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About the Author
The years 1973–1975 are included in Volume 2. These years were full of wide-ranging emotion, and these were very busy times. Mark married the love of his life, Molly McEwan, was working in the White House for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, and was still reeling from the tragedy of the Kent State University shootings, where the Ohio National Guard shot thirteen students—four of them were killed. Mark was a junior at Kent State when the shootings took place, and one of the four students killed, Sandy Scheuer, was a friend. He lost his father, Miles Burris “Bud” Decker, in January 1975, to cancer, at the early age of sixty-three. His dad included Mark in many of his activities, such as hunting, fishing, golfing, and wildcatting (oil well drilling). Vietnam was raging and an open wound that created enormous disagreement, personal and family friction between parents of the “greatest generation” who fought and won World War II and children who were college-age being sent to Vietnam.
The Watergate debacle was an experience every day for all Americans, especially those who lived in Washington, DC, and most especially for those who worked in the White House for President Nixon. Mark also started law school while working full-time during this period, graduating in 1977 with a JD from George Mason University School of Law.
Molly and Mark were there together as Watergate all unfolded. That was quite an experience for two young people in love. Molly spent several years working in the Senate during this period. First for the presidential campaign staff of Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) and then for Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) and then for the chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business. Mark noted, “It was a different Washington then. Much more collegial, much less adversarial. A happy town, and both the White House and Congress were respected much more than today.”