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Stephen F. Austin State University

Kyle Simpson

Biography

Kyle Simpson is the son of Charles Simpson and became exposed to and got to know Charlie Wilson, through his father, at an early age. Kyle's growing up and schooling is described in Charles Simpson's own interview as attending a middle school in Austin at the time of integration, which the family supported very strongly. Kyle was an athlete and when Simpson went to Washington with Wilson, the family stayed behind long enough for Kyle to finish track season. Kyle was offered scholarships to many universities but chose to attend Brown. During his relationship with Wilson, Kyle helped to put up campaign signs and Wilson also found him temporary positions in the Folding Room and Document Rooms at the Capitol. Kyle remains in Washington and works as a Lobbyist on Capitol Hill.

Interview Notes

Interviewers' Names: M. Scott Sosebee, Paul J. P. Sandul, and Laura Blackburn.

Interview Date and Location: The interview was conducted on March 15, 2012 at The Russell Office Building in Washington D.C.

Context Notes: Some speaking can be heard in the background, sounds of elevators, doors, footsteps, etc. Interview and transcription completed in conjunction with the Charlie Wilson Oral History Project at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas

Tapes and Interview Record: The original recordings of the interview and a full transcript are held by the East Texas Research Center, R. W. Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas.

Transcription Notes: The policy of the Charlie Wilson Oral History Project has been to eliminate false starts and crutch words from transcriptions when determined not to affect the meaning and flow of the spoken word. Obviously, and admittedly, this is a subjective endeavor and all care was taken to maintain the integrity of the interview.

The interviewers M. Scott Sosebee, Paul J. P. Sandul, and Laura Blackburn are identified as SOSEBEE, SANDUL, and BLACKBURN respectively. Charles Simpson is identified as C SIMPSON and Kyle Simpson is identified as K SIMPSON.

Transcript

BEGIN INTERVIEW

SANDUL: This is Paul Sandul with Scott Sosebee and Laura Blackburn with the Charlie Wilson Oral History Project. We're continuing our conversation with Charles Simpson and transitioning into a conversation with Kyle Simpson [laughter]. Though I didn't want to lose the story we were last hearing from Charles, we asked you, you know, why you had decided to leave and you gave us two reasons and it sounded, you were pretty much concluding with the second reason, with the incident with the bridge.

C SIMPSON: That, that was maybe the, I may have allowed that to influence me some because I did begin to think about it at that time. What was I going to do? How was I going to get out? And maybe Charlie needed somebody else to work with him or, although he'd never indicated it, and I did need to earn a little more money for college educations. And then it was a while after that that all of a sudden it was two or three months after that maybe, maybe longer than that, I don't know, that I got an inquiry from Bentsen's office as to whether I would be interested in coming over there.

SANDUL: Okay.

C SIMPSON: And there was a complication to that [laughter] because Kyle's sister worked for him.

SOSEBEE: Was that right? [Laughs.]

C SIMPSON: And so I, when they asked me if I would entertain it I said, 'not 'til I talk to Terry.' And I immediately got with her and I says, 'I been asked to consider this, I'm still with Charlie and you're over here and the first thing I'll have to do is fire you because he won't hi- let anyone, two members of the same family work together.' And I told him that too, that that was the case and so that was always his lead, whenever, after that. 'Course she wasn't going to stand in the way [laughter] and she was ready to go to Graduate School and get her other degrees and so we cut a deal [laughter] and it made it all work very smoothly. But but it worked out for both of us. But then that was Bentsen's, always, any time he introduced me was "The man that I hired who then fired his daughter who [laughter] was working for me."

SOSEBEE: Did you stay with him until he left to become Secretary of the Treasury?

C SIMPSON: Did not. I worked for him for three years.

SOSEBEE: Oh okay.

C SIMPSON: And another opportunity came along and I still had bills to pay.

SOSEBEE: That'll make a lot of decisions for you, won't it? [Laughter.] Certainly will.

C SIMPSON: And his sister going on to Graduate School.

SOSEBEE: Well Kyle you, to some extent, to bring you in, you kind of grew up with Charlie almost didn't you? [Unintelligible].

C SIMPSON: In a lot of ways.

C SIMPSON: So just give us your favorite impressions, you know, what is it about Charlie that you remember the most?

K SIMPSON: Well it was, my first introduction to political campaigns because when he ran for I guess it was the state Senate was when you first got involved with him and we would go out and put out signs on those Pine trees [laughter]. Eventually learning to put them up high enough that people couldn't rip them down [laughter] and some of them stayed up there for …

C SIMPSON: Months. K & C. SIMPSON: Years [laughter].

C SIMPSON: And I did not bring in the two ladders that were used, which are in my garage.

SOSEBEE: Oh you still have them?

C SIMPSON: A sixteen foot ladder and a twelve foot ladder [laughter] to take these young guys and a couple of football players from SFA and get it in the van or pickup, because we usually had a van, and a tub in the back of it full of beer [laughter].

SOSEBEE: That was perfect.

C SIMPSON: Saturdays for them to climb up, we'd stop at a tall Pine tree and they'd go to climb up the ladder and they'd nail them up there good [laughter] and everybody, they'd work all the way from Houston line, Conroe line, Houston to Northern Nacogdoches, to the county line [laughter]. Everybody driving down highway sixty-nine, is that what it is?

SOSEBEE: Fifty-nine.

C SIMPSON: Fifty-nine to Houston, 'How in the Hell did they get those things up there?" [Laughter.]

SOSEBEE: It was an eye catcher isn't it?

K SIMPSON: It is.

C SIMPSON: Highway department come along and try to knock them down, they didn't have high enough poles.

K SIMPSON: That's right. It was Danny McCowan and Dean Moore…

C SIMPSON: Anyway.

K SIMPSON: … I think were there, two football players that were. But that was, that was introduction to politics really and got to know Charlie gradually over time. That's, and then when he ran for Congress you know, we just kept kind of sticking with him and Jim Ledbetter who was one of dad's students who had originally introduced dad to Charlie and then me to Charlie has been a long time family friend. And then when we had a chance to, well when he won the race [elevator sound] and we had a chance to come up here, I actually stayed in Nacogdoches through the spring track season and lived with one of those football players in his trailer house [laughter] while mom and dad came up here and Terry. And then the, probably the thing that I've, I just, I did sort of grow up with him and when he'd go on a trip I'd look out for his house, his condo and then he wanted me, he offered to give me an appointment to any of the military academies that I might want to go to, none of which I wanted to go to [laughter]. So I ended up making mom and dad pay for my Brown education but I, it, he flew into town, I mean he was deadly serious about doing it and he flew into town and I'd decided I wasn't going to go and dad said, 'Okay you go pick him up at the airport and you tell him you're not going to go." [laughter] But there was, you know, that was, he was really generous with me and I appreciated that. And he looked out after me and I met a lot of very interested people through him, met Ted Turner through him.

SOSEBEE: Oh really?

K SIMPSON: Yeah.

SANDUL: Okay.

