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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

10 Responses

  1. Gregory Fogg says:

    I think Cleveland was from upstate New York.

  2. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Thanks for the correction. While I occasionally look up a few points on my own contributions, I have to shoot from the hip and speak off the cuff on Rex’s offerings. Of course I once knew Cleveland was a Yorker, but the coincidence of his name and the city trippedd me up. Indeed, Cleveland was mayor of Buffalo. While born in New Jersey, he indeed spent his life in NY. Perhaps in a desire to find something kind in Ohio, a state I lived in for three years, I always associate him with the town that bears his name. I enjoyed my time in Oxford Ohio and visited Cincinnati often. I have met, back then and in subsequent visits, many fine people from Ohio, and I’d be happy to return to tour the state.

  3. Ken Rosenberger says:

    I recall the times I spent in different parts of Ohio as rather pleasant. Cincinnati was a great place, geographically interesting and ethnically diverse in a very good sense. Big German settlement. You have to love a neighborhood called Over-the-Rhein (although I hear OTR has deteriorated over the years, for the usual reasons).

    Unfortunately, I can’t hear about Ohio or Ohioans without recalling a hilarious sequence in Walker Percy’s Love In The Ruins, in which an intelligent East Tennessean expresses his exasperation with Buckeye-Staters.

  4. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Yes, as he urinated on their state flag flower display, he cried out, “Chicken-S-t Ohioans.” There’s also his depiction of the Engineer in The Last Gentleman. He hangs out with Ohioans who all wear bulky knit sweaters. The girls have names like Car’l (pronounced like care with an l, one syllable) and eat karmel korn. I did have bad luck with two Ohioans, who proved to be ungrateful and treacherous, but that’s ancient history. We are thinking, once this plague vanishes, of making a trip for a few days to Cincinnati.

  5. Ken Rosenberger says:

    If you do another March podcast, I hope you will consider Kurosawa, born on the 23d. Same day: Mommy Dearest, Joan Crawford, and someone Rex surely holds in high esteem: Ric Ocasek, leader of Rockford’s gift to rock ‘n’ roll.

  6. Ken Rosenberger says:

    Hold it! I got that wrong about Ocasek. He was in a different band. For some reason I always confused the two. Same era. My apologies, Rex.

  7. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Ken, I feel yo pain. The Cars, not Cheap Trick. I have never met Rick Nielsen, though I was once behind him in a supermarket checkout line. His son Dax, now in the R&R Hall of Fame, used to play with our boys and still looks up Garret when he’s in the same city. Douglas plays in a band with Robin Zander’s son, and his daughter went to high school with our children. The one or two times I met her, she seemed a nice kid. Her brother is the epitome of West Coast cool, complete with designer shades and designer chick, but it was difficult not to like him. To say more would be telling tales out of school.

  8. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    PS We’re going, in principle, to keep on doing these

  9. Ken Rosenberger says:

    As I recall, two members of Cheap Trick had the quintessential rock god good looks (one was Robin Zander, the lead singer), two were almost cartoon characters (one was Rick Nielsen). Nielsen was a much-admired, much emulated guitarist, and essentially the band’s leader. In pictures, he always reminded me of Huntz Hall in his guise as Satch (Horace Debussy Jones) of the Bowery Boys. The Bowery Boys were the later evolution of the Dead End Kids, when Leo Gorcey (Slip Mahoney) got to be too old to play a reform school tough. When I was about 8, their movies were right in my wheelhouse.

    As for Cheap Trick, I remember that the live version of their song “Surrender” was practically the sound track of my last year in college, 1979. You heard it blaring from out of car and dorm windows for 6 months. Not Haydn perhaps, but an improvement over what we have now. But that might just be me giving into the nostalgia no one is immune from. Even I bought a copy of their Budokan album, so I could have that song.

    It’s great that those guys stayed in Rockford, and why not? Too bad Robert Zimmerman didn’t go back to Hibbing for good, when he turned 40.

  10. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    What did Hibbing do to deserve such a sentence?