Colonel Raymond Fening
June Fening, Daughter in Law of Political Science Professor Lt Col Raymond Fening. US Senate candidate Eric LaMont Gregory
stopped by the Middletown Campus of Miami University to discuss the profound effect that Lt Col Fening had on the Senate Candidate's career.
A good intelligence officer, US Senate Candidate Eric LaMont Gregory explains, is one that when everyone's attention is concentrated on the east; looks to the north, south and west. Col Raymond Fening, a long time Middletown and Butler County Republican, was a liason between the Department of War and the White House during World War II and often spoke with me and Mike Avey (a brilliant student of electoral politics) about the intricacies of the War Department - White House relationship.
The decades-long relationship between Fening and Gregory, is detailed in the Gregory's recently released book, The Ultimate Vanishing Act, a relationship that is as fascinating as it is intricate.
One day, after a long day of meetings, Roosevelt sat in his office reflecting upon the nature of the people that came in to see him that day. Roosevelt said to his staff, Fening among them, that those who came into the White House and said; Mr President, I will do whatever you ask of me, offered him nothing. When a visitor came in and said that he had a train coming from the west coast and could add enough cars to move the troops he needed, the president was pleased.
Roosevelt said that there were two kinds of people who came to see him that day; those who could make a material difference, and those who could not. He then said that the next day he wanted to see a lot more of the former, and a lot less of the latter. I can remember discussing these things with Fening, as if it were yesterday, Eric said to June Fening.
I am just one of the hundred's of students that Raymond Fening saw promise in and steered in the direction of service to country.
America has a way of honoring its soldiers, its patriots, and being buried at Arlington National Cementery is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed. When one is buried at Arlington beside his wife this is an indication of the esteem in which Commander Fening was held.
But, those of us born on the south-end of Middletown, affectionately known as Cloverdale, whose basements flooded will remember Middletown City Councilman Fening who fought to build the levies along the Great Miami River.
Col Raymond Fening was a gentleman and a most honorable one.
Miami University, Oxford, Professor of Philosphy Asher Seidel and Senatorial Candidate Eric LaMont Gregory meet after some three decades and continue their discussions of world view and the comparative nature of human knowledge.
Dr Seidel is a specialist in metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of mind. In those days, the 1960's and 70's, his students were aware of the benefits of a classical education, and the realisation that the great questions are still the great questions.
Dr Seidel was more than just a professor of philosphy to Mike Avey, Karen Leis and me, he was one who invited us to search for the truth in those days of the Vietnam War, Kent State, and Watergate. I wonder if anyone still has photographs of the banner reading 'Wounded Knee' hanging from the upper windows of the Philosophy building.
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A most revealing book!
A colleague at Oxford, the first university in the English-speaking world, where we had graduated and worked as Research Fellows for many years, telephoned me and rather excitedly asked if I had seen the latest advertisement for my book, The Ultimate Vanishing Act, at Kobobooks.com. He went to say that it was displayed in a singular frame (above) alongside the recent book by Justin Trudeau, the newly-elected Prime Minister of Canada, Common Ground. "On campus (Oxford) they are already calling the books, The Ultimate Vanishing Act and Common Ground, Profiles in Courage (JFK), Gregory and Trudeau."