K SIMPSON: In his office one day. They were having a bottle of Jack Daniels as I recall [laughter].

C SIMPSON: On government property.

SANDUL: No!

K SIMPSON: Yeah! But those are, I mean those are really, and he was that way all the way through, even after he left and he, he worked, he was a consultant for a fellow that I ultimately ended up working for…

SOSEBEE: Oh okay.

K SIMPSON: Oscar Wyatt at Coastal.

SOSEBEE: Oh okay.

K SIMPSON: And when Charlie left he, he did that.

SOSEBEE: So you knew him up, quite a bit, you stayed in contact post-Congressional career.

K SIMPSON: Oh yeah.

C SIMPSON: He also worked, he gave you a job on, in the Capital.

K SIMPSON: At least two.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

K SIMPSON: One of them, they're real glamorous jobs [laughter] summertime jobs. One of them was in the folding, the Folding Room, which I don't even know if they have the things anymore, with the computers but it's where we used to put together all of the mail outs…

SOSEBEE: Oh.

K SIMPSON: That the members would do.

C SIMPSON: In the Longworth. UNKNOWN: [Unintelligible].

K SIMPSON: In the basement of the Longworth Building, House Office Building. And then he got me a job at night in the attic of the Capitol in a space which is now the supplement to the Speaker's Offices but at that time it was the Document Room and so there were file cabinets all over the place full of legislation and people would send in requests for copies of this and that and we just spent the night filling those orders [laughter] and, but I had the run of the Capitol Building at night.

SANDUL: Wow.

K SIMPSON: With nobody around and that was fun. And then one of the other things I did for him, he, back when the process was that whoever was at the first in line of your class of election got the first choice of offices after an election so Charlie paid…

C SIMPSON: Or after somebody died [laughter].

K SIMPSON: Or after somebody died, so Charlie paid me and one of my high school buddies a hundred bucks to spend the night in the Cannon Office Building so that he could be first in line [laughter].

SOSEBEE: Why?

C SIMPSON: To choose a new office.

SOSEBEE: A new office?

K SIMPSON: To choose a new office.

SOSEBEE: That's a good story.

K SIMPSON: So we slept on the stairs, those cold marble stairs and I don't know how much we actually slept [laughter] but you couldn't do that today.

SOSEBEE: I bet you, that's what I was going to say, I bet you, run of the Capitol at night and spend the night, I bet that doesn't go on.

K SIMPSON: That doesn't happen very much. But it was pretty neat, to be, to work, I forgot what the shift was, it was like eight to three or something [laughter] and place got pretty empty at that point. But he did, he gave me those two, what do you call them?

C SIMPSON: Patronage jobs.

K SIMPSON: Patronage jobs. And that helped a lot.

SOSEBEE: Sure [door slams].

K SIMPSON: And, to get through working, because I started working when I was probably twelve, you know, mowing and doing those sorts of things and then trying to have some spending money of my own when I went off to college. So I spent those, those years, and he was very good about that and then I got to know his staff extremely well. But when I started lobbying, which I did right after I got out of college, just about luck and probably a little bit of his help [laughter] the, I spent a lot of time in Wilson's office when I was up on The Hill and needed a place to be between meetings and what have you, so I'd just hang out there and got to know the whole, I probably knew everybody that worked for him.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

K SIMPSON: As long as you were his administrative assistant.

C SIMPSON: And when he says he got to know people in our office, Charlie's office consisted of me…

K SIMPSON: Larry.

C SIMPSON: …and one other man, and part -time, another one…

K SIMPSON: Tim.

C SIMPSON: …and then the women that you all are meeting [laughter].

K SIMPSON: So it was a pleasant place.

SOSEBEE: I was about to say [unintelligible] work place.

SANDUL: Yeah yeah yeah, young man you were fine with this.

K SIMPSON: Early twenties so what the hell?

SOSEBEE: Did he, I mean, I'm sure you could ask this question, you said you needed money but did Charlie like lobbying and that part when he left Congress? Is that…

C SIMPSON: Did he like what?

SOSEBEE: Did he like doing it?

K SIMPSON: I think so.

C SIMPSON: Yeah, yeah.

K SIMPSON: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: He didn't have to do it like a lot of people have to do because so much of it come to him, for example he represented Pakistan forever and ever and ever. He had a great relationship with Pakistan that he earned within the first couple of years that he was here in Washington by just flatly telling the ambassador here and the head over government [loud background sound] over there that they had to take some of the restrictions off of women and the women of Pakistan, the first award Charlie ever got from anybody was a plaque from the women of Pakistan…

SOSEBEE: Was that right.

C SIMPSON: …for introducing a, it couldn't be legislation, but something to commemorate that here on Capitol Hill. And he meant it. That's like you said, that's like integrating East Texas, he was for it and he felt like people ought to be equal.

SOSEBEE: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: And so that started his relationship with Pakistan. Now it had a little bit of negative impact from the leadership but then when they wanted F15s and Charlie was on the Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee of the House, they kind of let that go. And he really became a great friend of Pakistan. And then Joanne Herring, if you said you visited her place down there and talked to her about that, about I don't know what she talked to you, you didn't tell me [laughter] but …

SOSEBEE: Well we talked a lot about Joanne is what we did but that was one of her favorite topics…

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: [Laughter.] But we did talk a lot about her relationship and her late husband's relationship with Pakistan.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: Kind of introducing Charlie to the people who ran Pakistan.

C SIMPSON: Yeah I'll be interested in reading some of that as to what…

SOSEBEE: Well we can let you read it and look at it and tell us what you think.

C SIMPSON: I…

SOSEBEE: A lot of people have suggested, well not suggested, they've said Charlie left Congress, Charlie could have continued to win elections in that district if he'd wanted to stay around.

C SIMPSON: Absolutely.

SOSEBEE: But he had grown so disgusted with the direction of Congress and what it had become and that's why he left. You could both probably speak to that, how he spoke of it and what he said.

C SIMPSON: He could see the future. He could see what was happening. When we came here, the Texas delegation had two or three, I can't remember exactly, Democrats uh Republicans, maybe four, I believe there was. And that's not to say anything negative about either party but it had been all Democrats and it had been all conservative Democrats, they were just, and …

SOSEBEE: I think six of them were committee chairmen, you have to work [unintelligible]…

C SIMPSON: That's what, I told them that. And Houston was changing and you were going to have Barbara Jordan who was the first black [Senator?] to come in. You had Mickey Leeland that came in after that, and Mickey was a good friend though he and Charlie didn't agree on everything. But it really began to change, but the change, he would not have survived in this last Congress health wise because he would have gone nuts. He would. The fact that you don't sit down and talk to each other and you don't figure these things out, instead you just scream and yell and whatever they do over there now days. So that, he could have continued to be elected, I would agree with that. He's the best campaigner you could have. It, and he would have had to bring in some industry and some, if he did bring in one defense plant and hospital for veterans…

SOSEBEE: Well that's a great story about that happening so…

C SIMPSON: Yeah [laughter]. But…

SOSEBEE: Just scratching out the name, convincing them that Lufkin is a suburb of Tyler. Is that…

SANDUL: Yeah [laughter].

