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He worked long and hard hours, whether he was with the Government or in private practice. It meant a great deal to him to represent individual taxpayers and small businessmen, like him and Mother, who were working hard to make a living and doing their best to get ahead.
Many times growing up he would tell us about his first memory. It was when he was 5 years old riding on horseback behind Granddaddy. They were going from Townsend, Tennessee, back into Cades Cove, the valley of his ancestors, people that were some of the first settlers in Tennessee. He told us that he had vivid memories of that trip because his feet were so cold. Even though there was snow on the ground, he had no shoes on because Granny and Granddad could not afford to buy him new shoes that season.
He knew at a very young age how important it was for a man to make an honest living and provide for his family. With the guidance of many lawyers and others along the way and with the help of Judge Dawson, he became interested in serving on the U.S. Tax Court. I know he has told all of you here that he never thought in a million years that he could have learned enough or earned enough respect to be appointed to this esteemed position.
After all that he saw and all that happened to him in World War II, if he were here today I believe that he would argue that his ultimate service to his countrymen and to his Government was the time that he spent right here on the U.S. Tax Court.
During his service on this Court, I know that one of his goals was to encourage taxpayers to work to earn a living. By the same token, he never wanted to interfere with an honest man's desire to work to provide for his family and even build a business if they had that opportunity.
You all may have heard about the Tennessee mountain folk and how independent and strong willed we are. Well, Daddy raised Bailey, Beth, and me to be fiercely independent and to speak our own minds. I am sure that he and Mother lived to regret that, especially during election time.
Discussions around the dinner table at our house sometimes would last for hours; Mother as a conservative Democrat, Daddy as a Republican, relatives all stages in between, and younger folk becoming way too liberal. We would talk about current events, politics, literature, and history, and, of
course, all those stories. There were no stupid questions. It was exhilarating and inspiring.
Sometimes everyone would talk at once in heated debate. In fact, we all assumed that Beth was really shy until she finally informed us as a senior in high school that she couldn't get a word in edgewise.
In any event, we were all encouraged to speak. He wanted us to think, to stand on our own two feet, and to make our own decisions. Both he and Mother told us, the nieces and nephews, and anyone else that they could get to listen, that we should stay in school, that there was no substitute for hard work, and that we should do the right thing. It probably came from his primitive Baptist ancestors when he would tell us that we would know right from wrong by ourselves, and if we thought we were right we should stick to it, not that he and Mother wouldn't remind us along the way about what they thought was right.
When Daddy and I would disagree after I got into college and beyond, he would always know that it was my own decision. It would be very difficult for Beth, Bailey, Cooper, and me to follow in his footsteps. I will never be able to fill his shoes. He was a wonderful, loving father and grandfather. The best way I know to honor him is to lead by his example. He wanted every man and woman to be aware and to care about others and what was going on in the world. He wanted every man and woman to have and to take the opportunity to earn a living and to make a career. It is for this reason that I think he took this job and its responsibilities so seriously.
My father knew that taxes were necessary to run a successful Government for the people, but he also knew that taxes are important to all men and women because taxes reduce their take-home pay and their ability to provide for their family. He wanted to be fair for the Government, but he never wanted to do anything that would interfere with an honest man's desire to work or start a business.
It sounds so simple really, but he was a simple and direct man with modest taste. No one knows better than those in this courtroom how complex and difficult the tax profession can be. When I would get bogged down and overwhelmed with all the details, he would tell me not to lose sight of the main goal and the bottom line.
That is why he would argue that it was here on the Tax Court that he gave the ultimate service to his country, and it was here that he reached the highest honor in his chosen profession. I don't think that he aspired to be anything more than a fair and just U.S. Tax Court Judge. Thank you all for giving him that opportunity.
CHIEF JUDGE WELLS: Thank you, Leslie.
We'll now hear from Judge Dawson. Judge Dawson?
JUDGE DAWSON: Thank you. The Chief Judge has summarized the highlights of Perry Shields's distinguished legal career as a tax lawyer in Government and private practice and his outstanding work as a Judge of this Court.
Leslie, your wonderful remarks about your dad I'm sure have touched us all, especially me.
It is fitting that we honor Perry Shields's memory today. Except for his wife, Bonnie, and his family, I think I knew Perry longer than others in this courtroom. My personal friendship and professional association with Perry goes back a long way. It began 48 years ago in 1954 when he arrived in Atlanta as an attorney in the Regional Counsel's Office of the Internal Revenue Service.
