This morning's WashPost, milking it to the last, had a human-interest story about the central Fairfax County neighborhood where W. Mark Felt lived while he was Deep Throating Woodstein.
The story included a photo of the house he lived in in 1974:
A brick rambler. I've been in hundreds of them. Three, maybe four bedrooms, one-car-garage, probably a fake-wood-paneled den downstairs opening out to a tiny pool in back. Maybe an eat-in kitchen, maybe not. Dig that bow window in the formal living room -- speaks of fake plants, hand-quilted seat cushions, heavy mahogany Ethan Allen corner cupboard for the china and the good silver service. Third of an acre, just enough to mow with an electric push-mower. Which I guarantee you, Felt did himself -- the Felt kids being all grown up with houses of their own by 1974.
Now, I know FBI salaries were notoriously stingy in those days -- still might be, for all I know -- but as Associate Director of the FBI (the position he was promoted to by Hoover and the position he had under L. Patrick Gray during Watergate) Felt had to have been making some fairly decent scratch. If it has any equivalency to today's Govvie pay scale for executive-level positions, he was probably pretty comfy. My own pops, at State in 1974, while nowhere near Felt's seniority, didn't do too badly by us.
But look at the scale of that house. Belonging to the Associate Director of the FBI. Number-two G-Man in the country.
Today's equivalent to Felt at FBI is one John S. Pistole.
Wonder what his house looks like.
I'm not at all implying anything on Pistole's part -- hell, for all I know he lives in a tin-roof shack in Anacostia and tithes his salary to Habitat for Humanity.
(Errrr.... No, I bet he doesn't.)
But no: No opprobrium on Pistole. You live where you can afford to live. But I am willing to bet a hefty chunk of change that the Deputy Director of George Bush's FBI doesn't live in a one-story brick rambler in Fairfax.
O tempora, o mores, and what have you.
To further calibrate the scale thing, here's an 1820's house not a million miles from Felt's. (I mistakenly believed it figured in the Mobberly story, but no. Right surname, right part of the valley, different branch of the family.)
The addition was put on later, and from the fact that half of the addition is made of cinderblock, this house was occupied by Real Live People within living memory. The detritus around the place -- beer cans, frozen-orange-juice cans, liquor bottles -- lots and lots and lots of liquor bottles -- points to just about exactly the same time that Felt was occupying Wyford Drive.
The front of the older part of the house could easily be spanned by three adult men holding their arms out.
I'll just throw this one up, from the Realtor.com web site, then I'll ring the doorbell and run away giggling. It's just around the corner from Felt's old place.
Know any FBI Deputy Directors looking for a crib?