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

Warrants Taken For Girl, 16, After Woman Stabbed Twice During Altercation On Woodside Street

Warrants have been taken for the arrest of a 16-year-old girl after Heidi Swafford, 19, was stabbed twice in an altercation outside a house on Woodside Street on Tuesday afternoon. Warrants were issued against the juvenile for attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault. The Chattanooga Police Department was notified by a local hospital that a female had arrived ... (click for more)

New $45 Court Fee In Criminal Cases To Provide Funding To Partnership For Families, Children And Adults, Children's Advocacy Center

A new $45 court fee assessed to "those who misbehave" will go to the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults and the Children's Advocacy Center. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said $21 would go to each agency per case and the county would get $3. He noted that the two agencies provide valuable services to victims of crimes. The county mayor said the Legislature authorized ... (click for more)

Give Bullet-Proof Vests To Every Black Youth In The City

I heard a report that the Chattanooga police were being given better bullet-proof vests, and I had an idea. What if Chattanooga became known for something besides electric buses and fast internet service? What if Chattanooga provided a bullet-proof vest to every young black man and black youth in the city limits?   I can hear the scoffing as I write, but think about it. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Horses Vs. DesJarlais

It is well-known that shortly after the despicable “Big Lick” faction of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry put on a very-pointed fundraiser for the equally repugnant Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Jasper) two years ago, the misguided doctor has repeatedly tried to bully and strong-arm the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the behalf of the vermin who sadistically torture the ... (click for more)

TSSAA Sets Future Division I, Division II Classifications

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has released the minutes from Wednesday’s meeting in Hermitage pertaining to football classification period for the 2017-18 and run through 2020-2021 1.  Roll Call 2.  Division I and Division II Classification The Board of Control voted the following for the classification period that ... (click for more)

Mocs Football Picked To Win Socon

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga put a league-high 10 student-athletes on the preseason All-Southern Conference Football Team, picked by the league coaches and released as part of SoCon Media Day.  The Mocs were also the top choice by the coaches and media to win the SoCon title in 2016.  Senior defensive end Keionta Davis is the coaches' selection for SoCon ... (click for more)