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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 18, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Thundny, May 18, 1972 THE IE7HBRIDGI HfRAlO 33 Ane has built a wall around Harry Truman He is an old man without the ;ges of other old men INDEPENDENCE. II o. f AP) Ha is an old man now without the privileges of other old men. The park bench in the sun, the small talk with others of his time and memories are denied Harry Truman. Nearly 20 years after he left the White House, he is rcverid as Mr. President, hut 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 to do as other people do, even though I've tried. You can't always he as you want to he after you've been under those bright lights." On May lie was 88 years old. His friends gathered, as they always do, at the Hotel Muehlehach to have lunch, to praise, and to light candles on heart-shaped pctits-fours. For the seventh consecutive year they 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 to those who his ebullient good health as presi- dent of the 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 iiis mind is clear as said H. Roc Bartle, i a former Kansas City mayor j and one of the few friends j who see him regularly. "He keeps abreast of the j times, rarely reminisces. He wants to talk about what hap- j pened yesterday and what j may happen tomorrow." Others confide that he has mental lapses, not unusual for a 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 about 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 manure. Biggs, a pen- sioner, went 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. j Xow Iiis hair Is growing back. "I was emazed." Biggs told a reporter today. "I have never pul anything else on my i head so I came to the conclu-: ftion it must be tiie manure." 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 Uie stuff all said. "But their hair never teems to grow." before the Congress. Ilo'li get down to little minute things. He never calls a man by nami! like you and I do. For instance, Hubert Humphrey. He'll say, 'Senator Hubert Humphrey, the former vice- president.' He always gives the title. Itls always an indi- cation of respect for the title- thnt he holds." Thomas Hart Benlon, the distinguished artist, painted Truman's portrait last year. "The old man looks better as an old man than he did as a young said Benton, himself "You get that fat off of him and you see that chicken- hawk face and also his sensi- tivity. You would never think of Harry Truman as being sensitive, but he lie'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 Traman presiden- tial library, dismayed employ- ees at first. It shows a white- haired old man engrossed in a book held in gnarled, arthritic fingers. The shirt collar and suit are loose. About all that's familiar is the hawrk nose, made more prominent by the lines in Truman's face. Like all Benton painllngs, it's scru- pulously detailed. SECOND ATTEMPT Benton had tried to paint Truman in 1963, when the for- mer president still went to the library he hasn't done since 1965. Tru- man posed willingly, Benton said, but "I was constantly in- terfered with by office work- ers. The women wanted him to look like Clark Gable and the politicians Bcntoivs 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. We 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 Ben- ton. Does Truman like it? "Bess Benton replica "That's enough." The things that please Bess have always been enough for Truman. She was his child- hood sweetheart, the aristo- cratic athlete that the bookish farm-boy Truman wooed and won; she was the only girl he ever doted: she his secre- tary in the Senate; she was his unobtrusive confidant and supporter when he was presi- dent. Now still doinu of the shopping, cooking and housework, she is LI constantly, zealously guarding his privacy. Privately, -some of their friends say she protects him too much, keeping away peo- ple who might brighten his days. But they respect her wishes and the calling list is small. INSATIABLE READER From the reading room of the 105-y e a r -o 1 d Truman home, the former president can look out on busy loth Street, renamed Truman Hoad, the, main highway to Kansas City lii miles west. Bookshelves are floor to ceil- ing on three sides and over the window of the fourth. And even that's not enough to satiate his reading appetite. Daily passenger flights and parcel express con-'' necting Lethbridge with. Edrponton Red-Deer- Calgary Medicine Hal TIME AIRWAYS T- Southern Alberta's only scheduled airline. For information and reservations, call 328-2331. AIR On many a day, the the front passenger seat next i a Secret Service car i p c n d c n ce Public Library, car will pull out of the drive- i to retired police lieutenant j behind thev'll w'icrc Mrs. Truman gathers way. Truman, clasping a cane Mike Westwood. Mrs. Truman Jl yjj armload of books. between his knees, will be in is in hack. ;1 fcw hlocks to the Jnde- Independence is used to the Trurnnns find their drives I across from Uie home, Inter- around town attrucl little at- feres with well-meaning ier.tion, The Secret Service, j anccs only on a nod from vhich has renfed a house Mrs. Truman. 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