C SIMPSON: And had, just had some help from Jim Wright.

SOSEBEE: Well did he say anything to you, like, in that, that would revealing or I mean

K SIMPSON: No not terribly. You could just tell that he was getting, it was beginning to be wearing on him and the style of campaigning was changing and it was still fairly a collegial institution at that point but it was changing and his experience in the Texas House and Senate and then in Congress and I mean he had developed all of these relationships all around the world. It's just time for him to go and do some other things.

SOSEBEE: Did he regret, regret's not the worst thing, missed being a Congressman?

K SIMPSON: Oh probably. Most of them miss being Congressmen when they leave. Yeah.

C SIMPSON: He was. Yeah I'm sure they did the recognition and the way he carries himself anyway. You know anyone that's ever met him knows him, that straight, erect, six-four, hundred and fifty pounds [laughter] and it, it just is a, they're bound to, and staff to take care of them and that was part of what it was, about taking care, I don't mean doing the laundry, I mean all of the people in our office learned a trade, they learned, they had a trade, they put it to work, they had skills, and they took care of the people in the district and that's all you really have to do to get reelected is to take care of the needs of the people you're representing. And that could be done. It's not for him to come in and impose his view on them and he didn't but now they're trying to impose their views on a hundred percent of the people in the district.

SOSEBEE: It's definitely a different institution.

K SIMPSON: Yeah. Without a doubt. But the constituent service was a big deal, a big deal and it also let him get away with a lot. Where he could, they knew that they were going to, that he was going to take care of them so, okay, you can be that way, you can carouse a little bit [laughter].

SANDUL: You can do that, yes.

C SIMPSON: Charlie had a, yeah that's right, they'll leave you alone and let you play around and chase…

K SIMPSON: But that's why he could also get, probably continue to get reelected. Until somebody really went after him. I might disagree just a little bit that he could have perpetuate…

C SIMPSON: Well you're involved in it more than I am now.

K SIMPSON: Yeah. Somebody would have ultimately have gone after his character.

SANDUL: Well he seemed to have…

SOSEBEE: There's no listening device in here, [unintelligible], but the guy we have in that district now, oh my gosh, I sure wish somebody'd beat him [laughter].

SANDUL: Well it is a different district than Charlie's district.

SOSEBEE: It is a different district and they've redrawn the boundaries so much so…

SANDUL: Yeah it is a different district than Charlie's but he did face really bad attacks from Donna Peterson.

SOSEBEE: Yeah.

SANDUL: But she herself is such a suspect character that she couldn't go far.

SOSEBEE: Right.

SANDUL: But he did, he was getting attacked now by, what that was ninety, ninety-two, ninety-four elections against her, right.

SOSEBEE: I think that's right.

C SIMPSON: Yeah and, but consider the fact that her basic support, a lot of it was coming out of Vidor which is the head of the Texas Klan and that it was that kind of individual…

SANDUL: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: …she had to be financed, which she was but I still, I think that should could've never beaten him. But again, he was accustomed to not having to campaign that hard. The first few years he campaigned, terms, he campaigned hard, I mean it was a, they were classic campaigns of strong defense, take care of the people, and then bring the people together, better schools and that sort of thing.

K SIMPSON: He spent a lot of time in the district.

C SIMPSON: Yeah he did but then it gets harder to get home because the same people aren't there anymore when you try to go home over a long long period of time. And he want, he needed the money, again the economics drive you to a certain degree and you know, a lot of things you do .

SOSEBEE: It's kind of, I mean one thing, Charlie might have been accused of a lot of things, one thing he was never accused of was any sort of financial improprieties whatsoever, so I mean that part I'd be honest but I often wonder when I hear stories about the big party he threw for his niece with the Arab theme or African theme what it was and everybody had costumes and it was just, his sister was telling us, and things like this that he did quite often and I [unintelligible] where did he find the money? A Congressman's salary's good …

K SIMPSON: That's true

SOSEBEE: …but it's not great [laughter].

C SIMPSON: Yeah and but again, there was an awful lot of, Charlie had a lot of friends and he had a lot of appeal and so he could attract a lot of different kinds of individuals that would help out with those parties besides his niece, well yeah, I don't know much about that one because it was after it…

SOSEBEE: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: …after I left. I do know a few things that he did and that you may have noticed in copying, I know you didn't read all that stuff but there was also I think in my notes there that indicated, well maybe there weren't, I don't know if I left them in or not, but anyway, Abu Ghazala, who was the …

SANDUL: Egypt.

C SIMPSON: Yeah Defense Minister was invited to Scrappin' Valley, which was Arthur Temple's lodge down in East Texas. He did not come but he would have been entertained down there, that would have been a major event too. Charlie was invited to be on the stand with Anwar [El] Sadat [third President of Egypt] the day he was assassinated.

SOSEBEE: Is that right?

SANDUL: Wow.

SOSEBEE: I didn't know that.

C SIMPSON: And my original notes on that are in this stuff somewhere.

SOSEBEE: Oh really?

C SIMPSON: That he was supposed to be sitting there with him as an honored guest, fortunately he didn't go.

SOSEBEE: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: Might not have anything happen to him but there might have. There are just lots of things that he did because he enjoyed the international atmosphere. He's largely responsible for Egypt getting their first F15s, for Saudi Arabia getting their first F15s, and Israel went a little bit berserk, especially the Houston Jewish community because he appropriated the money for, in appropriation committee he supported that for F15s for Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But Charlie had, was able to persuade them that the only way to keep peace was to have a strong Egypt as well as a strong Israel. And Egypt, and he wasn't the only one, there were others doing it too but he was principal in that, Egypt then that could become a zero sum or a neutral situation with two strong powers and Egypt, which was the strongest Muslim power in that area and had a stake in that area working together.

SOSEBEE: Of course he was a huge, he was a huge Israeli supporter, I mean he supported Israel…

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

K SIMPSON: Yep.

SOSEBEE: …very strongly.

C SIMPSON: Yeah but he supported Egypt too.

SOSEBEE: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: And for that reason. The first trip he took internationally, after we came up here, was to go to Israel after the Six Day War and to drive out where they were fighting, he and his wife, they had a guide but they drove right out to the battlefield and that was the start of the beginning of what had been a strong relationship anyway, he had a strong relationship with that community and in Austin as well. He had no obligations to them but he believed in the little people and that was more of that belief in the little people. And he really believe that you, that if Israel got too strong there was a problem or could be and if Egypt got too strong could be a problem.

SOSEBEE: I think I know the answer to this question, again this is [unintelligible] since the post-Congressional career, but even during it, a lot of Congressmen tolerate Washington when they come here I think but did Charlie like living in Washington? Did he miss East Texas a lot?

C SIMPSON: I think he…

SOSEBEE: Go ahead.

C SIMPSON: I think he missed East Texas but he liked…

SOSEBEE: He liked Washington.

