|Tom and one of his protégés|
He took that schnook John Williams and helped ‘im wangle a big job at the County. John’s dumb, but he’s pious, like Tom. He’s all football and boyish good looks. Prays pretty good. Salutes the flag.
Yeah. Right now, John’s using Tom’s wily pal, Phil, to get the best deal he can, knowing his former friends are desperate to hide the appalling mess he’s made of things—a mess the public will never see. (They’re used to hiding things; they’re Tom’s friends too.) Plus John’s helping his pal Tony by pushing for protection of Tony’s girlfriend. And Tony’s got some pull, boy, ‘cause he’s the DA. So there’s no telling what John might get, if he plays his cards right. Soon, he’ll be sittin’ pretty, that John. Behind all the shock and drama, there’s John, with his sly smile and hair helmet. He’s a hell of a nice guy, you know.
No doubt Tom helped bring America’s Sheriff around—to IVC—to let the little college bathe in some of Mike’s shine. Or was it John? Those two go way back, you know. Bailiff Boy and the Heartbreak Kid.
Tom really stood by Mike, even after all those sordid tales, even after those recordings were released—the “n” word and all. And all those women! But Tom knows about complexity—how a guy can be pious and patriotic and wholesome and good—while, all the while, he’s doing some seriously nasty stuff. Yeah, in fact, the only way Tom knows that a guy is good, like Tom, is if he’s, well, complex, like Tom.
Now, Mike’s in federal prison. He’ll be there a while. He’s a genius, you know.
And Chriss Street: there’s another one. Family man. See the pictures, the kids, the dog. Very smart. Tom would bring him to board meetings, shining with fiscal smartness across the Ronnie Reagan Room for those Laguna Woods geezers out there in the dark. Remember how Tom would sniff out corruption? Cronyism and nepotism? And big salaries? Imagine! Anna Bryson would be by Chriss’s side. (She’s on the Capo board.) And she’s got a nifty County job!
But Fruehauf caught up with Chriss. Turns out he’s complex too.
Dave Lang used to be Casper Milquetoast, counting his simple beans. But Tom spotted Dave’s weakness and one day pulled up, popped open the door, and showed him candy. Dave sold out his friends. Stabbed ‘em in the back. He then did something amazing: he gave ‘em his insipid smile. (What did that smile mean?) Now, he’ll sit there in the RR room and say things he doesn’t even believe. Why?
There are many such tales.
I don’t go in for conspiracy theories, but sometimes I think about the end of Rosemary’s Baby. Everybody, it turns out, is in on the arrangement. Even the husband. Everybody except for simple Rosemary.
She frantically looks for her baby. She finds the kid.
But his eyes! His eyes! What’s wrong with ‘em?
Then Tom, in his best Nixonian voice, says, “He has his father’s eyes.”
"La la la la la la...."