Local Republicans gathered Thursday to see a seemingly familiar face from American history speak to the crowd at Applewood Pancake House in Litchfield Beach.
Ed Nixon, who strongly resembles his older brother former President Richard Nixon, was there to talk about his new book, "The Nixons: A Family Portrait," and urged attendees to make a difference by running for office.
The book, which has been in the works for about 22 years, tells the story of Richard Nixon's mother and father, as well as stories about the extended family.
The book does not devote much time to the Watergate scandal, which Ed Nixon described as a "disappointment" to his brother.He said his brother did not resign in disgrace, and held the office of president in high regard."He resigned in honor," Ed Nixon said. "It was a disappointment to him because his missions were cut short."
Ed Nixon said it was important to finish the book, since many members of the family had questions about Richard Nixon.The once large family of five brothers has dwindled to the youngest of the siblings, Ed Nixon, 78, who is now a grandfather and soon to be great-grandfather.
"All of the family members needed some explanation," said Nixon, who was 17 years younger than Richard Nixon. "They kept hearing that their relative had resigned their office in disgrace, but he honored the office with positive things. I think he tried to do his very best."He described his older brother as a mentor who encouraged him to study history.
Ed Nixon became a geologist and worked with several companies to develop their knowledge of the earth's history.
He also helped his brother during his first campaign for U.S. Congress in 1946 and some of his later presidential campaigns.
"When he first ran for Congress, I drove a grocery store delivery truck with campaign signs," he said.
Ed Nixon described his book as telling the story of the value of the American family.
"They're the breeding ground for strong leaders who can preserve the Republic," he said.
Lighter stories of the Nixon children and grandchildren are also included in the book. He recalled stories of "Uncle Dick," who invited Ed Nixon's family to the White House and took them for a ride on Air Force One. Ed Nixon's daughter, Beth Nixon, once sent a letter asking her uncle if she could live with him in the White House, he said.
The appearance by Ed Nixon drew some residents who said they voted for Richard Nixon, and still support his policies.
"I don't think he resigned in disgrace," said Cleo Steele, a member of the North Myrtle Beach Republican Club. "I think if he would have stayed on, he would have been the best president we ever had."
"I voted for Dick Nixon," said Linda Caswell. "It was the first time I was able to vote. I was interested in what [Ed Nixon] had to say."