Friday, September 30, 2011

Kirk's death reawakens an old ghost

Ron Getman. Claude Kirk. Gene Witt.

The first, a former state trooper and county commissioner.

The second, a colorful, controversial Florida governor.

The third, a former educator and Manatee County school superintendent.

“A long time ago,” said Witt, 81.

A time that briefly came back for him and Getman last week when Kirk, 85, died Wednesday in West Palm Beach.

A moment in time when they were caught up in the wake of one of Kirk’s bombastic headline-grabbing stunts.

The week the governor, known as “Claudius Maximus” among other nicknames, appointed himself Manatee school superintendent, fired the school board, and took over the administrative offices in grandstanding defiance of school busing.

“A very interesting time,” said Getman, 67. “Short-lived, but interesting.”

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on

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