C SIMPSON: …liked Washington. And Washington has very wide boundaries, it goes all the way to Boston and all the way to the Panama Canal [laughter] and farther I mean, it's not just here but yeah he liked Washington. He liked New York, that's why he was up there and criticized for being up there one year when the Democratic Primary was held in Texas, he was on the ballot, and instead of being down there and working on the campaign, he was in Washington [New York] and his picture appeared on the front page of the New York Times the next day with the election results [laughter]. And when one of the reporters ask him, 'Why are you here in New York instead of being in Lufkin in your own district on election day?' Well he didn't have an opponent but what he said was, standing there, he said 'I wanted to,' and then, the election was between, in the Democratic Primary between Moynihan and Bell Absub [phonetic spelling] and his quote was that, 'I just wanted to see if New Yorkers would vote for a sane person' [laughter]. And they voted for Moynihan.

SOSEBEE: You were going to say what you thought about it.

K SIMPSON: Oh he liked Washington. Yeah he really enjoyed being here, I mean and, I mean he invested in a night club, he did, lived in a great place behind the Iwo Jima memorial. And I, he's a little bit, I mean he liked going back to East Texas but, and he looked out for things there but this was more of his persona.

SANDUL: When did he get involved in this nightclub? I've heard it mentioned before but I don't know much about it. What's it's name?..

K SIMPSON: Elan…

SANDUL: Where was it located?

K SIMPSON: Elan and it was on K Street about twenty-first or twenty-second.

C SIMPSON: Nineteen, somewhere in that strip.

K SIMPSON: In that strip there.

C SIMPSON: Yeah yeah.

SANDUL: And when did he first invest in that?

C SIMPSON: That, I can't give you the date, I don't remember but…

SANDUL: Rough ballpark era?

C SIMPSON: In…

K SIMPSON: It'd been in the eighties because it'd been before I got married.

C SIMPSON: Okay he has a better point of reference [laughter].

SANDUL: I said wait a minute…

SOSEBEE: [unintelligible]

SANDUL: I was all, wait a minute…

SOSEBEE: He's at the right age [unintelligible].

SANDUL: [Unintelligible].

K SIMPSON: It was in the early eighties. Yeah.

C SIMPSON: And to make the story complete, it was an investment with Buddy Temple.

SANDUL: Okay.

C SIMPSON: And I don't, and two or three others from his Senate days.

SANDUL: Okay.

C SIMPSON: And I don't know for sure, I can't remember who had other investments in it but Buddy Temple was one of them

K SIMPSON: Right, that's true.

C SIMPSON: And he had to come up with some cash and buy into it. It was not a gift by any means, it was an investment.

SOSEBEE: Was it a good place to go?

K SIMPSON: Oh yeah, very fun [laughter].

C SIMPSON: Louise and I went to it.

SANDUL: Well did he do alright? Was his investment a good one?

K SIMPSON: I have no idea how it ended up.

C SIMPSON: As long as the disco lasted, for a craze it was okay.

K SIMPSON: Yeah that's probably right.

C SIMPSON: But it, as soon as disco, you know disco didn't last long.

SANDUL: No.

SOSEBEE: Thank God [laughter].

C SIMPSON: And it went down.

K SIMPSON: But it was fun while it lasted [laughter].

C SIMPSON: It was fun watching Jim Wright and Larry King ride horses up and down Key Street.

SOSEBEE: That would be now. We had hoped to interview Larry but he's not [unintelligible] he helping some…

C SIMPSON: I know, yeah.

SOSEBEE: Well, but he moved back to Lufkin, you know he went back to Lufkin.

C SIMPSON: Yeah, sure.

SOSEBEE: When thing, and so he left and went back home I guess.

K SIMPSON: Yep.

SOSEBEE: I was just wondering how hard of a decision that was?

K SIMPSON: I don't think it was that hard because his health was in pretty bad shape at that point and I mean as I, as I understand it, and you may tell me differently, his doctor basically said, 'you've just got to, you've got to stop this,' and a good way to stop this was go back to Lufkin. And he was still at his house…

C SIMPSON: And he had a new wife.

K SIMPSON: And he had a new wife and he had straightened up his act substantially.

SOSEBEE: Well that's another, I mean, there's been some people that have alluded to the fact that particularly, at some points during the whole Afghanistan when all that was going on, but then after that, later when maybe stress and changes and whatever, that perhaps the drinking did get out of control.

C SIMPSON: I don't think there's any question about that. I know there's not any question about that, that that, he drank more than he needed to [echoed speaking in the background] . . . When I first met him he would throw a big party at his home at Crooked, in Crooked Creek and a lot of people would come in and they would have all that they wanted to drink, Charlie would at some time during the party, which lasted sometimes a long time, either disappear for a while or he would just lay down in the floor [laughter] and go to sleep [snaps]. Hour later he would wake up and you'd never know he's been drinking.

SANDUL: Wow.

C SIMPSON: But he was younger.

SOSEBEE: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: And as he got older some of it got to him and so he did drink more than he should've. And the doctors began to talk to him about it. And Barbara cut it off when he married her, she said, 'only if,' and he loved her that much and he, that's when they went back to Lufkin.

SOSEBEE: Did I, you know her very well?

C SIMPSON: Yeah I knew her pretty well. Not real well. I didn't, I mean she had been, she had wrote, she and friends had, we had seen her in the office with some of her friends that had introduced them when I, she was a ballet dancer in one of the ballets here and he went to every ballet before her and after, he loved it.

K SIMPSON: Well he was on the board wasn't he? At the Kennedy Center?

C SIMPSON: Well he got on the board at a later date but I mean that's just, for some reason or another, beautiful women I guess but also he, it was a form of entertainment he enjoyed and she was one of them.

SOSEBEE: Who was it, somebody, Schnabel? That said he got on the board of the Kennedy Center because that was a good place to take dates and he wouldn't have to pay for anything [laughter].

SANDUL: [Unintelligible].

C SIMPSON: Oh yeah he said that.

SANDUL: Sharon said the same thing.

SOSEBEE: Sharon, yeah.

SANDUL: So even when your own sister's saying that [laughter].

SOSEBEE: He could go there for free.

C SIMPSON: Yep. He and Sharon were close.

SOSEBEE: Well I mean, because it's, I don't know that it's a secret, I think that because I think it was pretty apparent by Barbara's actions whenever, she didn't like Lufkin, she didn't like living in Lufkin.

C SIMPSON: Of course not. She would have probably preferred Houston but still her, she, this is where she'd been and she liked that. And again, that was after I left, there were lots of times when he had done something that he thought was really good, he would send me a note about it or call me and talk to me about it or when the staff had a problem after I left they still had my phone number [laughter]. And so they would call me and I was only there twelve years but it, I wasn't far away.

SOSEBEE: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: So there were a lot of times.

SOSEBEE: Twelve years is a pretty long time for an A.A. isn't it?

C SIMPSON: Oh yeah.

K SIMPSON: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: Yeah it is.

K SIMPSON: It is.

