Richard Nixon strapped on his favorite pair of black wingtips earlier this morning, rolled up the cuffs on his blue suit trousers, and with his little dog Checkers at his side -- wagging his tail in delight -- took a long and reflective, and very slow, stroll along a wind-swept beach at Kalaloch.
"It was always Dick's dream to spend his 100th birthday on the Washington coast," mused Nixon's old presidential pal Bebe Rebozo.
Nixon left San Clemente more than a decade ago, having grown bored with the sunshine and quiescent beaches. He was looking for something new, something strange, added Rebozo. "He likes his waves big and wild."
Before leaving, the man who came to enjoy his mean-spirited moniker "Tricky Dick," told a small Kiwanis Club breakfast gathering that they wouldn't have Dick Nixon to kick around any longer.
Little is known about Nixon's years in Washington, other than that he's spent most of his time in a rented cabin on the outskirts of Humptulips, watching Fox News, getting sloshed on rum daiquiris, and listening to the Dori Monson Show, which he really enjoys.
|Nixon's spaniel Checkers, in foreground, seen here during happier days|
During the holidays, daughters Tricia and Julie have come to visit and, according to several local residents often pass the hours reading aloud the White House tapes he secretly recorded in the early 1970s.
"One Christmas," Rebozo recalled, "the girls and Dick rented All the Presidents Men, and, you know that part where John Mitchell warns Bernstein that Katie Graham "is gonna get her tit in a ringer," Dick just cracked up. I hadn't seen him laugh that hard since the day McGovern dropped Tom Eagleton."
Asked how he was holding up now that he's hit the century mark, Rebozo replied, "He looks great, really. Damnedest thing, though, he still has that a 5 o'clock shadow all day long."
Happy Birthday, Mr. President.