“I owe this to my father, Rush H. Limbaugh Jr., who asked of my mother, ‘Where did he get all this, Millie?’ I learned it from you, Dad.”
—Rush Limbaugh III, “Chronicles”
He’s been known as DJ Rusty Sharpe and Jeff Christy, and his close friends and family fondly refer to him as “Rusty,” but he is best known as the number one (at his climax) talk radio host in the country, Rush Limbaugh. Rush is known as the definitive conservative voice in talk radio. How did Rush attain such heights? What events and influences shaped the man whose followers call themselves “Ditto Heads”? How did Rush’s political socialization create the Rush Limbaugh we can experience three hours a day? This paper will explore the who, what, why, where, when, and how Rush Limbaugh’s personal and political values were influenced, shaped and honed.
In order to answer these questions, one must have a definition of political socialization against which to measure these characteristics. The definition which best meets my understanding has been expressed as, “Political socialization, in the broadest sense, refers to the way a society transmits its political culture from generation to generation” (Langton 4) The term has also been defined as, “The way in which the developing human being gradually has his own personal identity, which allows himself to seek and meet his own idiosyncratic needs and values in his own way” (Greenstien 95). Limbaugh’s political values can hardly be termed idiosyncratic; however, his choice of radio as the medium to express his views is. The specific factors I will research as part of Rush’s political socialization are the political climate of his hometown, Cape Girardeau, Missouri; the influence of his grandfather, father, mother, and childhood friends; the role of religion; and the political and social climate of the era in which he was raised.
In order to create an image of Cape Girardeau’s current political state, we must look to the political temper dating back to the Civil War era. Missouri held both Northern and Southern sympathies; however, Cape Girardeau’s early settlers came from southern slave-holding sections of North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. These settlers formed an active military group in Cape Girardeau named the “Marble City Guards” (Snider 39). “These secessionists were often in positions of leadership and the state officials from the area were willing to have Missouri withdraw from the Union” (Snider 38). When the Civil War broke out, the members of the “Marble City Guards” re-enlisted as supporters of the Confederate States of America (Snider 39). The conviction of those involved in the dispute, as is true of most emotionally charged conflicts, remained once the conflict was resolved. This sentiment holds true in the case of the Confederate soldiers after the termination of the war. “Such strong animosities as those developed during the war die slowly” (Snider 54). The original members of the “Marble City Guards” remained in Cape Girardeau “for a long time following the war” (Snider 54). Information such as this enables future generations to understand the southern political values that are currently held in the city.
Physical remnants of southern sympathies remain in Cape Girardeau to this day. A statue was dedicated to honor Confederate soldiers by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1931″ (Snider 55). To further emphasize the southern sentiment that pervades in Cape Girardeau, this statue, which is located in the city park adjacent to the City Hall, was rededicated in 1993. With the resounding temperament of confederate soldiers combined with physical edifices, it is easy to see how Cape Girardeau has, over the years, produced predominately conservative political activists and supporters.
The Cape Girardeau biography provided a helpful example of the town’s political history; however, one must also establish a broader image of Cape Girardeau’s heritage. In a journal kept by Mark Twain in l874, he describes the aesthetic and religious look of Cape Girardeau: “Cape Girardeau is situated in a hillside and makes a handsome appearance” (Snider 5). He continued, “Uncle Mumford said that Cape Girardeau was the Athens of Missouri, and contained several colleges . . . and all of them on a religious basis of some kind or another. He directed my attention to what he called the ‘strong religious look of the town'” (Snider 6). Twain’s observations establish Cape Girardeau as an eye-pleasing, religious-looking Midwest town.
