The Nation: The Hill Country Sayin's of Sam Ervin

"I found that an apt story is worth an hour of argument," says North Carolina's Sam Ervin. "A story that fits a point that you're trying to make sort of tends to arouse your audience, to get their attention if you're about to lose it. And a good story is a good way to relieve tension." Thus Ervin sums up his liberal use of hill-country anecdotes and other witticisms to make points in congressional debate or simply to amuse his friends. A sampling of the Senator's folksy stories on a variety of subjects:

ON DRINKING: A constituent of mine bought some moonshine...

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