Bennington Banner Newspaper Archives Aug 27 1966, Page 14

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Bennington Banner (Newspaper) - August 27, 1966, Bennington, Vermont Profile of a vermonter at Home with senator Aiken after 2.> years in w Ashington Vermont s senior senator still finds too Little time for his Putney Orchards. By Jerry Fen Putney. Down the Road in Brattleboro older rotarians remember him As the laconic Farmer who came to the clubs meetings in Dusty boots and the clothes of a Countryside working Man. But that was Long Long ago. It was before he became lieutenant governor. Before he was elected governor. And before he became a . Senator a a Post he had held now for 25 years. Today up a curvy dirt Road off West Hill in Putney just beyond the Little red schoolhouse where he was educated sen. George David Aiken a powerful Force in National affairs gains renewed strength working in the Apple Orchard at his farm a when he has time. Time is something the Republican senator has too Little of. But at his Orchard about two Miles from the Center of Putney he says a i feel in a amounting to something and i can forget troubles As i work in the rows of Apple Trees. Aiken fifth ranked in the Senate in continuous years of service and one of its most influential members was at the farm recently for a typically Short but enjoyable stay. As he settled Back in an easy chair near the portrait of his boyhood idol Abraham Lincoln the 74-year-old lawmaker talked of Many things a of Viet Nam National politics his Putney Home controversial electric pow Jerry Fenn is wire editor and assistant editorial Page editor among his Many other duties at the Brattleboro reformer. Or transmission and his disappointments and delights during a Long career in the nations capital. Aiken makes a visitor feel immediately at Home. He Speaks in Short Pithy sentences tinged with wit and a sense of irony. He is always changing the subject and he talks As casually about his apples and peaches As he does about his meetings with soviet Premier Kosygin or with his old Friend Lyndon b. Johnson. A i Call him a or. President when other people Are Aikens past service in Public office has also included Putney representative in the Vermont House town school director 15 years on the Job and town meeting Moderator. He has been a member of nine . Senate committees two of which he has served As chairman he has also chaired two Senate subcommittees and is now a member of three committees and one subcommittee. He is Best known at this time for his membership on the Senate foreign relations committee the Quot Fulbright committee which has been the source of challenges put to president Johnson s policies in Viet Nam a and the scene of sen. Aiken s Call for Quot More owls to offset the Hawks and doves. Aiken is pessimistic about the War in Viet Nam. He does not think it is going As Well As americans Are told though he agrees that strides have been made militarily. And he describes president Johnson As Quot desperate in his order for escalated bombings of Oil depots in the outskirts of the North vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Haiphong. The senator opposed the bombing of fuel storage Sites. President Johnson according to the outspoken Aiken Quot must do something special in this War by november elections or the democratic Label will be about As helpful As Coldwater was to the republicans two years ago. The democratic candidates for election or re election As governor will also have Tough sledding Aiken indicated. Democratic gov. Philip h. Hoff of Vermont for instance Quot will have trouble winning again Aiken reasons Quot unless the president can pull a Rabbit out of the hat in Viet Nam. Quot the president has to deliver for november says the senator. Quot i Don t think he can do with the senator in front of their Putney Home Are his daughter and son in Law or. And mrs. Harry l. Cleverly who recently moved Here from Massachusetts. Southern Vermont summer Aiken says he looks for Quot Rosy reports on Progress in the War during the month before november elections. To he senator a native of Dummerston who was educated in Putney and Brattleboro Public schools Brattleboro High school class of 1909has a Strong sense of duty toward Public service. He likes to joke about Quot the $7 million Marker Over his Birthplace in Dummerston. The Monument is of course interstate Highway 91, which runs smack Over the site of the farmhouse in which he was born aug. 20, 1892. Since Deacon Edward Aiken first settled in the tiny Mountain town of Windham in pre revolutionary War Days a member of the Aiken family in every generation has been Active in politics. The Aikens first came to this country in 1718 Long after the senator s other ancestors a wymans Cooks and Sterns. The Aikens first settled in Derry n.h., and brought the first cultivated potatoes with them. Sen. Aiken says he likes to remind his colleague sen. Leverett Sal Tonstall of Massachusetts that the Sterns came Over with the Saltonstall in 1629. The senator s father Edward w. Aiken was a Quot rebel in the Vermont legislature for four terms 1912-17, where he was a Bull Moose member of the House. Aiken describes his father As Quot an irritant. He delighted in persecuting the old sen. Aiken who last week turned 74, became a state legislator in 1931, and was named House speaker in 1933. As a legislator As lieutenant governor 1935-37 and As governor 1937-41aiken opposed efforts of both private Utility interests and the Federal government to take control of the state s natural resources. A consistent advocate of farm cooperatives he was also instrumental in securing passage of the Vermont Rural electrification Law. And he shared As governor the initiative in setting up the Connecticut River flood control compact. As a horticulturalists the senator was once Well known As an Orchard St and expert on wildflowers. Two of the three books he has written have to do with the Earth s Bounty Quot pioneering with wildflowers and Quot pioneering with fruits and his third Book Quot speaking from Vermont a was written while he was governor in 1938. It was a blast at some of his fellow republicans for blindly opposing the new Deal and it also poked fun at some of the less practical aspects of the new Deal. Aiken says he occasionally refers to the Book Quot to see if i still feel the same Way about things. I at his Putney farm where uncommon Lovely plants abound inside and out of the Brown Wood Frame dwelling Aiken had these comments on the political scene Ltd it gov. George Romney of Michigan would Quot probably defeat Lyndon Johnson today for the presidency if the election were held now. Romney Quot As of now a appears to be Quot the Best Republican candidate for the nation s top office a but the Vermont senator also likes the looks of gop goes. John Chafee of Rhode Island and Mark Hatfield of Oregon. Democratic sen. Robert f. Kennedy of new York figured by Many observers As aiming for the presidency in 1972, if at All is talked about by Aiken in terms of 1968. Quot Bobby could sweep the East in 1968,�?� near sen. Aikens Home is this Little red schoolhouse which he once attended. It is noir the Putney Coop Nursery school. Says Aiken Quot and take Wisconsin too among other possible states. He describes Bobby As Quot smarter than president Kennedy was or Teddy a and More Ltd it vice president Humphrey s political Power base is nearly gone now Aiken said. It it president Johnson is Quot a real conservative economically a the Vermont senator believes and that the president Quot tries to balance this by being Liberal adds Aiken Quot he has overdone it Ltd it of conservative politicians Aiken see senator Aiken continued on Page 6 August 27, 1966-3 sen. Aiken enjoying a rare weekend visit Home reaches for one of the perfect peaches in his Putney Orchard

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