In Memoriam: Robert C. Lowery (1945 - 2015)
One of the relentless signs of advancing age is when your slightly older friends start dying before you. I recently learned of the death in Anson County, North Carolina of a friend of 40 years, one of the best comrades and finest men it has ever been my privilege to know, Bob Lowery. He was 69 years old, and he died in the farmhouse where he was born, which has been in his family for over a hundred years. That's another one of the old ways we won't see too much more of.
He died in February, and nobody thought to inform me, which for us is pretty typical. None of us reaching what may laughably be called our "golden years" can ever remember to make some arrangement for someone to inform all the old gang when you kick it. The family views the old fool's nasty racist friends with distaste and refuses to acknowledge our existence. Or sometimes it's pure personal malice. It took me almost four years to learn that my father was dead, and two years to find out my wife had died in Ireland; my family deliberately withheld the information and took active steps to prevent me from finding out.
I always envied Bob that. His parents back on the farm considered his racial views an eccentricity, to be sure, but certainly nothing to disinherit their own son and cast him into outer darkness forever over. Bob lived most of his adult working life in Raleigh, and very rare for us, he actually had the privilege of going home on weekends to visit his folks, nor was I myself a forbidden subject at the dinner table, even during my notorious years. Bob's father even left me a pair of cowboy boots when he died.
Back In The Day in North Carolina, during the hurly-burly of my misspent and uproarious youth, I would see or speak with Bob at least once a day. When he died we hadn't even spoken on the phone for two years or more. That's how it goes with us codgers, When his e-mail started bouncing I got curious and figured I better check on him. A true 21st century death.
Bob was what the lefty-libs would call a "Jimmy Higgins," one of those simple and forthright men and women who understand instinctively what is right and what is required of them by God or destiny or however they view things, and they simply do it as a matter of course. For their entire lives.
Whenever I needed something, as simple as a ride someplace or as complex as setting up a meeting with a reporter on the QT or an introduction to an old rite-wing personality I wanted to meet, whenever I was literally starving (at one point in 1977 I had exactly seven cents in the world and the rent was due) ... anyway, Bob was there. Just there, the one man I knew I could rely on absolutely. No matter how crappy everything else was going, I always had Bob.
When a frightened Whiteboy called from the local high school, afraid to go home because the niggers were waiting for him in the parking lot and he had to be picked up, when no one else on earth including his own parents would help him for physical fear of the black beasts themselves and for psychological terror of being called racists, it was Bob I called to stick his gun in his pocket and go with me. (The guns weren't needed and we got the boy out okay.)
Whenever I needed a place to crash for a few weeks or months--and there were such times--Bob was there. They say that "home is where you can go and they can't throw you out." I haven't had one of those since I was 17, but for many years I had Bob Lowery. On at least two occasions, the man kept me out from under that highway overpass I've spent most of my life trying to avoid.
I honestly can't begin to convey in the space available how vitally important his presence and participation was in those days. Believe it or not, during that five-year period we did accomplish some things before the whole business foundered on the rocks of our perpetual Character Issue. Bob was my enabler, in the best sense of the word.
Like so many of us, Bob Lowery started out with the Young Republicans at college (N.C. State University) and moved rightward to the John Birch Society in the 1960s, and his descriptions of Bircher meetings he attended back then were hysterically funny. Bob was turned on to the Jewish Question by "that guy" who seems to feature in every JBS chapter, the one everybody knows about and recalls--that one guy who keeps talking about (voice sinks to a whisper) "you know, them! The J people! Shhhh! We must never utter the J word, lest the commissar from Belmont overhear us and cast us into outer darkness!"