We worked together. Frequently we carpooled together. We had offices next to each other. I often reviewed his official letters, memoranda, and briefs. Many years later, after he joined the Tax Court and I had been here a number of years and thought I was so experienced, I asked him to review some of my draft opinions. He did. Believe me, he was a lot tougher on me than I ever was on him.
Perry and I had a common experience of serving in World War II and particularly in France, Belgium, and Germany. The major difference was that he was in combat, and I was not. He sometimes spoke of his service as a medical aide in the 104th Infantry Division. That's the famous Timberwolf Division that fought so hard and so valiantly in the Belgium and Germany campaigns.
While attending to his wounded comrades during intense fighting near Aachen-I think he told me one time it was a city called Eschweiler, Germany-Perry was struck in the left leg by German mortar shell and was severely wounded, which, as you've been told, resulted in the amputation of his leg. He once told me that he was hit within eyesight of the spires of the great Cologne Cathedral.
I always remember one instance that happened when we served together in Atlanta. Perry was very adept at walking on his wooden leg. The Veterans' Administration had recommended that he be fitted with a newer, lighter weight prosthesis. He got it, and shortly thereafter Perry and I and another attorney were walking down Peachtree Street when suddenly the knee joint in his new artificial leg locked, and he stumbled to the ground.
As we helped him up, I remember he said: "I had a feeling this thing wouldn't work. I'm going now straight to the Veterans' Administration and demand that they give me back my old wooden leg."
I could talk for hours about the experiences Perry and I had in Atlanta when we were in the vanguard of providing legal services for the Revenue Service. We worked one time with the U.S. attorney in Nashville, Tennessee, in a case involving a man, a litigious lawyer, named Fyke Fowler, who was one of the first prominent tax protesters of his era.
Another case involved the collection and settlement of the income tax liability of the great World War I hero, Sergeant Alvin C. York. As some of you may know, that case was finally settled by an offer in compromise for $30,000 in public donations that were raised by Speaker Sam Rayburn of the House of Representatives.
We also worked on an old railroad receivership case involving taxes that were owed by the Smoky Mountain Railroad. That's a railroad that runs from Maryville to Townsend and maybe even to Sevierville. Also, we worked on the Tallulah Falls Railroad case. These cases had been languishing in the chief counsel's office since the early 1930s.
The legal files were shipped from the Claims Division in Washington to us in Atlanta. I remember that after examining the files Perry said to me: "Howard, to collect these back taxes from these two-bit railroads would be like squeezing blood out of a turnip." He was right. We had very little suc
Perry was an attorney in the Greensboro office after he left Atlanta. From there he returned to Knoxville and his beloved eastern Tennessee where he first became associated with the law firm of Henderson & Walter and then with J. Homer Hardy & Associates in Chattanooga. Because he always had
a burning ambition to establish his own law practice, he opened his own law offices in Knoxville.
In 1966, the firm became Ford & Shields, and in 1970, after Ray Ford became a State court judge, the firm name was changed to Shields, Rainwater & Humble. Over the years, Perry became a leading tax lawyer in Tennessee. He represented clients and taxpayers in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Federal District Courts, in the Tax Court, and in Tennessee State courts. He tried several tax cases before this Court, mainly before Judge Scott, Judge Sterrett, who is here today, Judge Irwin, and Judge Wilbur.
Judge Gerber, who was IRS District Counsel in Nashville during some of the years that Perry was engaged in private practice, told me that Perry was highly regarded by his attorneys and by the Appeals officers. He was always well prepared in representing his clients and candid and cooperative in dealing with opposing counsel.
When Ronald Reagan became President, Perry was very interested in being appointed a Judge of the Tax Court. I spoke to him about it several times in 1981. He then contacted his friends, Senator Howard Baker, then the Majority Leader in the Senate, and Congressman John Duncan, who was a Ranking Member on the House Ways and Means Committee. Both of them supported his appointment and wrote to President Reagan regarding him.
Perry asked me to speak at his investiture on February 5, 1982, and to administer to him the oath of office as a Judge of this Court. It was a privilege and pleasure for me to have participated in that ceremony, and I was particularly thankful, in view of all the Tennesseans that came up here for that ceremony, that Perry did not bring along to the swearing-in ceremony his faithful bird dog, Jake.
Perry was the second Tennessean presidentially appointed to the Tax Court bench. The first was Benjamin Littleton, who served on the predecessor Board of Tax Appeals from 1924 to 1929. Just a few months after Perry joined the Court, along came another native born Tennessean, Judge Lap Hamblen, who is on the bench today with us.
I was beginning to think that Tennessee was acquiring far too much prominence around here at that time, and for that reason, much to the chagrin and probably the dismay of