Gov. Roemer Discusses Autobiography

Readers expecting a review of his political career or a defense of his political philosophy might be disappointed by former Gov. Buddy Roemer’s recently released autobiography, Scopena.
But Scopena is much more than that.  It is a deeply personal view of the influences that made Buddy Roemer the political leader he was and the man he is today.
Scopena is the name of the Roe-mer family plantation, one of the largest farming operations in Louisiana, located in rural Bossier Parish in Northwest Louisiana.
Gov. Roemer discussed his book before a friendly audience at the Ronald Reagan Newsmaker Luncheon at Café Américain. The media turned out in full force to see the former governor. He did not disappoint.
Suffering from health problems mainly related to his diabetes, Roemer walked slowly to the podium. His speech too was slow but his clarity of thought was unchanged. As he said, “I walk and talk a little slower, but my mind is the same.”
The event was hosted by the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish. Party chairman Woody Jenkins who frequently crossed swords with Roemer when he was governor said that despite their disagreements Roemer is one of his favorite people.
Jenkins said Roemer has always been independent minded. He recalled being in Washington with Roemer when he arrived to take his seat in Congress in January 1981. Roemer had been deeply critical of Speaker Tip O’Neill. Despite being a Democrat at the time, Roemer voted against O’Neill for Speaker.
“He learned that day that if you are going to vote against the Speaker, you should do it after you’ve gotten your office assignment!” Jenkins said to laughter. He helped Roemer move into his office — a remote corner of a dusty attic in a House office building. “There were boxes of Henry Clay’s letters up there!” Jenkins said.
One of the best stories in Scopena is about Roemer’s first day in school.  He ran away and tried to walk 12 miles back to Scopena.
Former AG Buddy Caldwell sang Christmas in Dixie and You Are My Sunshine for Gov. Roemer.
Scopena is available at Barnes & Noble or Books a Million for $20.

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