Hardwick Caldwell Jr. Remembers Senator Howard Baker Jr.

Friday, June 27, 2014 - by B.B. Branton
Hardwick Caldwell
Hardwick Caldwell

Longtime Lookout Mountain, Tn. businessman and McCallie School graduate (’40) Hardwick Caldwell remembers the late U.S. Senator Howard Baker Jr. (McCallie, ’43) best for his demeanor and ability to work well with people, even those with differing views.

“I had the privilege of knowing Senator Baker for several years before his death this week and have always been impressed with his tactfulness and poise in working with people on both sides on an issue,” said Mr. Caldwell who knows a good bit about working with people of different personalities to accomplish a common goal as he is a former Lookout Mountain, Tn. commissioner and past chairman of the McCallie board of trustees.

“We all watched the Watergate hearings in the early 1970s and recall so vividly Senator Baker’s famous question, ‘what did the president know, and when did he know it,’ Mr. Caldwell stated.

Mr. Caldwell and Senator Baker had a mutual friend in former Senator Bill Brock, also a McCallie graduate (’39) and whose term as Senator (1971-77) coincided with Baker’s time in the Senate, 1967-1985. All three men served in the U.S. Navy as Baker was part of the V-12 program as a student at the University of the South (July 1943-July 1944) and later received an Honorary Degree from the University.

Good Sense of Humor: Mr. Caldwell recalled a funny story that Senator Baker once told about his driver who was stopped for speeding by a Tennessee highway patrolman.

“Howard told of the quick-minded driver who, when asked by the policeman to show his driver’s license, said, ‘I bet you are the policeman who has been assigned to escort Senator Baker to the airport so he can catch his flight back to Washington.’ Without hesitating, the policeman escorted Senator Baker and his driver to the airport and no ticket was issued.”

Senator Baker’s Legacy: “I feel Howard’s legacy is that he had great character, had the ability and patience to work well with people from so many different walks of life and the wisdom to understand that he didn’t always have to win the battle, but was able to convince people to reach a workable solution,’” said Mr. Caldwell who was instrumental in establishing the McCallie School Caldwell Chair of Christian Ethics, while the school established the Howard H. Baker Chair of American History in 1986.

From embracing the McCallie motto of Honor Truth and Duty and the Honor Code at Sewanee, the late Senator Howard H. Baker Jr. was known throughout his adult life – attorney, U.S. Senator, ambassador, White House chief of staff - as a true American statesman who had the rare ability of helping others reach a common goal through give and take, yet was one who held fast to his beliefs and convictions of right and wrong.

Howard Baker
Howard Baker


Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For April 13-19

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for April 13-19: 04-12-18 Kenneth Tony Hamill, 31, of 7 Chickamauga Street, Fort Oglethorpe arrested on charges of failure to report accident resulting in damage, no proof of insurance, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, reckless driving and violation of Georgia’s controlled substance act. Andrew Jason Morgan, ... (click for more)

Fire Personnel Respond To Howard For Garbage Can Fire

There was a small garbage can fire at The Howard School on Thursday.  There was no damage other than just a little smoke in the building, officials said.  The school was evacuated as a precaution, and the ninth-grade academy students needed to be relocated for a short period for the smoke to fully clear in that section of the building.   No students were ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Teacher's Pay Cut

The Hamilton County School Board will hold a “working session” Thursday afternoon as steps continue to formulate the FY2019 budget and it is a frightening process in a badly-broken system. Everybody knows it is equally embarrassing and after watching teachers who “have had enough” go on strikes in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky this spring, I guarantee you that Tennessee is ... (click for more)

Fulmer Gets 4-Year Contract As Vols Athletic Director

University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport announced Thursday that Director of Athletics Phil Fulmer has signed a four-year contract. Fulmer took over as UT's Director of Athletics on Dec. 1, 2017.   "Phillip has been a great partner over the last four months and I commend him for the work he has done with our student-athletes, coaches and staff," Davenport ... (click for more)

Hamilton Heights To Field Boys' Soccer Team In 2018-19

Hamilton Heights Christian Academy has announced the addition of men’s soccer to its athletic program in the 2018-2019 academic year. “We are excited to add this global sport to our athletic program. With the national success of our women and men’s basketball programs, we feel the addition of soccer is a natural fit for the mission of Hamilton Heights Christian Academy,” said ... (click for more)