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

Girl Robbed At Gunpoint By Former Boyfriend

A Soddy Daisy man was arrested after police said he robbed his former girlfriend at gunpoint.   According to police, the woman was walking with a male friend on Riverfront Pkwy. when Brandon Rodriguez, 27, came up with a gun and demanded their belongings.   After taking the woman's purse, police said he fled the scene.   Rodriguez was charged with ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Woman Charged With TennCare Fraud, ID Theft

A Hamilton County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and identity theft for obtaining medical treatment and using a TennCare member’s benefits to pay for them. The Office of Inspector General announced the arrest of Deborah Faye Ellis, also known as Deborah Hanes, Deborah F. Lee, and Deborah Faye Lee, 58, of Chattanooga.  Ms. Ellis was being held at the Lee Arrendale ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The NCAA’s “Division IV”

Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner are two very smart guys. Not long ago the two sports researchers at Ohio State authored a story that appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports that focused on the most successful college football teams in the country and, earlier this week, a writer named Ben Cohen broke it down in understandable terms for a fascinating Wall Street ... (click for more)

Stone Leaves South Pitt For Coaching Positions At Boyd-Buchanan

The possibility of a career move was definitely in Wes Stone’s future. The one he took wasn’t necessarily on his radar screen just a few weeks ago. Stone, assistant football and head baseball coach at South Pittsburg, has left the Pirates for teaching/coaching positions at Boyd-Buchanan. The 38-year-old Stone, who already is working with the Bucs’ football team as a defensive ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy's Wright Commits To MTSU Baseball

Soddy-Daisy’s Andy Wright, a rising senior and dual-threat player, has made a non-binding verbal commitment to play baseball at Middle Tennessee State University. Wright, a pitcher/third baseman, chose the Conference USA Blue Raiders over Belmont, Air Force, Navy, UT-Martin and Carson-Newman. “I’m glad to get this (decision) off my back so I can enjoy my senior year,” Wright ... (click for more)