In order to exact an image of Rush Limbaugh as a child, we can look to the many documentaries, editorials, and articles written on the Limbaugh family and the political atmosphere in which he was raised. Rush Limbaugh III was born on January 12, 1951, in a small town in Missouri—Cape Girardeau—with a population of 25,000 (http//capegirarcvb.org/tours/rushlimbaugh). He was born into a family of well-established attorneys. The first Limbaugh to settle in Cape Girardeau was Rush Limbaugh Sr., Rush III’s paternal grandfather, Rush Sr. was born into a family of poor farmers in 1891. He grew up “. . . on a hill and a bottom farm on ‘Little Muddy Creek’ in Bolinger County”(Adams). He believed hard work and a solid work ethic would enable him to pull himself out of poverty. He is quoted as saying, “I became very determined at that time [age 10] to become a lawyer, although I didn’t know how it was done or what I would have to do” (Adams1), After attending law school at the University of Missouri, Rush Sr. moved to Cape Girardeau and founded a law firm which continues to thrive. Throughout his life, Rush Sr. has been honored and awarded for his many contributions to Cape Girardeau’s community. He is most noted for his time served as a republican Missouri State representative from Cape County in 1931–32 and as the 10-year chair of the Cape County Republican Committee. In his most notable position, for the purposes of this paper, he served as chairman of the city’s charter commission which drafted the charter under which the city now operates. (Bliss A:2) This is an excellent example of the way the Limbaugh family established their political values in Cape Girardeau. These values are not only lived by the citizens of Cape Girardeau, but are maintained by the current and future generations of Limbaughs who have chosen to remain in Cape Girardeau.
In 1988 Rush Sr. instructed a group of Eagle Scouts. In this speech, he presented his personal philosophy on the subject of how to become a good citizen, declaring a good citizen is responsible, educated, married, and believes in God.
As a result of what you have done in scouting, you now have a responsibility. In order for the people to be good citizens, they must be educated. . . . After education you will probably want to consider marriage. The home is still the greatest, the first social institution of humanity. . . . The institution of God is also quite important to guard against a loss of faith. (Grebing A:14)
This recipe for success and good citizenry is a reflection of the southern conservative, or “traditional values” held in Cape Girardeau and was undoubtedly passed down to his own children, who affirm that they hold similar values.
The many articles, biographies, and friends of the Limbaugh family directly attribute Rush III’s outspoken political conviction and conservative views to his father Rush Limbaugh II. In an article entitled, “Rush Limbaugh II,” Missouri state senator Peter Kinder simply stated the subtitle, “His Dad’s Responsible.” Born in 1918, Rush III’s father acquired his own political views from his father’s, Rush Sr.’s, political involvement. Rush picked up his father’s love of the law and added to it a love of powerful debate. Rush Jr. was noted as a lover of knowledge and “whatever he believed he believed passionately” (Kinder l). Rush Jr. was unmatched in his ability to debate on a myriad of topics. “It could be conservative politics, sports, women, romance, aviation (a consuming passion), education, the law, history, movies, or Christianity, a field of inquiry he studied deeply as a Biblical scholar and a Methodist layleader” (Kinder 2). His wealth of knowledge was seemingly without end, and every encounter provided an opportunity for debate.
Kinder reports the center of Rush Jr.’s political philosophy was the individual. “Each person is a unique creature from God. From this logically flowed a passion for the belief that the surest guarantee of that freedom lay in restraining and limiting the ever growing power of government at all levels” (Kinder 2). If Rush Sr.’s political legacy in Cape Girardeau could be matched, his son Rush Jr. met the standard. The local newspaper eulogized Rush Jr. for his many contributions to the community. “Cape Girardeau truly entered the 20th century in large parts because of the efforts of Rush Limbaugh II” (“Rush Limbaugh Jr’s Legacy a Rich One For Us” A:8).
The onset of Rush II’s adult life began during World War II. Rush Jr. served as an Air Force aviator in the war. When he returned home, he attained a law degree from the University of Missouri and joined his father’s law firm. It has been repeatedly noted that everywhere Rush Jr. went, a debate, usually political in nature, ensued. Rush Jr. and his wife, Millie, raised two sons: the oldest Rush Limbaugh III, and the youngest, David Limbaugh. Growing up in a household in which conservative political debate surrounded them, and was encouraged and expected of the boys, it is easy to see how the youngest is now a member of the Limbaugh, Russell, Payne, and Howard Law Firm, and the other is the host of a politically conservative radio show.
The love the generations of Limbaughs have for the preservation of the American judicial system and the continuance of their ideas preserved is evident through their willingness to speak to groups of young adults. These Limbaugh men have addressed graduating high-school classes, as well as other groups of youngsters, as a method of teaching future voters. They bestow upon the students the Limbaugh approach to politics, before these adolescents enter into the community. Their speeches invariably include a message about their role in America’s political system that reflects the notoriously conservative Limbaugh philosophy. Rush Sr. addressed a group of graduating students in 1984 with this message, “The only way there will be the chance to acquire a world government is for persons to take that ideal and that goal when they are young” (Raddle A 3). If we apply this same assertion to Rush Sr.’s prodigy, we can point to the source of their political conservatism and conviction.
