This story is truly incredible. But so is the way I stumbled onto this book.
I follow Mike Rowe on Facebook…you know the funny “Dirty Jobs” guy in the baseball hat. A month or more ago I saw a post from Mike Rowe about meeting a guy in a bar. An older gentleman who ordered a drink called a “Clint”. When the bartender was puzzled, the man pulled a card from his pocket, on one side was his name and information and on the other, the recipe for his favorite and personal drink the “Clint”.
Of course Mike Rowe was intrigued and they struck up a conversation. I don’t know how long the spoke but I do know Rowe was flabbergasted to find that he was sitting next to a man who had first hand experience at some of our countries most poignant and sorrowful moments. Mr. Clint Hill, who served five Presidents in the Secret Service. Mr. Clint Hill, who infamously is the agent clinging to the back of the convertible while Jackie Kennedy reaches across the trunk of that car to collect pieces of her husbands brain.
Yes that man. He ordered a “Clint”.
Rowe later writes about his meeting Hill on his Facebook page, and suddenly sales of his book “Five Presidents” rockets on Amazon. I am one of those people who purchased the book for my Kindle and I learn that Hill has also written two other best sellers “Five Days in November” and “Me and Mrs.Kennedy”.
So that is how I came to find this book. And once I started it I couldn’t put it down. Writing with the help of author Lisa McCubbin, Hill describes his incredible life as a secret service agent, beginning with President Eisenhower and ending with President Ford…through some of this nations most turbulent times; assasinations, civil rights, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Watergate and so much more – Clint Hill had a front row seat to it all.
It’s funny because I never really thought that much about what these men (and now women) sacrifice in the line of duty. Hill admittedly left the service when the unnamed (at the time) post traumatic stress disorder drove him to alcohol. He sacrificed seeing his children grow as he traveled all over the world. He slept little and gave 110% every day of his long career.
And it all is spelled-out in the fascinating book about a fascinating man and his fascinating journey.
Five stars for Five Presidents. A remarkable read.
Read last week’s review of Nectar in a Sieve