, a respectable individual retirement account, diverse and upbeat friends, a loving family, a beautiful home with several raised bed gardens and a refrigerator full of food, and no worries that I don’t impose upon myself. I’m aware that almost half of the 7.7 billion people on Earth will go to bed hungry tonight, and I’m in the top 0.001% of what most people consider privileged. That’s so rare it’s remarkable.

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Wendy’s Angel

I was strolling near my home in San Diego when I answered my phone and learned that my mother was dying in a hospital 3,000 miles away. I hung up and purchased the next plane ticket to Baton Rouge.

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A Partin History

My grandfather, Edward Grady Partin, was a big man with a small part in history.

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Wendy’s Angel

I was strolling near my home in San Diego when I answered my phone and learned that my mother was dying in a hospital 3,000 miles away. I hung up and purchased the next airplane ticket to Baton Rouge. Two days later, my plane began its decent and I stared out the window, worried and fatigued and lost in thoughts.

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JIP

A 1976 court record easily found online summarizes the first few years of my life concisely and accurately. The plaintiff was my biologic father, Edward Grady Partin Jr., and the defendant was my biologic mother, Wendy Anne Rothdram Partin. I was and still am Jason Ian Partin. Judge JJ Lottingger, the family court judge for the Louisiana 19th judicial district in East Baton Rouge Parish, had this to say about my family history in Partin vs Partin:

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Rocky shot up a small town during the war on drugs

I don’t know if my dad, Ed Partin Junior, saw his father portrayed by Brian Dennehey in “Blood Feud,” the 1983 film about Jimmy Hoffa and Bobby Kennedy, but if he did he never mentioned it to me.

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