In 1969 Rush Jr. addressed honor students with a message of acceptance of the status quo and not to get caught up in political fads. He states, “When the disgruntled do not like something they stage a demonstration . . . this is the Spirit of the Age.” He went on to say, “When you go to college do not be among those who would destroy; rather, accept the institutions as are designed to improve you and would work to make you greater and more noble” (“Limbaugh Tells Top Pupils Freedom at Peak,” A:14). Rush Jr. continued to exert his political philosophies about education throughout his time in Cape Girardeau. In 1982 he addressed the annual Southeast Missouri Secondary School Principal Association. His topic was “The role in education in fostering patriotism” (“Principals’ Group Hear Limbaugh” A:3).
This family clearly believed in instilling the youth of the community with their political views. With views such as these heard throughout the community, one can understand how the same values were taught to their own children, including Rush Limbaugh III. The words of Rush Sr. and Rush Jr. were the sentiments with which Rush III was ingrained. His radio commentary reflects the fundamental principles the older Limbaugh men passed on, not only to Cape Girardeau high-school graduates, but to their own children as well.
Gathering information from biographies and newspapers is helpful in providing background information on a person; however, a more comprehensive source is personal anecdotes and information given by those who knew the family and community firsthand. Through conversations with Rush III’s mother, his brother, childhood friends, and other members of this community, I was able to obtain a clearer picture of Rush’s early life.
Rush III’s mother, Millie Limbaugh credits her husband for the enormous success of her two sons. “The boys absorbed everything their dad said. When their dad spoke, everyone listened; they lived to hear what he had to say.” She also reported, “Rusty loved to talk to his father; he [Rush Jr.] could speak on any subject.” As the opening quote suggests, Rush III believes his father’s influence created the man that he is today.
Millie described Rush’s childhood and high-school years, claiming he was a quiet child who was in a hurry to grow up. “Rusty, that’s what I call him, always wanted to be an adult. I always said ‘why not enjoy your youth?’ but he said ‘You don’t get any credibility until you’re older.’ He loved to be around older people.” This was a perceptive statement for a young boy. Rush III was right; he went through numerous jobs until he landed the spot in Sacramento, at age 35, which began his rise to the top (Rush Limbaugh “Chronicles”).
According to Millie, academia was not one of Rush’s strong areas. Although he was “very intelligent” his grades never reflected his abilities. “He even flunked speech class. He didn’t like the structure of a classroom.” Rush did excel as a member of his high school’s debate team. He reportedly won the state debate team under the guidance of his high-school debate coach Irene White (A&E Biography). Rush graduated from high school in 1969 and attended Southeast Missouri State University for three semesters. Millie reports, “We got his grades at mid‑semester and found out he wasn’t showing up. He flunked out.” She said it was a difficult time for Rush; he “just wanted to be a DJ.”
Rush was not meeting the family’s expectations of law school or political involvement. He received a medical deferment and was able to avoid service during the Vietnam War. His parents had no idea he was so learned about politics until one night Millie and Rush Jr. were watching his appearance on Ted Koppel’s Show. Millie said, “I had no idea he was interested in politics. One night [in 1988] Rusty appeared on Ted Koppel’s Show and we were amazed. Rush [Jr.] said to me, ‘Where did he get that?’ I said, ‘Well, from you; he always absorbed everything you said.'” Millie continued, “I always said his dad was in his body.” This must be an accurate metaphor because everyone I talked to relayed the same message, reinforcing the fact that a large part of Rush II’s political activism can be credited to his father.
A synopsis of Rush III’s childhood suggests they lived a very traditional life. Their father worked, Millie stayed home, they attended a Methodist church every Sunday, and they ate dinner together every night. “Well, we had a normal family, Rush [Jr.] worked, I didn’t. The boys were normal kids who did normal boy things, their dad was a Sunday-school teacher, we ate dinner together and watched TV in the evening.” This family is a living example of the 1950s term, ‘The Golden Era’ in the United States.