SOSEBEE: It's fairly rare.

C SIMPSON: Absolutely. Yeah. Most of them are not that long. And he and I got along very well, I mean we didn't run together, nobody really ran with him.

SOSEBEE: You talk, you talked a little bit about your decision to go with him [background shuffling] become his A.A. when he was elected to Congress, ultimately why did you decide to do that, I mean, you know, you could have stayed in Nacogdoches.

C SIMPSON: I could have stayed in Nacogdoches but it was an opportunity to do something, see some things I've never seen. I'm sitting here teaching something I don't know that much about. I can read the books but I didn't have any practical experience and I had never been up here so I really wanted to learn about it, thinking, 'well then we'll go back and teach more and better.' I loved teaching but …

SOSEBEE: Potomac Fever set in [laughter].

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

K SIMPSON: Is that what they call it?

SANDUL: Potomac Fever? Okay.

C SIMPSON: It's a great place for whatever you want. One story I want to tell you and maybe Archie told you, if I may break in, here but it deals with this too, I didn't know Charlie very well that Ju- that July when we came up here and what he, well, actually it wasn't the July it was the, it was after the general election that we came up later in November.

SOSEBEE: Right.

C SIMPSON: And he, I, he had asked me if I wanted to be, if I'd come with him at that point. We landed at Dulles, got a cab, came down across the river and he said to the cab driver, 'take us to the Lincoln Memorial.' Went to the Lincoln Memorial he said, 'wait for us here,' you could drive around it then where you can't now, he waited right there in front of it and Charlie and I walked up that steps and he read every word in that Lincoln Memorial. And then, and wanted me to as well and then we turned around and we could see the Capitol and I was just, you know, I'd never seen those things but he read every word.

SOSEBEE: I did too Monday night [laughter].

C SIMPSON: That's good.

SOSEBEE: That's a good thing to do.

C SIMPSON: He nev-, but there's not a lot of people would think Charlie wouldn't do that. He, I mean this city, with what he had done while he was in the Navy and reading those maps and what have you and working at the Pentagon, they were, it really got to him and he was dedicated.

SOSEBEE: Well that is an awe-inspiring site…

C SIMPSON: It is.

SOSEBEE: …from the top of the steps when you look down.

K SIMPSON: Oh yeah, it really is.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: Particularly at night.

C SIMPSON: And I was learning about him. Yeah but then back then they turned the lights of at a decent hour [?] and you couldn't pull up there at night [laughter].

SOSEBEE: That's probably Nixon's out doing something [laughter].

C SIMPSON: That's right.

SANDUL: He needs the dark.

C SIMPSON: And it, that was bad news when that happened because if you don't take a tour of this city at night you miss it.

SOSEBEE: You do miss something, you're right.

SANDUL: Yeah. Yeah.

C SIMPSON: So anyway that was my introduction. And then we came up here to be, he said, 'I want, I'm going to go see one group of people and learn how to be a Congressman, you need to go talk to Tiger Teague's A.A.,' who had been his First Sergeant in the World War II and had been with him ever since that…

SOSEBEE: Wow.

C SIMPSON: …as his administrative assistant. They now call them basically Chiefs of Staff but back then it was, it went, used to everybody in office was a clerk, then they had the administrative assistant and clerks and then they had the Chiefs of Staff. [speaking in the background] So we, we came up here and I went to see his A.A. who was just a little bit rough but not really, he says, 'Simpson, why do you come now? You've come too late.' And we were, he was taking me across to the Capitol from his office, we were standing there on the corner in front of the Longworth Building and he says, 'every Wednesday at three o'clock in the afternoon the bus used to stop right here and pick us all up and take us out to the Washington Senator's Stadium to watch the ball game …'

SANDUL: Wow.

C SIMPSON: …said, 'they don't do that anymore [laughter]. You're late, you're just too late to have fun.' And I…

SOSEBEE: 'Course they've absconded to Arlington by then so…

C SIMPSON: That's right. But George Fisher was his name and that was just to me exactly right leading up to what Charlie said about why, or people say about him fitting in or not wanting to be here is that …

SANDUL: His way had changed.

C SIMPSON: Yeah. And nobody ever knew they did that. Nobody ever said anything about it. They also used to take off all summer.

K SIMPSON: Until they air-conditioned these buildings.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: Yeah I was starting to say, [laughter] that would make you want leave in the summertime for sure.

C SIMPSON: And as a result of that each member of Congress was given a trunk, railroad trunk, provided every year to move what papers and stuff he needed to from his home district up here. On the train. Well I'm, why'd they say train? Well that's what we're running back then. And so those trunks stacked up [laughter] in these storerooms [unintelligible] we drove up here and then we back to home every month. Lots of things have changed. When we came up here they limited the amount of time you could spend on the telephone. They had a long distance phone system and they had two people could make long distance phone calls on it. The member and the A.A. free of charge but for every minute, you were charged I believe, I think it was four points and you were given twenty-five thousand points per session.

SANDUL: Okay.

C SIMPSON: And if you ran over that the member had to pay cash for everything after that.

SANDUL: Oh wow.

C SIMPSON: Well Charlie had come out of the State Senate where you could, they had unlimited long distance and it was hard on him [laughter] so he said, 'you monitor those points, I don't want to have to pay any cash, and you can call home,' they were still at home, 'you can do business and I can but nobody else in the office can use it.' We still had mimeograph machines, there were no computers on Capitol Hill. That's all changed and changed very rapidly and one of the leaders in that change was Lloyd Bentsen, I mean he had the most professional staff and was recognized on Capitol Hill and up to date businessman means of using. But we've seen a lot of growth and a lot of change that way but, this, and you also had a limited number of staffers and what you could pay them. [speaking in the background] Now there's a max but you can divide it up. Charlie got, the Congressman got six trips, round trips back to the district during one session, and then he had three trips for his staff, one member of his staff round trip. And you could not exchange money, they started out saying, 'well you can use some of that staff money that you have, if you don't hire two people you've got more money to fly around the world.' These are just administrative things that nobody knows. But they were, had an impact on what you could and what you couldn't do. I was fortunate in that all of those extras came to me so I could go back and talk to the district office. Smartest thing you haven't asked me about and Peyton probably talked about it a lot and I don't, was you could only have one district office when we first came up here. Then they said that you can have, if you've got another population center you can have another one.

SANDUL: Okay.

C SIMPSON: But we had twenty counties and we didn't have a major population center. Lufkin's the biggest town, Orange may- was about the same size, and they were both under 30,000. Nacogdoches had 24,000 and he wouldn't have put one up there anyway [laughter].

SOSEBEE: That's [unintelligible] about like him.

C SIMPSON: It was close enough to Lufkin to go there. So he was one of the first, he was the second one actually to put a mobile office in play.

SANDUL: Who was the first by the way?

C SIMPSON: Do what?

SANDUL: Who was the first by the way?

C SIMPSON: I can't tell you.

SANDUL: Okay.

C SIMPSON: But I, but there was one other that did it.

