The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on June 27, 1966 · Page 3
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 3

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Monday, June 27, 1966
Page 3
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Page 3 article text (OCR)

The Good B.v Jack Baker Staff Writer I once comunicated to Graham Parllow the substance of a compliment a mutual friend had paid him. "Graham," I said, "One of the good things 1 hear about you is (hat you're Hie sharpest young lawyer in Mississippi County.'" Partlow replied graciously and with sincere pleasure at the re- ma.rlt. When I told my friend about this part of the conversation, he looked shocked. "Why, I didn't say fhat!" he said. "You didn't?" I said, wondering if my friend had suddenly soured on Parliow. "i\'o," he protested. "I said 'the sharpest young lawyer in Arkansas!" " Whatever my friend actually said, there is a strong possibility that bo(h versions of the statement are correct. At 34, Partlow lias a growing number of admirers all the way from here to Texarkana. Strangely enough, this kind of admiration does not move Partlow to consider a political career. "Frankly, I don't give a damn about politics," Partlow says, reminding one of a similarly phrased and equally emphatic renunciation delivered by old Clark Gable to winsome Vivien Leigh in "Gone With The Wind." It cost Gable, as Rhetl Butler, a great deal of soul-searching to decide to cull Scarlett O'hara, but Partlow seems to have had little trouble resisting the lure of politics. "I make real sure I vote In every election," Partlow says, "but I don't get enmeshed in politics to the point of getting fixed up with this guy or that guy. I go with my friends and I'm in favor of good people for public, off ice, but that's it." * * * The. Partlow Principle, it might be called, and it even has a domestic application. "I passed the rule ten years ago whenjl got married that the House'of Partlow did not get involved in politics," he s ay s. Presumably, then, neither Mrs. Partlow nor the couple's four children will ever do any ward heeling, either. Partlow stops just short of the General Sherman genre of "hell no" refusal. "i have to be honest," he says. "There's a possibility — however remote — that I might run for something some day. But it's strictly a hypothetical proposition. The door isn't locked, but it's shut pretty tight" To which another acquaintance says, "Baloney! Partlow's a natural. A man with his brains and personality ought to be forced to go into politics. If need be, he'll be drafted some- 1 would say they were functional rather than political in nature." Anyhow, Partlow qualifies, his aversion to politics stems not from a disregard for public office but from his disdain for the wheeling and dealing of electioneering. Whatever the nature of his public duties, Partlow has, by all accounts, performed them well. Edwards' opinion that Partlow "set the standard for all future city attorneys" is shared by many of the local Partlow indeed has the kind of political S.A. that might provoke such enthusiasm on tlie part of the democracy. He is young, attractive, and bright, and the members of his family - wife Delia (daughter of Tax Assessor Herbert Shippen of Osceola); daughters Laurie, 10, Peggy, 9, and Elizabeth, 5; and son Charlie, 9 — are young,-attractive and bright. "Bright" is something of an understatement. Partlow is said to have the kind of intelligence that glows in the dark. As Mayor Jimie Edwards, an admirer (and client, along with four other aldermen) says, "I've never heard Graham utter a superfluous word in court — nor a wrong one." Partlow also possesses an esoteric quality of dignified affability that eludes the earnest, fixated little men who study Dale Carnegie. He is Rex Right- fellow without being stuffy about it — or even half trying. In both dress and bearing he is acceptable to, at once, the primmest bourgeois, the most bucolic good old boy, and the serest of hipsters — and, since all these types and more exist in Arkansas, Partlow would not exactly need a mojo to score with the electorate. * * * Technically speaking, Partlow has been in politics for some time. He served a term as city attorney (1959-60), and, since January, 1961, he has been deputy to district prosecutor Todd Harrison. In the latter role, he lias efficiently prosecuted a number of cases in the Blytlie- ville area. "That doesn't make me a poli tician," Partlow contends. "Both these jobs I undertook for Iht »kt of experience. I '.. .not locked, but shut pratty tight/ 'I don't liko to criticize. I like to help.' 