World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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End of the Weyand Visit: A Disheartening and Disturbing One on One Conversation with the Ambassador

28/3/75

The sense of impending doom was even evident within Amb. Martin’s residence where Quinn was staying. The domestic staff appealed to him with the desperation of what would be their fate as the South collapsed. In a particularly surreal moment, even the Amb.’s wife sought Quinn out to ask advice on what she should tell the servants since her husband was not sharing any information or guidance with her. Alone with Amb. Martin in his living room, Quinn describes how he tries to get across how totally hopeless the situation had become without having the Amb. follow his usual instinct of immediately tuning out anyone he felt was being pessimistic. In the middle of the conversation, Quinn describes how Amb. Martin seemed to disengage and mentally drift off. Leaning back in his chair and staring at the ceiling while lightly touching his fingers together, Amb. Martin began to recall previous events in his career during which he was undermined by embassy personnel who were not strong or supportive. This repeated a scene from their previous meeting a year ago in the Amb.’s office. It appeared to Quinn that Amb. Martin was involuntarily escaping from crisis situations, thus causing Quinn to seriously question Amb. Martin’s mental capacity and ability to deal with the situation.

© 2020 World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn. All rights reserved.