SOSEBEE: Is that right?

C SIMPSON: Where you could staff, you office money and you could lease, or use part of it or however you could get it and lease a bus or a mobile home and use that then to travel and that's what we did in those twenty counties. You could use the frank [a special mark to send mail for free], and this is part of the shrewdness of Wilson, you could use the frank to send out notices you were going to be at the courthouse in Palestine or wherever, Hemphill, somewhere in East Texas. Well we knew who every domino game that was going to be played, where they were going to be played, and what have you. We arranged then with the county judge to have a parking place and we would announce ahead of time that we were going to be there and then, or that we're coming. Then we'd send down another one announcing where we were going to be and what time we were going to be there. Then when we left we'd send another mailing thanking the people that showed up. We could put signs on the side of the bus and so everybody going down fifty-nine saw that bus coming [laughter] they told their neighbor, 'We saw old Charlie today.' Wilson was not in that thing very much. The head of our district office was there most, well all the time, whoever it happened to be, and then it sat parked at the courthouse or at the wherever the most people were going to be milling around and it did business like mad. And the thing that, again I pick out some of the, these I just can't get out of my head, up at Teague, Texas, which is the far northwestern corner of the twenty counties, in Navarro County I believe…

UNKNOWN: Yes.

C SIMPSON: …the, Charlie went one day and he would go two or three times a year on these trips, when we drove up and you remember, they were closing down a lot of buildings in these small towns and they were becoming senior centers all over the state of Texas. Well they had closed a clothing store or something and the senior citizens had gotten some money together and they had rented it and that's where they had lunch once a week or two times a week. We parked right in front of it. Senior citizens need help. When we pulled up there was a car sitting right over at the other side of the street and in that car was a little old lady, I think just the two of them, a little old lady and her son. They happened to be black and so the senior center wasn't open yet, we'd gotten there a little bit early and Charlie says, 'go over there and see if they want to see me.' So I did and the lady didn't have a leg, she had one leg and her son had, was bringing her in because she couldn't, somebody turned her down on social security two or three times and she was old enough [begins crying]. Charlie reacted the same way. I get emotional. Anyway we got her 4,500 dollars and her put on the rolls of Social Security for benefits, and we were all just like this because we could help her.

SOSEBEE: That explains, quite often, that's who he was and that's what he did. We're talking about how he continues to get elected, that's how it was.

K SIMPSON: That's why.

SOSEBEE: Yeah. And I'm not so sure that Congressmen do that anymore. Not in that same way anyway.

K SIMPSON: No. You're right, you're right. The place has become a lot more, it's become harsh and I mean they'll go home to their districts and what have you, and do things but they just don't play the same way anymore. Maybe that'll change at some point but it's…

SOSEBEE: Well I don't know, once you let something go to something else, does it ever go back?

K SIMPSON: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: Well it, yeah I don't know. Not really. But these were earned benefits, she should have been getting them for the last five years, we finally got her 9,000 dollars or so of back pay.

SANDUL: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: And yeah we told that story.

SOSEBEE: Sure.

C SIMPSON: And it worked. And she was scared to death and her son was just…

SOSEBEE: I bet so. Well besides the fact, and what year are you talking about?

C SIMPSON: We're talking about six, no seventy, it was after we'd been up here about six years, so…

K SIMPSON: [Unintelligible].

SOSEBEE: Besides the whole dealing with Social Security and the Federal Government and Congressmen, I mean this is an African American woman having to ask…

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: …a big, tall white Congressman to do something for her.

C SIMPSON: That's right and…

SOSEBEE: And that's bound to be intimidating.

SANDUL: Yeah. Yep.

SOSEBEE: But I guess he made her feel at ease and maybe that was one of his great gifts too, making everyone feel at ease. A lot of people have said that.

C SIMPSON: Well I think he could. I think he could.

SOSEBEE: Yeah.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: Well one thing I would ask and I've asked a lot of people and I'll ask Kyle first; if you could ask Charlie something that you've always wanted to know about his career, his life, something you didn't know that he could answer, what would you ask?

K SIMPSON: [laughs] I guess the real question would be, what made you run for office in the first place? [Laughter.] Because it was not, he was not a person I would have picked out…

SOSEBEE: Is that right?

K SIMPSON: …just because of his, and yet he came back as soon as he got out of the Navy, he came back and ran for the state legislature. I'm not sure why to tell you the truth, it just…

SOSEBEE: You think maybe he felt suited?

K SIMPSON: I probably, I didn't know enough about what he actually cared about in the beginning, in the end it became pretty obvious why, because of the various things that he would take on but it would still be a curiosity to me as to why did you do it? Why did you run for the legislature the first time?

SOSEBEE: I'd like to talk to him myself [laughter]. What would you ask him? Is there anything, I mean you, you and he probably talked extensively, many times but there's bound to maybe be something unanswered in here.

C SIMPSON: I hadn't really thought about that. [Pause.] Genuinely I hadn't. I might have talked to him like I might have talked to a son at some point asking him 'why in the Hell did you screw up so that you could not run for higher office because of the record you built?'

SANDUL: Did he have aspirations for higher office?

C SIMPSON: Does the moon come up? [Laughter.]

SOSEBEE: Did he just know he would never win?

C SIMPSON: With all of his baggage, yes and he didn't want to go through that.

SOSEBEE: Knew he couldn't win a state, he just knew he couldn't have won a state like this.

C SIMPSON: Well and you had some good politicians coming up along the line too that he, there wasn't any way he could have. My theory is that, that he wanted to be, first of all Secretary of Defense.

SOSEBEE: Really?

C SIMPSON: He and I never discussed that except, he wanted to be Senator too because the first thing he said, 'Simpson, we're here now, John Tower is here, he's a Republican, let's keep up with all of his, the things he does. We want to know everything we can about John Tower.' Well we, you know we got the record with him when he, the everybody said about him 'when the [you?] go to a restaurant, a fine restaurant somewhere be sure that they don't get wet when you get to the table you lift the tablecloth be sure John Tower's not under it' [laughter].

SOSEBEE: Well he did prove that, you know you can be too, and maybe's [unintelligible] translated to Charlie, I guess you can be too drunk and silly to be Secretary of Defense but I guess you can't be too silly to be a Senator.

C SIMPSON: I didn't say that. But the…

SOSEBEE: I actually didn't either, P.J. Orick [phonetic] said it and I stole it.

C SIMPSON: Oh, okay. But the other thing that about that as to what he wanted to be, he wanted to be Senator but his first shot he was photographed in New York without his wife with some models and that's long forgotten about. The only one in our office that probably knows anything about that is Candy Hooper and because Candy was this, we hired her in August I believe, she may correct me, the first year we were here, as bright as anybody we hired and she was out of the University of Indiana as a press person and Jake Pickle had her on his as an intern and Jake said to Charlie, 'you ought to talk to her,' and the minute Charlie saw her he knew she was bright [laughter]. And she was and she is as, you've already talked to her…

SANDUL: We will talk to her tomorrow.