'I'm committed to my career as all men should be.' jer. Harrison is shooting for a circuit judgeship this year, and his prosecutor's job is up for grabs. The race is rated a toss- jp between Jonesboro's Gerald Pearson, who apparently has the support of the "In" crowd, and Osceolan Ralph Wilson, the charm boy candidate. * * * Partlow, who remains on good terms with both men, professes an indifference both to the outcome and to the prospect of his continued employment as a deputy prosecutor. "Frankly, I'm a little tired of the job," he says. "It takes too much time away from my private practice." If Partlow holds to his guns and retires (or is retired) as deputy prosecutor, he will suspend — at least temporarily — a public career that has certain parallels to the course taken by his late father, the legendary Charlie Partlow. Graham Partlow was born in Blytheville in 1931, the same year his .aggressive father was admitted to the bar — in lieu of a formal educatr- and with legal experience only as a court reporter. The father went on to move straight up the political ladder: from deputy prosecutor to prosecuting attorney to circuit judge, a natural progression aspired to by both Harrison and Wilson — if not by the current Partlow. "My father always kept an absolute division betweeen h i s professional life and his relationship with me," Graham says, "He never told me 'boo' about who or what to like or dislike. And when the time came, he pushed me out and said in effect, 'Boy, make It on your own your own way.'" Sewer Improvement districts without Graham. The legalities of them - because they overlapped city • county boundaries — were incredible. Nobody seemed to understand the legalese except Partlow; and, because he did, we got things done." .. . •• Partlow is modest but not humble, and he therefore expresses a justifiable pride in the widespread esteem in which he is held. "I don't want to brag on myself, so I can't say what my average annual income is, but it's pretty good." (Friends say five figures — and not in the lower gradations of that, either.) Although his heart probably lies with private trial work, Partlow's services have been tapped on innumerable occasions by public bodies — mainly because they felt he was the best man around. Partlow is something of a Cin- 0. S. Air Force 1st Lt. Carl D. Glover, who is married to the 'orrner Connie Ringeiser of Ely- .heville, has received the first oak leaf cluster to the Air Medal at Eglin AFB, Fla., for service in Southeast Asia. Glover, a navigator, won the award for meritorious achievement during military flights while assigned to duty in South east Asia. Airman Russell R. Dunn of Caruthersville, Mo., has been selected for technical training at Sheppard AFB, Tex., as a U. S. Air Force missile facilities specialist. Dunn graduated from Caruthersville High School. Sergeant Thomas E. Tinker, assigned to ttie ROTC unit at Texas Tech, has been promoted to Sergeant Major during ROTC summer camp. He is a native of Blytheville and a veteran of World War H and the Korean War. The younger Partlow was presumably free to becor - a druggist or a disc jockey, but blood ran thicker than the abstract waters of free will. Accordingly, he bypassed a bachelor's degree and took an L.L.B. degree in 1954 after five years' concentrated study at the University of Arkansas. That same summer he forsook his bachelorhood. Partlow then spent two years at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, as Second (then First) lieutenant in the Signal Corps. These years were largely routine, and Partlow's fondest memories of them are of playing football on a post team composed entirely of Arkansans and watching the football and baseball varities of the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. (Partlow's interest in sports continues. A standout third baseman in his U of Ark days, he coached a midget baseball team here last year.) * * * After his discharge in October, 1956, Partlow returned to Blytheville, where he set up a practice—.by himself. "I've never been associated with other lawyers," he says, "for the same reason that I'm not crazy about politics. I prefer the elevating feeeling that comes from being my own boss." Partlow is nevertheless no lone wolf. From the beginning his relationships with the Establishment and outsiders alike were cordial. Like all Blytheville attorneys, Partlow found it impossible to specialize. As he says, "A small-town lawyer really has to be a jack-of-all trades." Most of those who have fo- lowed his career have bee en impressed by the comprehen- sivcncss of Partlow's work, despite his disclaimer that "law is something no one is really thoroughly versed in. It's too complex." Not a legal theoretician like Oscar Fendlcr (whom he regards as "the dean of Mississippi County lawyers"), Partlow has earned his reputation by his command ot the mechanics of law. Once again it is Edwards who offers a testimonial. "It would have been impossible for us to have developed the 7th ind tth Airman Tex R. Butler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Butler of Caruthersville, Mo., has been selected for technical training at Keesler AFB, Miss., as a U. S. Air Force communications electronics specialist. Butler attended Caruthersville High School. cinnatus at the plow, and, when bade, he comes readily to the public aid. 'I don't understand those people who can only carp at officials," he says. "By and large, Mississippi County officials have been good ones. I don't like to critize. I like to help." The one thing that disturbs Partlow most is citizen apathy. "I get damned impatient about that," he says. "What's the point of having a democracy if people don't get involved?" Partlow this year is yielding a couple of paces from his usual non-partisan stance. He intends to support John Fogleman's bid for the state Supreme Court and will back his colleague Harrison for circuit judge. (Above all things, he has a deep sense of personal and professional loyalty — the latter enhanced association for which he is eligible.) There is nothing of the exis- Nm>s Of Men In Service Three Arkansas State College students are attending Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Fort Sill, Okla. They are Cadet Michael