From bad (boy) to worse

Recently, D.G. Martin wrote a commentary [that appeared] in your newspaper about “Forgotten Shockers: Looking for Real Scandal? Read About Buncombe Bob” [Nov. 26]. It alluded to the recent indiscretions of “our” Bob Reynolds, a U.S. senator from North Carolina from 1933 to 1945, and compared those to the more recent misdeeds of Sen. John Edwards. Martin is right, because there is really no comparison between the things done by these two so-called public servants. Naughty is hardly a fitting word to describe their actions.

How well I recall telling my thesis committee at East Tennessee State University that the subject of my thesis for the master’s of arts in history would be former U.S. Sen. Jeter C. Pritchard of North Carolina—a native of Jonesborough, Tenn., who settled in Madison County, N.C. My thesis committee was greatly relieved when I told them it would be Pritchard and not Reynolds, whom they loathed because of his naughtiness and unusual behavior.

Sen. Reynolds ran for office in 1932, during the Depression, and spoke all over the state. A red carpet was rolled out for him in all the towns and cities in which he spoke. He stepped out of his carriage in a white suit like an actor from Hollywood. I taught school at Vardell Hall in Red Springs and was told of this. Also, in 1924, he ran for lieutenant governor but was traveling in Europe during the campaign!

A former City Council candidate from Asheville told this writer about alleged misdeeds of Sen. Reynolds, and as a high school student I read an article by Drew Pearson of Washington that told of Reynolds’ alleged killing of his wives in various ways, one of which I recall: Reynolds was driving a car up on an embankment; he jumped out of the car, and it and his current wife went down into a ravine! Oh, wretched state of morals!

— Joe L. Morgan

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