SOSEBEE: She's coming tomorrow, she's coming tomorrow.

C SIMPSON: Oh goodness I better be quiet then [laughter]. But she was, she is as bright as anybody that's ever worked for Charlie Wilson and she was with him a long time. So but I think she probably knew about that and that embarrassed Charlie, he didn't realize that press would be after you quite like that, it wasn't that way in Austin and it, he saw real quickly he was going to have to toe the line a little bit more than he had in the past and I'm not sure he was willing to do that. He wanted to be Secretary of Defense partly because, I'm convinced and this is my theory, he come from the Naval Academy. All of those young men, and it was all young men then, that had been in the Naval Academy with him were becoming Admirals and Captains and Admirals and what have you and he wanted them to know that he had succeeded too. Now he would never ever have said that in his life.

SANDUL: Gotcha.

C SIMPSON: But I believe that he did and he wanted to take care of them. He would have given the Navy I think anything he possibly could to help build the strongest Navy in the world. And he would do the other services that way too but Navy was his.

SANDUL: Of course.

SOSEBEE: Do you know, was he ever considered? I guess Clinton would have been the only one that would've ever considered him.

C SIMPSON: No. No he was never considered.

SOSEBEE: Never just because, just because of the image.

K SIMPSON: Just timing. Bad timing.

C SIMPSON: No I think because he backed off of that a little…

K SIMPSON: Yeah. Didn't pursue it.

C SIMPSON: …but as time went on he just, I just think it, that he, it would have also been a huge amount of work that maybe he didn't want to do but the opportunity never arose, shall we say.

SOSEBEE: Do either one of you know, I mean given the fact that all of his work and probably everything else, he was an expert on Pakistan, Afghanistan…

K SIMPSON: Oh yeah!

SOSEBEE: I mean you know? And then we have 9/11 and we have you know the Taliban situation with the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Did anybody from the Bush administration ever reach out to him for, to consult him, for council, for advice, contacts?

K SIMPSON: It's interesting, I was, right before I came over here today I was with Congressman, former Congressman Ronnie Shows from Mississippi and I just said I was coming over here to talk about Charlie Wilson and he didn't know that I knew him and he started telling me a story about which Congressman, another Congressman and he went to see Charlie after Charlie had left the Congress, he said, 'I had only met him one time,' and he asked him that question, he said, 'did anybody, did the Bush administration ever consult you?' And the answer that he got was 'no.' I don't know any different …

SOSEBEE: That's basically what everybody's told us.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

K SIMPSON: But it was funny that Ronnie would just…

SANDUL: Share that story.

K SIMPSON: …share that story

SANDUL: Yeah [laughter]. Well it's an interesting one if you think about it, was such expertise.

K SIMPSON: Why wouldn't they…

SANDUL: …and the magnitude of what we're talking about

K SIMPSON: Right.

SANDUL: …that an entire administration does not ask someone .

K SIMPSON: That ought to know it.

SANDUL: …that has that information [laughter].

C SIMPSON: You remember I said early on today that Charlie made unusual friends when he came up here, rather than going just his own clan and group, he talked to the New Yorkers and the Californians and the others, his group? I think that's part of the attitude that exists is that people talk to the people they know and Charlie was not a joiner, he was not one that reached out to all of them, and yet he did. I keep thinking of things that he did, for example when he went to Israel he became the expert on Israel, he went out on the battlefield, he talked with them and Zvi Rafiah…

SANDUL: Yeah I just interviewed him.

C SIMPSON: Zvi became one of the greatest friends, not just of Charlie but of the whole office. Anybody that knew him. But Charlie, he went to see those people, he went to Pakistan and he visited with every Prime Minister they had or President there, he did those things but he went alone, he didn't, no he didn't [laughter]. He would not go with the delegation, he would go maybe a delegation they'd break off, he would go right to the heart of the issue. Yeah he had a beautiful woman with him in most instances but he's not one that wanted to sit in a group as he might say, 'with a bunch of constipated monks,' [laughter] and talk about whatever they wanted to talk about.

SOSEBEE: But why would, that's just a baffling question to me, why they wouldn't take that opportunity?

K SIMPSON: I don't know, it's, maybe they didn't think about it.

C SIMPSON: [Unintelligible].

SOSEBEE: I mean how could they not think about it.

K SIMPSON: It's a good, it's a good…

C SIMPSON: Well his reputation here, you've got a lot of egos here and those egos are looking out for themselves.

K SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: You know you probably, [unintelligible] he would have overlapped when he served and when Cheney served in the House, at the same time?

K SIMPSON: Yeah they were there together.

SOSEBEE: I guess there was never a relationship there.

C SIMPSON: No.

K SIMPSON: Speaking of an ego.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: An ego and [unintelligible].

C SIMPSON: But Reagan listened to him.

SOSEBEE: Well I mean yeah, he obviously, Reagan had respect for him.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: So it's not, I don't, it doesn't seem to me like this was a, this would have been a, an inner party fight. Is it just, I y'all are up here, probably off topic but this is something that I want to know, was the Bush administration that insular?

K SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: I mean we know from the, you know from the stuff that they were but this [unintelligible] been like they were doing something double secret, didn't want anybody to know.

K SIMPSON: They were very insular and maybe not as insular as this administration [laughter] but they didn't seek a lot of the, you're right, they didn't seek a lot of advice from people they didn't know already.

SOSEBEE: Was Cheney running that insularity? I say that simply because…

C SIMPSON: He, well now wait…

SOSEBEE: When Bush was Governor of Texas he was, I hate to say this, he actually wasn't a bad Governor, you know? And there was some openness there.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: And then he comes here and it just completely changes.

K SIMPSON: Well this town is very …[pauses] There are no microphones in here?

SOSEBEE: We checked for microphones [laughter]. One…

SANDUL: [Laughs.] We got one.

K SIMPSON: Bush [pauses] is not smart enough to deal on a broad basis so he had to trust people and Cheney was the one that he trusted, whom I think is a very bright guy but he wasn't really interested in a bunch of people's opinions. He had, he had, he had been the CEO of Halliburton, [loud speaking the in background] used to getting his own, I had a really funny run-in with him one time when I was working for the Secretary of Energy. We were out at, what's the school for the deaf?

C SIMPSON: Cal U Deaf.

K SIMPSON: Cal U Deaf.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

K SIMPSON: Just happened to be a meeting there and Clinton was President and Cheney was there and I just couldn't resist it because I had done something when I was working for Coastal, we went over to Iraq and got some of the hostages out and it just irritated the Hell out of the Bush administration that we had done that, I mean I got in an argument with the State Department at the airport in Baghdad and I told Cheney that, I just couldn't resist it and I just walked up and I said, 'you know [unintelligible].' If looks could have killed [laughter] it would, he was not, I mean he knew the incident and it had an, he had an impression of it.

SANDUL: Yeah, yeah.

K SIMPSON: He didn't want to talk about it but [laughs]…

C SIMPSON: He was the only one on that 707 besides the pilots.

