Monday, October 6, 2014

George and Me

by Robert G. Anderson 

The sordid story surrounding George Roche is a vivid reminder of human depravity, and the harm evil can inflict upon those close to it. Even if justice is done, as has partly been the case here, it can take a heavy toll on the innocent as well as on the wrongdoer.

It is incomprehensible that a father would have an intimate relationship with his son’s wife and, when confronted with her public confession and suicide, depart a few days later on a honeymoon with a new wife, having just abandoned his wife of 44 years who is suffering from liver cancer with a $1000 check and the injunction to get out. Not even Shakespeare would have dared construct such a fictional tragedy. And, yet, such are the charges against George Roche. Is it not significant that so many, including his son, believe the charges, despite his denial?

Justice certainly demands the exposure and condemnation of such a despicable man. But with justice comes a horror upon his family and an embarrassment to all of us who have ever crossed his path. How many times I have asked myself how different my life would have been if George and I had never met that spring of 1971. But we did meet, and I did introduce him to Hillsdale College, and two years later I left Hillsdale to escape him.

I joined the Hillsdale faculty in the fall of 1965. The following year my wife Beverly and I built our new home in Hillsdale and within a few years our two daughters were born. Hillsdale College was a good school in those days, and it had a good faculty and administration.The eight years that I taught economics and business courses at the college were some of the most pleasant of my life. At the time of George Roche’s arrival the economics department included Dean Russell, John Sparks and myself. We were a compatible staff of free-market economists who shared a common libertarian perspective. MORE

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