A similar sentiment was relayed by one of Rush III’s friends, Pam Spradling (formerly Pam Sheets). Pam is a lifelong resident of Cape Girardeau who has been involved in the town’s political life; her father was a friend of Rush Jr. and she is married to the current [at the time of this article’s print publication in 2001] mayor of Cape Girardeau. Pam recalled many instances and encounters with the Limbaugh family, which reconfirmed our picture of Cape Girardeau as a mid‑western, traditional town, and the Limbaugh family’s role and values in the town. She refers fondly to growing up in the l950s, “It was a gentler time, a truly ‘Norman Rockwellian’ time—a ‘Beaver Cleaver’ time—an innocent time. We stayed out past dark, our moms drank tea, the kids played; it was an easy time.” She describes her interactions with the Limbaugh family in response to the time, “I knew the family best when I was very young, seven to fourteen [the late ‘50s and ‘60s]. They were a very respectable family. This was when ‘Daddies were Daddies;’ the buck stopped there. Mr. Limbaugh had definite ideas of patriotism and personal ethics. He was a very moral man. What was expected was accomplished.” These comments inherently reflect southern values in the 1950s and ‘60s with which Rush III was socialized. Pam remembers the debates that occurred between Mr. Limbaugh [Jr.] and her father. “My father was a Democrat and Mr. Limbaugh was a Republican. He had a large, loud, authoritative voice; he was a wonderful speaker. He and my dad were always talking politics. I know Millie better; she was the most kind and generous woman. She always had time for the kids.” Comments such as these illustrate that Rush III is a direct product of his upbringing; he too, has been referred to as a “wonderful speaker with a large voice.”
Pam, like Millie Limbaugh, referred to her childhood as ordinary. We played tag and hide‑and‑seek—no great shakes. Visiting the Limbaughs was always fun; they had a pinball machine—that was really rare back then. We also played Army; all kids did. This was before the Vietnam War, when everyone liked the military.” This statement is particularly interesting as it reflects similar sentiments to those of the children inBorn on the Fourth of July, by Ron Kovic. This era bred heroes, military or political. Everyone thought they would be successful, a hero.
Pam described Rush as quiet, but not specifically shy. “He was funny, never ugly to me; he teased as a brother would tease.” As the children grew up, the Sheets and Limbaugh children made separate groups of friends, but were always aware of each other. “In high school we went our separate ways but I remember when I was 16, he was the DJ for the local radio station; on the radio he was really cool. In person he was a nice guy, a human.” Other sources concur with that statement. Rush III came to life on the radio. It was his passion.
Another childhood friend, Dr. David Crowe, became friends with Rush because of their father’s love of political debate:
His father and my father were very good friends. On Friday nights we would come over for dinner and his dad and my dad would get into these incredibly bellicose conversations about politics or economics, usually politics—they would really get after it; they were really good friends. It was as if they’d pick sides and would just be screaming at each other. Recently my mom said, “You know, when I listen to Rush on the radio show, it reminds me of those Friday nights.”
Statements such as these support the contention that Rush is a true extenuation of his father’s love of debate and political ideologies.
Rush and David Crowe’s childhood games revolved around the radio, proving Rush III’s love of the radio at an early age.
Rush’s grandparents used to live next door to my house, and in the third grade he would bring over a CB radio to his grandfather’s house and a 45 radio and be a disk jockey. I would sit at my house with a receiver and listen to him be a disk jockey. We would call each other up and I would critique what he did. As long as I’ve known him he always wanted to be on radio.
Fortunately for Rush, his parents owned a share in the town’s radio station KGMO (“Welcome to Cape Girardeau: Rush Town”). At age 16 he took an after-school job at the radio station. It became his life. “He was a fine student until this point; once he got the job, he quit all extracurricular activities. He worked every day after school and on Saturdays and Sundays” (Millie Limbaugh A&E). This marked the onset of Rush III’s radio career and the beginning of his separation from the fixed expectations his father had for his oldest son.
In order to produce an image of the political atmosphere in Cape Girardeau and the way it affected the Limbaugh family during Rush III’s childhood, I spoke with the former Missouri State senator Albert Spradling Jr. Mr. Spradling claims, “I was one of the only two Democrats Rush [Jr.] ever voted for.” Rush Jr. and Spradling took different stances on political issues, but both loved a well-argued debate. Spradling served as a state senator from 1952 to 1971 (Spradling).
