Governor Jim Holshouser

Jim Holshouser
1934-2013
 
                I am not sure when I first met Jim Holshouser, but I am pretty sure it was a long time ago, perhaps when my father, then a Baptist minister in Winston-Salem, participated in the wedding ceremony between he and his wife Pat Hollingsworth. I was a relatively young lawyer when he became Governor and really had no contact with him until much later in life, when I was thinking about teaching Continuing Legal Education programs in North Carolina. 
 
                Mary Mac Pope, another well- known lawyer in Southern Pines suggested I speak with him about how to set up such a business. Governor Holshouser was so helpful and so kind to me with his suggestions, but always managed to mix in a little humor. He told the story of the morning after he had been elected the first Republican Governor in the 20th century in North Carolina of receiving a telephone call from his old Davidson college roommate. The roommate, who was then a top executive in New York City with Time magazine, just said that if he had known Jim was going to become Governor, he would have let him have the bed next to the window.
 
                Years later, he came to one of my programs in Raleigh, listening at tentatively and laughing at all my jokes. When I told one at the expense of Republicans, he was the first one to laugh but then pointed at me and said “I will get you yet”. But he never did of course but only continued to be gracious whenever he saw me and to give me the best advice.
 
                Just a few months ago, I was speaking to a group of lawyers in a forum sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association. I saw this man sitting on the back row and went up to see him, asking him if he was not who I thought he was. He looked at me, smiled and asked if I was speaking that day. I said yes I was. He nodded, leaned forward to give me some quiet but good advice which was, “do a good job…don’t screw up.”
 
                That is exactly what Jim Holshouser did as a lawyer, member of the General Assembly, Governor and former Governor. He did a really good job.
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