I opened the mail one day a few years ago to find a letter from Lanny. Inside, was the feather of a hawk.
Lanny was at his home in Missouri and heard a commotion in his yard. He walked outside and saw a dove attacking a hawk. Apparently the dove had a nest nearby that the hawk had tried to disturb. The dove killed the hawk. The irony wasn't lost on Lanny that the dove, an eternal symbol of peace, had killed a hawk, an aggressive bird of prey. So, he plucked a couple of the hawk's feathers and sent one to me. I've kept it behind the sun visor in my car since the day I got it.
Lanny was a true “Missouri boy” as he always used to say. From a family of 10 brothers and sisters, he grew up on a farm in the Ozarks and deeply missed the green grass and lush trees. He was an irrepressible American and I think we all know how rare that is becoming in this world of political correctness that borders on the ridiculous.
Despite everything that happened to him he maintained that pride in this country; even when it came to the little things that are uniquely American. When he and I talked on the phone, he would sometimes pass the phone around to people and say “Here, talk to this lady, she is a genuine Georgia peach, just listen to that accent.”
He didn't apologize for his opinions and never tried to be something he was not. His dear friend Pat in St. Charles, recently told me that he knew something was terribly wrong when Lanny didn't return to Missouri in September as he had planned. “You could set your watch by Lanny's word” Pat said. “I knew it must be bad.” He was right about both.
Lanny Davis will be greatly missed. But even as I cry I know these are selfish tears. In reality, we should all be relieved that he is no longer suffering from painful cancer and the torturous grief that consumed him after Richard's murder. Most of all, we should try and rejoice that his soul is at long last reunited with his beloved son.
What a joyful reunion that must be.
Veteran who fought for murdered son, dies
Posted: Dec 14, 2009 6:19 PM EST