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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 18, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Thuri.lny, May 10, 1772 THE lETHBRIDGI HfRALO 33 Age has bn'dl a wall around Harry Truman He is an old man without the privileges of other old men INDEPENDENCE, M o. f AP) He is an old man IHJW without the privileges of other old men. The park bench in the sun, the small talk wilh others of his lime and memories arc denied Harry Truman. Nearly 20 years after he left the White House, he is as Mr. President, but restricted as Mr. Citizen. "I still don't feel like a com- pletely private citizen and I don't suppose. I ever he said once. "It's still almost Impossible lo do as other people do, even though I've tried. You can't always be as you want to be after you've been under bright lighls." On May C, he was 00 years old. His friends gathered, as they always do, at (he Hotel Muelilehach to have lunch, Lo praise, and to light candles on heart-shaped pctits-fours. For the seventh consecutive year lliey raised glasses of sherry in toast to an empty, high-backed leather chair. Truman, the man who always loved cronies, camaraderie and good conversation was too feeble to be there. Age has built a wall around Truman, isolating him from his friends, making him a prisoner of his house. His appearance is a shock (o those who rememljcr his ebullient good health as presi- dent of Ihe United States. He looks drawn and thin, pitifully frail. His false teeth give him trouble and slur his speech. His eyes, always weak, look enormous behind thick lenses. He hears badly. "But his mind is clear as said H. Roc Barlle, a former Kansas City mayor antl one of the few friends who see him regularly. "He keeps abreast of the times, rarely reminisces. He wants to talk about what hap pencd yesterday and what may happen tomorrow." Others confide that he has mental lapses, not unusual for o man Truman's age. But they hasten to emphasize the amount of reading he does and his awareness and inter- est in the world today. "On every current event he's got an opinion of what we ought to do and why we ought to do Bartle said. "He talks nbout legislation This baldness cure story has odor PETERBOROUGH, E n g- land (AP) Harry Biggs says he thinks he has stum- bled across a new care for baJ tin manure. Biggs, a old pen- sioner, wenl bald 15 years ago. A friend gave him a manure mix to fertilize his garden and in the process some of it rubbed off on Biggs' head about sis months ago. Mow Iris hair Is growing back "I was Biggs told a reporter today. "1 have never pul anything else on my head so 1 came to Ihe conclu- sion it must be the manure.'1 But a spokesman at the local' factory that makes the horse manure, peat and chalk thinks the whole story smells. "We have lots of bald men working here and they handle the stuff all said. "But their hair never seems to grow." before Ihe Congress. Ilc'li get clown to little minute things. He never calls a man by name like you and I do. For instance, Hubert Humphrey. He'll say, 'Senator Hubert Humphrey, the former vice- president.' He always gives the title. It "is always an indi- cation of respect for the titlo that he holds." Thomas Hart Benlon, the distinguished artist, painted Truman's portrait lasl year. "The old man looks better as an old man than he did aa a young said Benton, himself 83. "You get thp.t fat of! of him and you see that chicken- hawk face and also his sensi- fivily. You would never think of Harry Truman as being sensilive, but he he's not fat and bothered with all the defences a politician has to put up with. You didn't ever see the real man, you saw only the mask." The Benton portrait, stand- ing on an easel in the lobby of the Harry Tinman presiden- tial library, dismayed employ- ees at first. It shows a white- haired old man engrossed in a hook held in gnarled, arthritic fingers. The shirt collar and suit are loose. About all (hat's familiar is the hawk nose, made more prominent by the lines in Truman's face. Like all Benton painlings, it's scru- pulously detailed. SECOND ATTKMI'T Benlon had tried to paint Truman in 1963. when Ihe for- mer president still went to tho library lie hasn't done since 19G5. Tru- man posed willingly, Benton said, but "I was constantly in- terfered wilh by office uork- ers. The women wanlcd him to look like Clark Gable and the politicians Bcnton's hands went up in exaspera- tion. "I finally told him. 'I can't do and he let me off he hook. Then last year we got to talking about that effort. were laughing about that and I said, 'Hell, why not try and he said why not. So I did this painting and I'm glad I waited because it's more interesting "Mrs. Truman saw It and said, 'That's says Bon- ton. Does Truman like it? "Bess Benlon replies "That's enough." The filings thai please Bess have always been enough for Truman. She was his child- hood sweetheart, the aristo- cratic athlete thai the bookish farm-boy Truman wooed and won; she was the only girl he ever doted: she wss his secre- tary in the Senate; she was his unobtrusive confidant and supporter when he was presi- dent. Now E7. still iloinn of Ihe shopping, cooking and housework, sho is 1.1 constantly, zealously guarding his privacy. Privately, some of their friends say she protects him loo much, keeping away peo- ple who might brighten his days. But they respect her wishes ar.d the calling list is small. IXSATIAIil.E READER From the reading room n[ Ihe 103-y e a r -o 1 d Truman home, the former president can look out on busy lain Street, renamed Truman Road, Hie, main highway to Kansas City lii miles west Bookshelves are floor to ceil- ing on three .sides and over the window of the fourlh. And even that's not enough to satiate his reading appetite. On many a day, Hie Trurnans1 the front passenger seat next i Wilh a Scfrol Service car i p e n rl e n ce Public Library. cur will pull out of the drive- i to retired police lieutenant i n h 1 n d thev'll where Mrs. Truman gathers way. Truman, clasping ;i cane j Alike YV'asiwood. .Mrs. Triunaii J "l armload of books. helwMjn his knees, will lit- in is in back. 'Irivt? a few blocks to the Intie- i Independence is In the Trurnnus r.nd llic-lr drives I across from the home, Infer- around town attract little at.- feres wilh well-meaning nui5- (cntion. The Secret Service, j ances only on a nod from v hich has railed a house Mrs. Truman. 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Reg. sq. yd. yd. c- 'Sun-up'-indoor-outdoor carpet inl nccdln punched polypropylene. Perfect for collages, vcrondhas, Aft Z.77 yd lc. 6 lively colours. 12' widths. yd. QUALITY COSTS iNO MONK AT SIMPSONS-SEARS STORE HOURS; Open Daily 9 a.m. to p.m., Thurscfny and Friday 9 n.m. lo 9 p.m. Conlrn Village. Telephone 328-9231. Call Our Floor Fashion Consultant Now Wo ri with profei- ilonnl tig hi In your own homo. Sen ;