Al Briggs taught history at my high school.
All our other teachers were more or less “liberal” so far as anyone knew (one, Bob Moses, went down to Mississippi to found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) . . . but Briggs was vocally — all but caricaturishly — right wing. He would rant about the evils of communism, the need for teachers to sign loyalty oaths, and all sorts of other things that seemed just wacky to most of us at the time.
I’m telling you this because I learned in Marie Brenner’s just-published Vanity Fair profile of our current attorney general that:
(a) Mr. Briggs considered Roy Cohn to have been his best student ever.
Yes, that Roy Cohn, Senator Joe McCarthy’s right hand man and Trump’s mentor; the self-loathing homosexual portrayed by Al Pacino in Angels In America. (See: Sony Pictures Classics’ Where’s My Roy Cohn? now playing at, or soon coming to, a theater near you.)
(b) Mr. Briggs, were he alive today, might well have ranked Billy Barr number two.
Little did I dream at the time, sitting in Al Briggs’ history class, that he may have had an impact on history.