Spradling described Rush Jr.’s political theory as follows, “Rush [Jr.] believed in hard work, no welfare, everybody should earn their living. He preached politics at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Even though the two disagreed on the basic fundamentals of politics, they came together on a project for the amplification of Cape Girardeau’s municipal airport. Spradling relayed a story that combines Rush Jr.’s love of Cape Girardeau, the workings/intricacies of the American judicial system, political sacrifice, his love of aviation, and the only other Democrat Rush Jr. voted for.
Cape needed a longer runway, this was in the ‘60s, to land the larger jets that were being made. One night, over toddies, Rush and I came up with an idea. Our friend was Congressman (former U.S. Representative for Missouri, Democrat) Bill Burlison. We knew if we could get Burlison to get us an appointment with Ed Long (former U.S. Senator, Democrat from Missouri), he could get the money we needed from President Johnson. So we headed to Washington DC the next week and Burlison got our meeting with Long. He welcomed us to his office and I’ll never forget what Rush said to him; this was an election year, you know: “Senator, I’ll go out and campaign for you if you get me this runway.” Can you imagine that, the staunchest Republican I knew offering to campaign for a Democrat! So Long called up Johnson, right there, and said, “Mr. President, I’ve got one of the meanest Republicans in my office offering to campaign for me if we give them a new runway for their airport. And Mr. President, they do need it.” Long told us to have lunch, come back at two o’clock and he’d have an answer for us. We did just that, and you know what, we got the extenuation! And Rush sure did campaign for him. When the airport re‑opened, Long came in for the ceremony and Rush introduced him as “Missouri’s Greatest Senator.” It was a hoot! That was the only other Democrat Rush ever voted for in his life, me and Senator Long, who lost the election. (Spradling)
I asked Spradling to describe the political climate in Cape Girardeau in respect to national politics during his representation. He reported “Cape was always a ‘swing county’—half Democrats and half Republicans. In the ‘60s Democrats led the nation, and Cape went Democratic during the Kennedy and Johnson years.” This was surprising to Spradling who thought Cape Girardeau “would never support a Catholic President.” Despite Kennedy’s religious preferences, Cape enjoyed the benefits of a president who said he would cut taxes. “Kennedy believed tax reductions would spark the economy; he did that” (Spradling). Rush’s teen years were influenced nationally by a popular Democratic president and personally by an outspoken Republican father.
When Nixon defeated Johnson, a marked change occurred in the political atmosphere of Cape Girardeau. An editorial in the local newspaper strongly endorsed Nixon as the only candidate for president. The editorial reads, “It is under the Democratic administration that the nation has plunged to the depths it knows today. Only Mr. Nixon from among the three candidates shows the ability and purpose necessary to put America once again on the road to peace and tranquility” (“Nixon—The Man for the Times” A:9). Cape Girardeau lost its Democratic majority with the election of Nixon (Spradling). The events of the Nixon presidency and the Watergate scandal caused an explosion from Rush Jr. “He was sick and disappointed, everyone was a little disappointed. Everyone in the country thought it was one of the most foolish things that ever happened” (Spradling). In 1974 Rush Limbaugh Jr. wrote an editorial expressing his views on Nixon’s impeachment hearings. He writes,
Considering the long preparation that has been made for prosecution of the President and the enormity of making whatever defense the President may have, the trial of the President before the Senate could well take weeks and months or even years. . . . Should we repeat the gross abuses that occurred during the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, the trial could add to the discredit of our political institutions already under grave siege. . . . It is because of considerations like these that we revert to the questions to whether we should ever impeach a President. (Limbaugh)
Would Rush Jr. use this same argument given today’s presidential inquiry? Rush III’s show indicates no. The family remains true to their conservative representatives.
As a close friend of Rush Jr., Spradling provided many anecdotes and descriptions of Rush III as a child. Just as Millie reported, “Rusty’s father was in his body,” Spradling said, “When I listen to Rush’s show I feel like I’m listening to his father in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. Young Rush picked up everything his father said.” Spradling also explained Rush III’s love of talking on the radio. “Rusty always listened to what his dad was saying; that’s why he talks so much now!” Remarks such as these allow audiences to realize where Rush III received his love of talking, and conservative politics. Rush III is a distinct representation of the values his family holds.
