Dear Mr. Gingrich,
I offer my deep appreciation to you for agreeing to work with Mr. Kerrey on an introduction to my book, “Brain in a Jar,” about my father’s life-long war against Alzheimer’s disease which tormented his own father, his patients and then himself. If he could, my father would jump up and down to learn that Newt Gringrich was a part of his story.
As a gesture of my thanks, I offer you this tale of how my father became a Republican:
Beauregard Lee Bercaw was a young surgeon at Clark Air Base in the Philippines during the Vietnam War. (I was born there in 1965. Oddly, my father was born in Manila in 1938, where his father worked for MacArthur.) Anyway, as Beau likes to explain his “conversion,” he was working night and day trying to sew wounded soldiers up. One day Robert Kennedy “breezed” into Clark, and according to my dad, RFK seemed more interested in “mugging for the cameras” than in “the suffering and sacrifice of the soldiers.”
Beau declared himself a Republican on the spot.
Nancy Stearns Bercaw