SOSEBEE: Is that right?

C SIMPSON: Put the thing together.

SOSEBEE: Yeah, they …

C SIMPSON: Stopped by here, picked up the passports.

SOSEBEE: That was quite the noteworthy incident. I remember it.

K SIMPSON: It was interesting, very interesting. But I just, thinking of Cheney and that's what made me…

SOSEBEE: Oh well yeah.

K SIMPSON: …think about that.

SANDUL: Well I know we…

K SIMPSON: Rather not think about it.

SANDUL: Well I know we have kept you quite a long time so I want to ask you each one final question, maybe we'll start with you Kyle and that is do you have a favorite memory or one you can share [laughter] of Charlie? A story?

C SIMPSON: I told you some stories.

SANDUL: Oh well, I know [laughter].

K SIMPSON: I don't know. It's all sort of, for me it's just kind of, it's having been able to be around him over time and as I was talking earlier, I mean he's very generous and treated me like a son or whatever and so I, it, my, it's not really one specific thing, although maybe having to pick him up at the airport and tell him I wasn't going to go … [laughter] [to the Naval Academy]

SANDUL: I ain't going to any academy.

K SIMPSON: I ain't, not going to one of those. But other than, no, in general it was just being able to be around to do whatever I wanted to do and get his help.

C SIMPSON: I…

K SIMPSON: Actually maybe meeting Jerry Jeff Walker.

SOSEBEE: Oh yeah see…

SANDUL: So that was cool.

K SIMPSON: Yep [laughter].

SOSEBEE: And he's a great guy. I bet he did …

K SIMPSON: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

C SIMPSON: Kyle ran around with his staff some too [laughter] and that may get him so opportunities…

SANDUL: Yes.

C SIMPSON: …that the rest of us didn't have.

K SIMPSON: Right.

C SIMPSON: You know, I think you say one particular thing he did, there probably is and I hadn't thought of it is except that I genuinely think that being able to see him as the human being that he was and knowing that was the core value he carried to me was just something that I can't share properly with everybody else.

SOSEBEE: Well yeah I understand that completely. I know that and I think I know what you're trying to say, I, having done this, like I said, I never met him.

C SIMPSON: Yeah

SOSEBEE: Got to Nacogdoches and it was too late…

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: …to have any interaction because he was retired but I mean what's the, a lot of our impression is the movie that you get and I think that forms the, and while I don't think it was, they fully, it's not a full caricature but it's almost what that character is in the movie. It's almost like he's a caricature.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: And you don't capture, I think you don't completely capture the full breadth of the human being.

K SIMPSON: You have to read the book to…

SOSEBEE: Yeah the book does to some extent.

C SIMPSON: Yeah, yeah.

SOSEBEE: You know?

C SIMPSON: Yeah that's right. Well the put a skirt on me [laughter].

SANDUL: I was going to ask you, how do you feel, Amy Adams do you well? [Laughter.]

K SIMPSON: We were at the premier here in town and after the movie was over a mutual friend, guy that we've known for years, turned around and looked, we were all walking out and looked at dad and yelled at him and said, 'Charlie you never looked that good in a skirt' [laughter]. That was [unintelligible]…

C SIMPSON: Wilson. Wilson called me before the movie came out to tell me they'd done that and he said, 'I've got…

SANDUL: They're going to have a female play three actually all three of you.

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SANDUL: … to [unintelligible].

C SIMPSON: He said, 'I've got to apologize to you but the writers did that in spite of what we tried to get.'

K SIMPSON: He was very active in, or tried to be very active in the production of the movie and I think he traveled to where they filmed it in Africa …

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

K SIMPSON: …and tried to make sure that they were true to you know, that the uniforms were right, the equipment was right, you know how much influence he had, who knows?

SANDUL: Who knows? [Laughter.] Well dang it.

K SIMPSON: That's right.

SANDUL: 'Oh you want to make Charles a woman? Oh sure!' [Laughter.]

SOSEBEE: 'I'll get Simpson back!' [Laughter.]

C SIMPSON: Now as I understand it but don't, can't swear to, in the hot tub scene was accurate.

SANDUL: Was it?

C SIMPSON: That that he did just blow the minds of the people that were in that hot tub with him by watching the news [laughter] and that was something he always did and that whatever else he was doing in that hot tub, I don't know but…

SOSEBEE: I love his explanation, you know, they did the documentary on Charlie Wilson's War, there was a documentary, I love the explanation in that when they asked him about the hot tub and the incident, was there cocaine, and he said well this is what he said he goes, 'there was a hot tub, I was in the hot tub, yes, there were women in the hot tub with me, yes there was cocaine there, did I partake in the cocaine? Only one person knows that, that person's not talking.' [laughter] That's pretty good. That's pretty good. So. Well this has been great. I, Laura did we not, did we get everything that you needed. Did you need anything that you have to ask? Want to ask?

BLACKBURN: [Unintelligible] earlier. Unless you have some opinion on his political ideology.

K SIMPSON: Charlie's?

SANDUL: Yeah what would you call him?

K SIMPSON: I would call him a very socially Liberal protector of the country. I mean, he lo-, he can care less about what people do, he didn't want them to care about he did [laughter] but he looked out for people and he had a very strong sense, I mean he didn't, he didn't do that stuff in Afghanistan necessarily for the Afghanis, I mean he was looking out for us, sure it helped them but he was, I came back from Laredo, I forgot about this, I came back from Laredo, every year they have the George Washington's birthday celebration down there.

SOSEBEE: A huge celebration.

K SIMPSON: And when I was working for Coastal I'd have to go down and do all that and I came back, got off the plane, went to the grocery store to get some milk, and there on the front page of the Houston Post which was still existing at that time was a picture of Charlie, y'all've probably got this picture, with his, the bullets things on and the two all Afghanis…

C SIMPSON: Bandoliers.

K SIMPSON: …bandoliers and the two tall Afghanis standing next to him with the headline "I want to kill Russians as painfully as possible."

SANDUL: Yeah.

K SIMPSON: And I'm thinking 'Oh my God' [laughter].

SOSEBEE: [Unintelligible] That's story, his sister said when he said that, 'I want to kill Russians as painfully…"

C SIMPSON: He did say that.

SOSEBEE: …slowly as possible…

C SIMPSON: Yeah.

SOSEBEE: And Sharon told him, 'now Charlie you don't really mean that,' he goes, 'yes I do' [laughter].

K SIMPSON: Oh he definitely, he definitely meant it. But that's, you know.

SANDUL: So you classify him the social Liberal …

K SIMPSON: And a…

SANDUL: …cares about the country

K SIMPSON: Cares about the country, very much a military, I mean he loved being on the Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee. He got to do a lot of stuff you know on the [laughs] Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee but that's the way I would characterize him.

SANDUL: Okay.

K SIMPSON: Yeah. Yeah I'm going to have to get out of here.

SOSEBEE: We all…

SANDUL: We all do, we all do. I will go ahead and stop this

SOSEBEE: Well this has been…

END INTERVIEW