As an adult watching Rush III grow up, Spradling provided an adult perspective on Rush’s behavior as a child. “He was always into mischief. He would drop water balloons on the postman, and call people and tell them he was from the radio station and that they had won prizes.” I asked him if he had any idea Rush III would turn out as successful as his did, he replied, “Hell No!” Although Rush was shy at school, when he was in his comfort zone, he was not afraid to play pranks.
The biggest trouble Rush III imparted on his parents was his decision not to attend college. Spradling told of Rush III’s decision not to follow the family’s tradition of careers as lawyers. Spradling said, “His father was disappointed; his greatest disappointment was that Rusty never finished school. He had a tendency to yell at Rusty in front of me; I was a close friend; I almost felt sorry for the boy.” Rush III found a way to amalgamate his own love—radio—with the characteristic theme of his family—conservative politics. “His father was so proud when Rusty went to New York. He was sick then and it was one of his proudest moments” (Spradling). Rush Jr. died in 1990 and just lived to see his son’s show gain national syndication (“Rush Jr.’s Legacy” A:3) Rush III was able to make his radio dream come true as well as gain the admiration of his father.
The closest person we can look to for an accurate portrayal of the Limbaugh family and the way in which the children were politically socialized is to talk to the only other child of Millie and Rush Jr., David Limbaugh. Growing up with the same influences and expectations, David, who is less than two years younger than Rush III, provides an unequivocal perspective on the Limbaugh’s upbringing. “We were an ordinary mid‑western home.” In their home, David first learned of his father’s political convictions watching the evening news along with his father. “He would start arguing with Walter Cronkite. Dad preached principles of limited government. He was very upset by liberals in national media and voiced his opinion openly and passionately. He was outraged with all the editorializing that was presented on the news” (David Limbaugh). These comments about liberals in the media remained with Rush III. He went on to use media to express his and his family’s politically and socially conservative views.
David defined his father’s political philosophy as, “An irreproachably conservative Republican. He was a super-patriot; he held a strong loyalty to our constitution. He was interested in the preservation of free law and constitutional history.” Is this a concept the Limbaugh boys subscribe to? “Yes, we were taught to think for ourselves. We were encouraged to debate with him and answer questions. We weren’t going to win an argument, but we learned to like to debate. In fact, this is how we acquired our skills; Dad was extremely logical.” David’s statement directly points to the materialization of the political debater we hear on the radio today.
As a teenager in the late ‘60s, David often heard his father’s feelings on the Vietnam War. “Dad was very upset by the radical ‘60s. People were rebelling against the America he loved. He felt the socialist influence was behind a lot of that—socialist ideology was behind the protest. He felt it was anti‑capitalist because the military was not allowed to run the war.” This sentiment was also expressed by Rush Jr. in his speech to high-school honor students in 1969. (“Limbaugh Tells Top Pupils” A:3.)
David brought together, reinforced, much of the information others provided about the family’s day-to-day life. “Our dad was a Sunday-school teacher; we are Methodist.” He said Rush may have been perceived as shy, but “not around close friends; I admire him most for his listening skills.” In a synopsis of the atmosphere in the Limbaugh home, David said, “At all times we were encouraged; it was a mentally active environment, highly politicized.” The Limbaugh family stands for many of the same supposal characteristics upon which Cape Girardeau was founded. The family loves the town, generation after generation has remained active townspeople. They continue to represent active members of the religious community. David now volunteers time to the Methodist church.
Rush Jr. has left behind two sons: one whose voice has been equated to his own, who delivers his message on a national radio show, and a younger son who is Rush III’s lawyer and personal manager. The Limbaugh legacy truly marks the southern/Midwest tradition of conservatism that has pervaded Cape Girardeau.
Dr. James David Barber, a scholar of presidential character and political leadership at Duke University, asserts a claim on the way in which people develop a “world view.” Barber, in his studies, claims one’s world view is formed during the teenage years. His definition of the term is, “Accumulation primarily of politically relevant beliefs, particularly ones of political causality, human nature and the central moral conflicts of the time” (Barber 5). This acquisition of a “world view” can be directly related to Rush Limbaugh III’ s adolescence. Rush’s slant on politics can be attributed to the highly political, religious, conservative, southern upbringing during the 1950s and ‘60s, which he chose not to rebel against, but incorporate into his own passion for the radio.
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© Peter J. Bergerson and M. Catherine Bergerson