G. Bellinger, Cadet Charles W. Beach, and Cadet Kermit W. Snipes. Bollinger is the son of Mrs. Elvina M. Bollinger, Manila. He graduated from Manila High School. Beach is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Beach of Leachville. He graduated from Manila High School. Snipes is a graduate of Wilson High School. Jimmie L. Strickland, son of Mrs. Rachel W. Strickland, 213 Patterson, was promoted t n Army staff sergeant at Fort Shatter, Hawaii. Strickland attended Richard B Harrison High School. Chief Air Controlman John E. Milligan, USH, son of Mrs. Herbie Milligan of Leachville, has reported for duty at the joint Spanish - American Naval Base at Rota Spain. Rota is the largest U..S. Naval installation in Europe, and the primary logistical support center for the U. S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Airman Jerry W. James, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence James of Hayti, Mo., has been assigned to Langley AFB, Va., after completing Air Force bas- sic training. James, a graduate of Hayti High School, will be trained on the job ss a personnel specialist with the Tactical Air Command. Preston A. Campbell, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Parvin 0. McDermolt, 1100 E. Cherry, has enlisted in the U. S. Marines. Campbell will go to San Diego, Calif., for his recruit training. Campbell is a graduate of Blytheville High School. Airman l.C. Charles E. Grays whose wife is the former Bonnie Allison of Caruthersville, Mo., has been assigned as a fabric - leather - rubber repair specialist in Vietnam. The Pacific Air Forces ,of which Gra5's is a member, provides offensive - defensive air- power in the Vietnam theater. PLAN A LONG STITCH WALTON, N. S. (AP) - Mr. and Mrs. Garth Sanford are hooking their own stair - carpet. They are about half - way through and expect it'll take two years in all to finish the 14-yard, maple leaf pattern carpet. i 117 WIST MAIN Watch For Opening of New Branch In Plata Shopping Center Save On Your Dry Cleaning & Ask About Our FREE BOX STORAGE SPECIAL! Tue. -Wed. -Thurs, June 28-29-30 PANTS SKIRTS SWEATERS (PLAIN) SUITS DRESSES glytneviflf (Ark.) Courier Mews -.Monday, June -g, jaw- f<tj» inm gal Division * ShlrU Beutlfally Laundered • Folded or Huifer 1117 WEST MAIN tcnliallst in Partlow. He has no philosophical doubts about the value of his way of life. Tm not the kind of guy who sits down and asks himself, Well, am I enjoying my work? Am I doing the right thing?,' and so forth. I am committed to my career as I believe all men should be committed. I intend to practice law the rest of my life. Why? Because I enjoy law, because it's lucrative, and because I get a kick out of the association with people and their problems that Tomes with law. I'm really pretty ordinary. * * * On must protest that this is impermissable modesty. There is nothing ordinary about Graham Partlow Perhaps "conventional" is the term he means. Like millions of other American males, Partlow complains, "I can't seem to get out of the office." He laments the fact that his golf score has soared into the 50's over nine holes of play, and he yearns for a chance to get up to St. Louis to see the Cardinals in their new stadium. He is a Sunday school teacher at First Methodist Church, and he takes his music popular or — pushing things a bit — "semi- classical," a category, which, despite its favor with Americans, does not, strictly speaking, exist. His social life is confined to an occasional evening at BJythe- ville Country Club, a few nights each year on the town in Memphis, and — most favored of all — weekend hunting and fishing trips with family and friends. Partlow is particularly partial to boats. He can talk idyllically about a little runabout of his which he's got some good runs out of at Norfolk Lake. It is safe to assume that Graham Partlow does not like to rock this boat. For all of his talent, Graham Partlow is probably the most conventional man around. Yes, sir. But, baby, Graham Partlow is a comer. Shake hands with LS.Green LS./M.ET. Lucky Strike Green. The fine tobacco cigarette with menthol. You, too, can travel in style -with the savings you'll get at your Chevrolet dealer's. They're ready to go-but quick. Luxurious Itnpalas ; racy Chevelles, thrifty Chevy His, sporty Corairs. Chevrolet's never built more cars for the money. And you've never been able to save more on one than right now. Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan (foreground) available wilh handsome black vinyl root cover. From left (background), Corvair Monza Sport Sedan, Chevy n Nova Sport Coupe and Chevellc SS 396 Convertible. Pick a Jet-smoother Chevrolet Impala with Body by Fisher comforts like door-to-door carpeting and foam-cushioned seats. Or a trip-shrinking Chevelle SS 396 or Malibu. An economical Chevy n you'll be proud to be seen in anywhere. Or an agile, surefooted Corvair (the 500 Sport Coupe is America's lowest priced hardtop). All come •with eight standard safety features for '66,; including two-speed electric windshield" wipers with washer. AH come powered like;, only Chevrolet can power a car. And att . you have to do to save on one in a big way>< is see your Chevrolet dealer. See the man who can save you the most- your Chevrolet dealer Chevrolet Chevelle Chevy n Corvair Corvetter: M 0811 Bob Sullivan Chevrolet-Cadillac Co, 301 W. Walnut Phone .(• PO 3-4578

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