Strict headmasters, effete manners and practical jokes both harmless and humiliating pepper the memories held by the probable Republican nominee’s boyhood friends and acquaintances of their time behind the arches at Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., almost 50 years ago.
The account touches on Romney’s politics, religiosity, social life and character as a young boy, beginning with a dark episode in which a number of his former classmates confirm he wrestled a presumably gay fellow classmate to the ground and cut off his newly dyed blond hair. —ARK
The Washington Post:
“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.
A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.
The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.
ellenm1 (CC BY 2.0)
An archway on Cranbrook’s campus.