THE LOUISIANA GOVERNOR WHO REACHED OUT TO THE COMMON PEOPLE
History 321 _03
Being that I was born at Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital in Baton Rouge, this article by Morgan Peoples quickly captured my attention. The article “Earl Kemp Long: The Man from Pea Patch Farm”, was perfect for the lingering curiosity I have had for the man whom the hospital in which I took my first breath was named after. Being that Earl K. Long hospital was a Charity Hospital, I always assumed that there had a to be a good reason it was named in honor of him, and Morgan Peoples clearly confirmed my assumptions. Earl K. Long was so well known for reaching out to the common people and my mother surely fell under that category. This is what enlightened me to the fact that this hospital was actually continuing the practices of Governor Long even after his death.
Peoples covered a wide range of information on the personal and political life of Earl K. Long in this article. He began by giving a brief introduction on the latter years of Long, and continued to elaborate on this energetic man’s life with explanations, stories and a number of quotes. Peoples expressed that “Earl Long had three great loves: politicking, plain people, and his Pea Patch Farm. Plain people liked him because he was one of them.” (p.566) He continued to describe the Governors Pea Patch farm and the meaning behind it. Peoples explained that according to Long, “The Pea Patch Farm was a good place to enjoy the sweet fruits of victory and to map future political strategy, a process referred to by long’s fund campaign treasurer, Lewis Gottlief, as ‘making catfish bait’.” (p.567) It appears to me that Earl K. Long used this farm to stay connected with the common man, and a in a way maintain a more humble attitude toward life, while doing what he loved. He continuously used strategies in his campaigns that would remind the common people that he was just like them. Peoples shows an example of this when he says “Early...
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