History

Charles MartinBy Finn J.D. John
Remember General Jack D. Ripper, the character from the 1964 movie “Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”? Can you imagine what might have happened if General Ripper had been elected governor?
For Oregonians, just a few years ago, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. In 1934, voters elected a retired major general named Charles Henry Martin — known to the soldiers assigned to his care during the First World War as “Old Iron Pants.” And although Martin isn’t known to have gone on any anti-fluoridation rants or spluttered about “precious bodily fluids,” his political style was more than a little reminiscent of Ripper’s … and, of course, it’s not a work of fiction.
“If things come to a crisis,” he wrote to a sympathetic fellow military man in 1937, while discussing the likelihood of a Communist takeover in America, “there are enough strong men left in the country to handle it properly. … The Italians wouldn’t submit; they organized their blackshirts. The Germans wouldn’t submit, so they had their brownshirts and Hitler. I don’t believe Americans will submit.”

Pages

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.