« David and Peggy Sokol hosted us in Montana for a ranch visit and tour of Yellowstone, » the Thomases said in the letter, which was reviewed by the Times. The Thomases brought along their dog, Petey, who played with the Sokol’s dog, Bodie. They wrote, “Bodie showed Petey how to be a ranch dog, off the leash! FREEDOM! »
The trip, they concluded, was « a real paradise for all of us! »
Tasting the good life
Clarence Thomas’ origin story begins in a dirt shack in Pin Point, a tiny community founded by formerly enslaved people in the salt marshes outside Savannah.
In his 20s, after a brief stint in a Roman Catholic seminary, he continued on to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he was one of a small group of black youth integrating school. There, in the spring of 1971, his senior year, he received a letter from Yale Law School. He worries that the thin envelope means rejection. But one of the most elite law schools in the nation wants it.
“My heart raced and my spirits soared,” Judge Thomas wrote in his autobiography.
At Yale, he was one of only 12 black students in his law class he admitted the year the law school introduced an affirmative action plan. His white classmates saw it as a sign, he felt: a belief in the corrosive effects of affirmative action that had only been deepened by his failure to get the law firm job he’d dreamed of.
« I had graduated from one of the best law schools in America, but racial preference robbed my achievement of its true value, » he later wrote. Separately, he described leaving Yale as a new father, with a « whirlwind combination of frustration, some disappointments, some anxiety about the future, and some anxiety about how I was going to repay my student loans, how I was going to feed a small child, where would I live”.