John McCain’s "Smokes for Kids" Program Started in Alexandria

This started with me looking for pictures of Dupont Circle rats on Flickr. You know how the web is. One thing leads to another and before long you are reading about John McCain giving a five-year-old a cigarette while a student at Episcopal High School in Alexandria.

At first I just chuckled but read on. The brief article is about the author’s father, who was McCain’s football coach and a very good role model during his formative years, even if they were mostly spent sneaking into the Gayety Burlesque Theatre in DC. Read a little snippet here and then go read the entire piece. It’s certainly a great tribute to a great man.

My own memories of John McCain are limited mostly to the occasions when he’d be assigned to our house to work off demerits–raking leaves, mowing our backyard, etc. One day I was innocently wandering around the campus and stopped to talk to some of the students at “Egypt”, the school’s designated outdoor student smoking area on the south wall of Stewart Gym, the school’s wrestling gymnasium. McCain was there with Rives Richie, another student and frequent guest at our house. The evil McCain asked me if I wanted to smoke a cigarette and handed me his. I took a puff, inhaling, choked on it and ran home. I could hear McCain laughing.

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