Out of the Attic


The year was 1953 and classmates of a young John McCain (pictured) at Episcopal High School say he had begun to display a defiant, unruly streak. 
They describe McCain as rambunctious, combative and raffish, wearing blue jeans with his coat and tie and shoes held together by tape. He prided himself as a tough guy, seemingly ready to fight at the drop of a hat, one classmate is quoted in a recent biography. McCain ran with a clique of other tough guys, slipping out of Alexandria for nocturnal jaunts.

I guess I would have bathed more often if there were females at Episcopal, McCain said in a December visit to Alexandria, where he was entertained by a group of alumni. You always have to go back to the people you know and love the best.”

These days the storied Vietnam War hero is a United States Senator and as of Tuesday just may be the contender for the Republican nomination for president.

But back in the 1950s he was a young cut-up who spent six years in Alexandria at two of the citys private all-boys schools, first at Saint Stephens on W. Braddock Road and then at Episcopal off Quaker Lane.  The most formative years of my life were at Episcopal High School, McCain said.