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Florida Governor Ron “Dick” DeSantis was a boy once.

Folk wisdom says the boy makes the man. Look at the boy, and you can cull the man he will be. Look at the man, you can cull the boy he once was. I don’t necessarily ascribe to such a view, but it can be intriguing to inquire into the boyhood of notable men just to see if there were adumbrations of things to come. The boy George Washington said he could not tell a lie, and we’ve good reason to believe the man George Washington always lived by that dictum.

So what kind of a boy was Ron “Dick” DeSantis?

A Florida psychic named Bayleen Mazok claims to have ‘seen’ episodes of DeSantis’ boyhood while she was in a feverous trance on Dog Island, off the Florida Panhandle.

Highlights from her report:

  • Young Ron had a strong desire to send plovers and gulls back to New England where they belonged. He felt such seabirds were non-native interlopers to the sunshine state. He would often attempt to run them down on the beaches and whack them with a cane pole.
  • He also wanted to remove sharded beetles, monkfish, tit mice, calico cats, wax foxes, and the white lynx because they too were not native to Florida.
  • For similar reasons, Ron once discharged his BB gun into the impenetrable hide of a Montana bison that had come through town in a circus.
  • Likewise, he resisted New England clam chowder his whole childhood.
  • Ron had an absolute fear of leaving his state and considered even nearby Alabama as a cabal of rubes and bucolic yokels, a view he has never abandoned.
  • (His nickname “Dick” came later, soon after his political career was afoot. But his wife calls him Lars because of his Nordic features.)
  • He once won a 6th-grade spelling bee with the word ‘casuistry’ (specious moral reasoning).
  • He dressed as Thurston Howell III every Halloween and called his sister ‘Lovey’ on that night.
  • Ron developed a deadeye baseball pitch by throwing balls at a tiny photo of Alex Haley affixed to a barn door.
  • His sand castles were always in the shape of Raiford Prison and he coiled little bits of pencil shavings around the castle walls to indicate razor wire.
  • Ron’s favorite Civil War general, fighting for the South, was Jubal Early. He liked no generals fighting for the North.
  • He set up play times with kids who had GI Jane dolls so he could use his GI Joe doll against them.
  • He was often a favorite student and even a teacher’s pet. He insisted that he was the only student to wash the blackboards at the end of a school day, and his doting teachers allowed him that delight, lest he dissolve into briny tears.
  • Ron’s penchant for pounding things led him to collect nails of all kinds: box nails, masonry nails, finishing nails, casing nails, brad nails, duplex nails, round wire nails, clout head nails, flooring nails, annular ring nails, oval wire nails, lost head nails, panel pin nails, hard board nails, sprig nails, cut clasp nails, upholstery nails … and on and on.

Any clues about the man emerging from that boy?

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J. H. McKenna (Ph.D.) has taught the history of religion since 1999 at the University of California, where he has won teaching awards. He has published in academic journals and the LA Times, Huffington...