Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir by Fred Thompson

By Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson has loved a outstanding profession in Hollywood and politics, but if he sat right down to write a memoir approximately how he received to be the individual he's, he came upon that his top tales all looked as if it would pop out of the years he spent starting to be up in and round his native land of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. It used to be a small city yet now not the smallest—after all, it was once the county seat and it did have a courthouse, a number of motion picture theaters, and its personal Davy Crockett statue. For really small, you needed to shuttle to close by Summertown, the place the average Sunday dinner was once possum and chocolate gravy. yet Lawrenceburg is the place Fred obtained to be a child, get in his proportion of hassle and scrapes, get to grasp fogeys he didn’t become aware of have been so colourful on the time yet certain does now, get married, have a couple of little ones, develop into a guy, and begin his occupation as a rustic attorney (pretty a lot in that order). And as Fred tells it, getting that legislation measure was once whatever of a shock for him, due to the fact at school he’d been lower than stellar as a student. “Teaching Latin to anyone like me,” he says, “was like attempting to educate a pig to bop. It’s a waste of the teacher’s time and it irritates the pig.”
In those reflections, as hilarious as they're sincere and hot, Fred touches at the influences—family, native land acquaintances and lecturers, group activities, jobs, romances, and private crises—that molded his personality, his politics, and how he seems to be at lifestyles at the present time. We get to grasp the unforgettable characters who congregated on the Blue Ribbon Café, just like the rotund gentleman referred to as “Shorty” whose declare to repute used to be his skill to fast suck in his belly and reason his pants to fall to the ground. Or Fred’s Grandma Thompson, who grew to become an early television adopter for the only objective of gazing “Wrestling from Hollywood” and who as soon as had a “gourder” faraway from her neck and as a result walked round city with it in a handkerchief exhibiting it to oldsters. in the future Fred and an companion put small explosive Fourth of July “cracker balls” lower than the 4 legs in their teacher’s chair. Mrs. Garner sat down and, regardless of the racket, didn’t balk rather a lot as a muscle—but Fred felt a twinge of the only emotion he hated most—shame. Fred idolized trainer Staggs from his highschool soccer days, although he used to be “like Captain Ahab with no the humor” and didn’t like clever alecks, comics, or individualists, which placed the younger Fred at an obstacle. greater than someone else from these days although, Fred recollects his ma and pa, who taught him that youngsters are formed so much of all by way of the affection and help they could take for granted.
Teaching the Pig to bop will pride each person who admires Fred Thompson for his contributions to politics or for his paintings in videos and on television, besides all those that simply like to listen rollicking yet unforgettable tales approximately transforming into up in a spot the place, as one of many neighborhood previous timers positioned it, “We weren’t large enough to have a city under the influence of alcohol, so some of us needed to take turns.”

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Extra info for Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir

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Like a lot of the stuff I was learning in school, I figured. Since time began, the trader and the merchant have had to develop the necessary skills to survive—and Dad was no different. He had to have a pretty good eye for what a car would “bring” when he bought it at auction. There wasn’t much margin for error. He could look at a car across a lot and tell whether it was previously wrecked or whether it was a “northern” car, meaning it was driven on snowy, icy roads strewn with salt and therefore more likely to rust.

Trustworthy and striving every day to be a better man. It became a standard by which I measured things, whether I lived up to them or not. Lawrence County High School—the scene of many schoolboy crimes. (Lawrence County Archives) Lawrence County Courthouse, with Davy standing watch. (Lawrence County Archives) The town square in Lawrenceburg. (Lawrence County Archives) Mom, Dad, and me in Cleveland, Ohio, 1943. Pa and Ma Thompson with Dad and Uncle Mitch behind them, with Uncles Wayne and Dallas at either end.

She collected many pieces and more than a few sets of “Flow Blue” china from these shops. It’s fair to say that Dad wasn’t up on all of this. One of her antiques is a table with twisted legs. It’s called a “barley twist,” named for the twisted plugs of chewing tobacco that were common years ago. One evening, Mom and Dad went to an antique auction in Columbia, Tennessee. Along with them was Mom’s sister, Aunt Freda, and her husband, Robert. Anyway, Mom and Aunt Freda were seated at the auction in one row, and Dad and Robert, who was just as big a cutup as Dad was, were seated behind them.

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