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David Andrews

I Visited Howard Hunt's Grave this Morning

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Posted (edited)

I had to go up to Hamburg, NY, this morning on a work errand, so I decided to play hooky and stop at Howard Hunt’s grave in Prospect Lawn Cemetery.  “Who’s Howard Hunt?” a bank officer about my age asked when I sought directions.

Hunt’s grave is in the older half of the grounds.  His parents and Hunt forebears, who had some standing in the town, are buried deeper within the small, eldritch cemetery, among the glut of old graves.  As happens, Howard became an outlier buried at the roadside, beside a WW I veteran who died in 1990.

The grave is neat, and covered in short-length clover, but does not appear much visited.  No one leaves ceremonial pebbles on the bronze marker, and the grass is creeping over the edges of the metalwork.  I straightened and re-anchored the small flag on a pole that has warped since last Memorial Day.

I did not take pictures, as there are several of the marker on the internet.  Strangely, the cemetery has at least two jagged tree trunks whose tops have cracked off, though this winter was mild. 

We were quite alone, Hunt and I, in a secluded place.  “Howard,” I lectured as I laid a memorial penny on his marker, “You were a bad man.  You left many graves behind this one, in Guatemala and Cuba.  That you did not get Fidel is the world’s fate.  You helped ruin the Arbenz family’s lives, and you probably helped kill JFK.  I hope I’m fair to you when I write about you.”

Then I asked his blessing.  Ambivalence.

Where has Howard gone?  I thought of him when he was all-too-vital, dodging bullets on some Bimini Run of the mind, then suffering for all the bullets he couldn’t dodge in DC.  I thought of him as a bedridden old man, now embalmed in a satin-lined box beneath the clover.  I thought of his first wife, who may as well have walked into a propeller.

When I got back to the office, no one there knew who Howard Hunt was, either.  A sign near the grave lists him as the most famous man in the cemetery, surpassing the Revolutionary War soldiers.

Edited by David Andrews

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David,

This is so very well written. Thank you.

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David,  knowing Howard as I did I would hazard that his advice from the beyond the grave to you would be, "Friend, don't you realize that you are a born writer,  possessing a genuine way with words? It is never too late to write that Great Novel that opens the readers' eyes, maybe even one that tells the real story behind JFK's assassination and Watergate as you know it from your intense research all these years. I'll even try to help you from afar. Get on with it, man!"

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Thanks, all.  It was an equivocal moment for me, to say the least.

George Steiner, In his novel The Portage to San Cristobal of A. H., has a character pose an interesting question: If Hitler walked in the room today, would you stand up?  Yes, another character says, out of respect to history. 

Where that leaves those of us who get it...

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It is well written, but  are you lamenting Hunt's failure to murder Castro and is that a commonly held sentiment here?

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Personally, I continue to lament Richard Nixon blowing off Castro after Fidel came to power, which drove him straight into the arms of the Russians. 

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Posted (edited)

I wasn't lamenting Hunt's failure to get Castro.  It was up there next to Arbenz.  I suppose I was gloating over Hunt's failure.

A lot of people tried to get Castro and failed.  It was what it was: fate.  Now, history. 

Neither Hunt nor Castro will get any deader now.  As in the Holocaust, it's the nameless victims of years past that we should mourn.

 

Edited by David Andrews

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I won't tell you what I tell Reagan when I visit his grave. 

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2 hours ago, David Andrews said:

I wasn't lamenting Hunt's failure to get Castro.  It was up there next to Arbenz.  I suppose I was gloating over Hunt's failure.

A lot of people tried to get Castro and failed.  It was what it was: fate.  Now, history. 

Neither Hunt nor Castro will get any deader now.  As in the Holocaust, it's the nameless victims of years past that we should mourn.

 

Well said, as was your first post.  I'm glad Hunt failed to get Castro.  If traced back to the US that could have brought about the nuclear war JFK averted with the Cuban missile crisis and spent the rest of his life trying to keep from happening again.

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Hunt feeling JFK was a traitor as one can be sure Morales, Harvey, Sturgis, Phillips and so many others in their milieu also felt about JFK.

And throw in "scum" as Harvey's wife described regarding her and her husband's feelings about JFK and even his wife.

Yet, to Harvey at least, mafioso John Roselli ( affectionately remembered as "Johnny" by Mrs. Harvey ) was considered a "real patriot."

What a sick and perverse sense of patriotism. 

Having these powerful people and groups hating you to a murder wishing degree shouts suspicion.

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 7:14 PM, Pat Speer said:

I won't tell you what I tell Reagan when I visit his grave. 

I've been to LBJ's ranch, not to his grave specifically.  Saw the main house from a short distance.  We'd driven an hour or so that morning, between morning coffee, the beautiful Perdenales river running nearby I needed to pee in the restrooms at the "dog run" cabin.  Probably just a coincidence in relation to the proximity of his grave.  Under similar circumstances I could foresee the need for a restroom if visiting Nixon or Reagan's graves.  

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