Exemplary Codgers: P. B. S. Pinchback


Dear readers, I have decided that today is a good day for the latest installment in the “Exemplary Codgers” series profiling notable adherents to the codger lifestyle. Today I have selected Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, or, as he was known to his friends, P. B. S. Pinchback. His best-known accomplishment was being the first person having African American ancestry—his father was white and his mother was a biracial former slave–to ascend to a gubernatorial position (Governor) in one of the United States (Louisiana). Of course, when he did that, in 1872, he was only 35 years of age, but even then he was starting to exhibit signs of codgering, such as growing his impressive beard.

P. B. S. went on to live to the ripe old age of 84, giving him plenty of time to reflect fondly on his achievements and bemoan the decline of young people’s character during his course of his lifetime. But just how did he get to be the first governor with African American “Roots” to become Governor? Well let me tell you. He was serving as the Louisiana Senate President Pro Tempore when the Lieutenant Governor died while in office. I imagine that a conversation similar to this occurred:

Louisiana Governor Henry Clay Warmoth: “My Lieutenant Governor just died. Pinchback, you’re in!”

P. B. S. Pinchback: “I’m the new Lieutenant Governor.”

Louisiana Governor Henry Clay Warmoth: “Can I call you Pinchey?”

P. B. S. Pinchback: “No.”

Eventually, Warmoth almost got impeached at the very end of his term, so while he was busy dealing with that, he wasn’t allowed to serve the final 35 days of his term. Pinchback was next in line for the governorship! A conversation like this probably happened:

Louisiana Governor Henry Clay Warmoth: “F@(k! Those fu^@*rs are trying to impeach me! Pinchback, you’re in! Can I call you Pinchey yet?”

P. B. S. Pinchback: “You can call me Governor Pinchback.”

After his abbreviated term as Governor ended (in hindsight, I’ve deemed it an overwhelming success), Pinchback won a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives, but some ba$tard$ contested the election results and the position ended up going to the rival candidate. And then the same thing happened again in the next election. But as we all know, you can’t keep an Exemplary Codger down, and Pinchback transitioned into the legal field, where he had a chance to blossom into the role model senior citizen everyone knew he could be. Several decades after P. B. S. Pinchback’s eventual death, the PBS television network came along and became a favorite of senior citizens, much like the ORIGINAL P. B. S. (Pinchback). I find it hard to believe that this was merely coincidental.

Until next time!

Ahoy,

The Codger

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