One evening after everyone had duly sat around absorbing the Almighty Voice of Robert Welch from the reel-to-reel tape recorder (yes, this was even pre-cassette and boom box days) and was sipping on their tea and crumpets in the usual posh suburban living room, this character took Bob off to one side and told him, "You look like a bright young feller, so now let me tell you what's really going on and who's responsible. There's a little book you need to read, called The Protocols Of The Learned Elders of Zion. I'll sneak you a copy when we go out to my car, so none of these jackasses catch us." Bob checked the issue out in several libraries, found it was true, said to himself "Hmm, whaddya know? It's the Jews!" and devoted the rest of his life to resisting them.
Bob's main active period was with the Klan, the old UKA, back in the 1960s, active to the point where a rogue FBI agent whom I myself later dealt with, and who served as the model for "Special Agent Bruce Goldberg" in the Northwest novels, decided to teach Bob a lesson by burning down his house in Wake County. Bob lost everything he owned to a criminal act by the servant of a criminal regime. The FBI thug was recognized leaving the scene and his license number was taken down and given to the police. Needless to say, nothing was ever done about it. Bob never had much use for the FBI after that; I think the memory of that injustice was what kept him with us so long. Bob told me once he knew he would never get justice against a federal badge and like any member of a conquered people, he had to lie down and take the conqueror's boot in silence, but he would do what he could for as long as he could. He did.
Bob became converted to National Socialism the same way so many of us do. He read Mein Kampf, thought about it, decided that Hitler was right and from then on, that was it for him. He toyed with Koehl's NSWPP in the early 70s and he was an Official Supporter for a while, but he never had the chance to get really active with National Socialism because there wasn't anyone else local. Plus he could never quite get the obsession with the number 8 that was starting to creep into Koehl's rap about then.
Bob was the first fellow National Socialist I met when I returned to North Carolina after Rhodesia and a brief, final session in Arlington with Koehl. He became my factotum in the NSPA for a period of five years, but we stayed in touch for years after that. During my time in Ireland Bob was the man who kept me abreast of what was happening back home.
But Bob Lowery was more than a gopher, much more. The man came across like a good old boy, but he had a mind like a steel trap and he was a voracious reader, student, and scholar in his chosen field, which was our own wee little world, "extremist" political movements, Left and Right. Bob was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on anything at all to do with any past movement, individual, book, political party, or event that was even faintly to the right of center. Any time I needed my memory refreshed on something or I needed to know about something or someone from our past, I'd call Bob. "Hey, Bob, did you ever meet so-and-so?" Chances were he had, or he knew someone who had. "Can you tell me anything about such-and-such or what happened when on, you know, that thing?" Chances were, he could.
A large, ungainly man, you wouldn't think of Bob as a ladies' man, yet in all the years I knew him he was seldom without a girlfriend, sometimes several at once. Not super-models or beauty queens or Valley girls or New Age hippie-dippies (well, okay, one, kind of.) These were not casual one-night-stand type things or the shallow, neurotic, dysfunctional "relationships" of today; they were genuine friendships that lasted for some years at a time, with competent and semi-professional White women who, bluntly put, could have done a lot better for themselves financially and socially, but who chose to spend time with Bob Lowery.
As with so many White men, he never married or even made the attempt; eventually his ladies drifted off. Their usual complaint was that he wasn't sufficiently "ambitious" to go diving headlong into the rat race, and I suppose he wasn't. Bob's employment was long term--he held about four or five jobs in the 40 or so years I knew him, usually for six or seven years at a stretch, which for a White man in this society is now an almost impossible accomplishment. Bob managed a restaurant for a few years in his early days, before I met him, and he told me he'd decided early on that he wasn't cut out to work for 70 hours a week to make someone else rich. "I've just got better things to do," he'd say. "There are so many books I want to read."
Anyway, enough maundering. "He was a man. Take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again."
Guys like like me and Doc Fields and Kirk Lyons and a few others like us, the last of our political generation--we are what the British call the "the last of the summer wine." Bob Lowery was like that, and now he's gone, our Movement's stock of summer wine has dwindled still more. You'd best make use of us while we're still available, because once the last of that old vintage like Bob is gone, it's gone.
-Harold A. Covington