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The funny thing was, a lot of us really admired old Jedgar.
It seems he symbolized all that was good in America, at the time. I know, we didn't really know very much about him, and those who knew weren't saying. So he lasted and lasted and lasted.

Remember all those G-man radio, movie, and tv programs? That was his FBI that was being held up for admiration. Guys in the Bureau were in awe and terrified of him. So were presidents and congressmen and supreme court turkeys. And attorneys-general.

If you spoke against Edgar J. Hoover, as one of my old StatNisland Ferryboat companions once referred to him, to the mirth of all of the police cadets I happened to be riding with, you were a communist. No right thinking StatNislandah ever criticized him, or would even think of doing so.

The first fun I ever saw poked at him was Lily Tomlin who called him Jedgar. I didn't understand why, what was wrong with him? He fought commies and went after bad guys. Who knew he had a downside? Certainly not me or anybody I knew on Old S.I.

Later on we find out he had baggage. But who knew at the time.

This is one of the problems. It's hard to know in midstream. It's easy to know in hindsight. It's easy for an American to list all the bad guys we've always been against: King George, the slave-holders, the Kaiser, Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Mussolini, Saddam, and Milosevic.

But do Milosevic's followers see him as a bad guy? I don't think so.

Why?

For the same reasons there are still Russians who revere Joe Stalin, our former ally against Hitler, until he became a bad guy again. When he was our ally, he was Uncle Joe.

I think it has something to do with what we are fed.

Germans under Adolf Hitler were desperate for a savior and he was it, no matter who else burned. They didn't want to know, any more than I wanted to know about Hoover, and if anyone said anything against him, the person must be a Commie. After all, I was born and raised on StatNisland and that's one thing we had none of, Reds, Pinkos, or Fellow-Travelers and that was good enough for me. My dad was a hard hat and I wasn't going to let down our side.

Looking back over the last forty years, maybe there was something I was missing.

Were you missing anything?

What was it?

-rs



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