The Case of the Plaid Pants: Solved

Plaid Pants Guy: Terry Smoot

Sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence. In the case of Governor Ralph Northam’s notorious 1984 yearbook photo, a young man in blackface wearing plaid pants is not the same guy wearing seemingly identical plaid pants in an older photo of Northam’s high school classmates (a similarity I explored here). The blond guy in the high school picture of Hi-Y YMCA program participants turns out to be Terry Smoot, a resident of Chesterfield County.

Ali Rockett with the Richmond Times-Dispatch tracked down Smoot, who says he is not the same person as the man in blackface. “The whole notion is so absurd,” he said. “They are not the same pair of pants. People are really reaching.”

Smooth and Northam were friends in high school but followed divergent paths after school. Northam went to Virginia Military Institute and the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). The article is less than clear about Smoot’s career development but does say that by 1984, he was working — not attending EVMS. He now works for the federal government.

Smoot says he wishes his old friend well in his time of trial and tribulation: “If I could talk to him, I would say, ‘Hang in there. I support you.'”

Bacon’s bottom line: Northam is still on the hook to explain who is in the photo, and how the photo came to be inserted in his yearbook.

There are currently no comments highlighted.

3 responses to “The Case of the Plaid Pants: Solved

  1. ” People are really reaching” yup.

  2. So…. here’s a question. Northam is acting like he doesn’t remember and is acting like he doesn’t know what actually happened.

    So heres, the question. What if Northam STARTED OUT at the beginning saying that those were not the pictures he submitted. That he is sure they are not. Then how would the folks that received them convince / prove that they were? It sounds to me like they did not have a positive identification system nor did they really have them locked up… securing such that no one could get to those pictures unless they actually signed for them on a log sheet.

    I’m not defending Northam here… this is a mess of his own making one way or the other and his “advisors” give a bad name to that occupation….

    but if someone played a practical joke on him … this is one way it would have worked ……….

  3. It’s plausible. It’s equally plausible that Northam never bothered to submit enough photos and the folks putting the yearbook together simply filled the space maliciously. Who cares enough to unravel every childish incident from every politician’s past to determine its precise causation? Who retains sufficient proof of innocence after 35 years to satisfy the modern inquisitors?

Leave a Reply