Tag Archives: Tucker Watkins

Terrence Boulden remembered by LynnRMitchell.com

Terrence Boulden 2

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Friends gathered Saturday evening in Fairfax to laugh, cry, and remember fellow conservative blogger and activist Terrence Boulden who left this world far too early Friday night at the age of 35.

[Updated below with GoFundMe info on how to help the family.]

A familiar voice for years at Virginia Virtucon, he was friends with many. One of those was Brian Schoeneman who share the memories of his years working with Terrence, writing at Bearing Drift:

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Happy Birthday, Lt. Governor John Hager

By Lynn R. Mitchell

John Hager 4

Former Virginia Lieutenant Governor John Hager with then-7th Congressional District Chairman Linwood Cobb … 2014.

Birthday greetings to one of the hardest working Republicans in Virginia — former Lieutenant Governor John Hager! He travels all over the Commonwealth to events and supports candidates, something he continues to do. He’s everywhere! Together with wife Maggie, they are in-laws to the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Bush. Their son Henry is married to the Bush’s daughter Jenna. Here are just a few of the many photos I have taken of the LG at GOP events throughout the years with a sincere thanks for all he has done to advance the causes we all believe in. Happy Birthday, John Hager!

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Remembering Alton Foley

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Alton and me at the 2008 Republican Party of Virginia convention. As you can see, we were all stickered up with candidate lapels because every convention requires that you be a walking billboard.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
— 2 Timothy 4:7

Sad news crisscrossed Virginia on Monday. Alton Foley, son of Stanleytown, and self-described on his Twitter account as, “Once a truck driver, then a contractor, then an electrical engineer; now I’m working at being a full time curmudgeon,” lost his battle with cancer. He was 59.

Virginia’s conservative blogosphere lost a pillar. Virginia conservative bloggers lost a friend and master story teller. Republican politics lost an activist. Virginia lost an adopted native son.

It was not unexpected news. Alton had been battling cancer for a while, and some weeks back he had a massive heart attack. His body was playing out. He picked a magnificent, sunny spring day to meet up with his old friend Tucker Watkins who left us three years ago. Reunited.

The news came in a phone call Monday morning from Richard Crouse who wrote on his Facebook page:

Alton my friend, may you find peace. I can see you with our old friend Tucker as you are sitting on the porch passing the jar and telling stories to the Angels.

I smiled at the thought.

Alton Foley 1Active from the early days of the Virginia conservative blogosphere, Alton helped co-found the Old Dominion Blog Alliance where I became a member of the gang. In the beginning he blogged as “I’m Not Emeril,” later blogging under his own name. Later he blogged at Bearing Drift and Virginia Politics On Demand (VPOD), writing folksy tales of his talks with down-home friend Clyde. I spent some time over at Alton’s blog re-reading the archives and wandering down the hallways of Virginia blogging.

At Bearing Drift, Shaun put in a call to Clyde (see Alton Foley passes away, Clyde reminisces) who shared his memories of Alton:

“Alton was a good man.  A great man.  Of course, y’all on social media wouldn’t know much about the man himself… or maybe you did.

“There’s one thing Alton loved sharing, and that was his opinion.  More like his thoughts.  And he offered them up to just about anyone who wanted to listen.  Wasn’t preachy, either.  Just stood up and told you what was.”

Alton’s trademark white mustache could be seen at GOP events and blogger gatherings, speaking with his soft Southern lilt as his eyes twinkled and a grin played at the corners of his mouth.

When his friend Tucker Watkins passed away in 2012 from the same wretched disease, Alton wrote about him:

“What’cha know?” That was how Tucker started each phone call, incoming or outgoing.

I first met Tucker Watkins by phone. Introduced by Barnie Day, a former Democrat house of delegates member. We spoke often after that, but didn’t actually meet until an event in Charlottesville brought us together. After that he would often stop by my Stanleytown home, or call me from out of the blue, to discuss the latest in Virginia politics.

I learned a lot from him. He was an exceptional organizer, having learned the art first in the JayCees and later managing a super-sized truck stop. He was also an learned student of Virginia politics. We had our arguments, to be sure. But we respected each other and left our differences behind.

I’ll never see another iPhone without thinking of him. Just like he embraced the Blackberry that paved the way for it, Tucker loved his iPhone. I don’t know why that popped out, just one of those things about Tucker you’ll never forget.

Tucker, I’ll visit you one last time on Tuesday. After that we’ll meet at your hospitality suite in Heaven.

Tucker’s hospitality suite in Heaven … now there are two. Rest in peace, Alton Foley … we will fight on. See you down the trail.

Alton’s obituary

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Looking back: ‘The passing of Tucker Watkins … Virginia Republicans have lost a friend’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[Mike Thomas reminded us on Monday that it was two years ago that we lost Tucker Watkins (see Passings: Remembering the unforgettable Tucker Watkins). It was the day of Congressman Eric Cantor’s Republican Roundup and the sad news quickly circulated through the crowd that in years past had included Tucker. At the time I wrote the following collection of remembrances from many whose lives were touched by this man.]

  Tucker Watkins and George Allen, September 2012.
(Photo from Allen campaign)
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7

Boy oh boy, did Tucker Watkins fight the good fight. Full of life and mischief — that grin and the twinkle in his eye always made you wonder what he had been up to — this lifelong Republican and Virginia gentleman left a legacy that will live beyond him. A VMI graduate and Vietnam veteran, he fought hard and lived large, enjoying every drop of joy on his life’s journey through his native, beloved Commonwealth.

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Passings: Remembering the unforgettable Tucker Watkins

Mike Thomas 1By Michael Thomas

Two years ago today, we lost Tucker Watkins. Not a week has gone by in those two years that I haven’t wanted to pick up the phone and get Tucker’s take on an issue or his counsel about a thorny political issue. Or, just to tell him about something that had come up that day.

It is true that out of the literally thousands of telephone conversations we had over close to 14 years, the largest number had some connection to politics and political personalities. Yet, no matter the topic of our conversation, one thing came through clearly: Tucker Watkins always saw the individual. Not the occupation (though he always knew it). Not the geography (though we shared a partiality for Southside Virginia). Not the family history (though Tucker knew the history of many, many families and took the time to become familiar with the families of many of those with whom he worked). It wasn’t race or ethnicity or religion or educational attainment.

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