My real name is Charles Hoffecker, and I was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1907.
My father was a working class guy, who went fifteen rounds with Senator McCarthy.
I spent my first fifteen years in Lansing.
Then my father was elected as an alderman in Flint, Michigan, and we moved there in 1926.
I had my first trip up North when I was about seven or eight years old.
From Lansing, we moved to Flint, where my father continued to be an alderman until 1936, when he was elected mayor of the city.
My parents were not very high on politics, so I was a normal kid – I liked sports and went to grammar school and high school.
I don’t remember being particularly politicized or involved.
I was just doing what I wanted to do.
In 1924 or ’25, I started lifeguarding on the Yacht Club’s swimming team – I don’t know why!
There wasn’t much to do in Flint.
Those of us who were in school during this time might not have even realized that President Coolidge had yet lived.
I don’t think of myself as being Republican or Democrat, except that I think John Dewey was one hell of a wonderful person.
And it was always in the distant rumour stage that two political analysts on Capitol Hill, Tim Phillips and Merrill Goebel, had an anniversary(Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inauguration wasn’t until March).
From then on, it was stone canyon time.