I run a website called nancies.org, which is about Dave Matthews Band. (The unfortunate name comes from one of their songs, “Dancing Nancies.”) Another jam band, Widespread Panic, has similar fan sites, including one named Panic Freaks. It’s simply a discussion board for fans. Membership is required in order to participate or even read it, and new members must be vetted by the site’s founders in order to gain access. I recently became a member of this site.
The band’s bassist is from Richmond, and they have a decent concentration of fans here. (And their late great guitarist Mike Houser‘s brother-in-law lives in Charlottesville, but I’m not sure that earns them any special cred here.) So it’s not surprising that the discussion on Panic Freaks recently turned to the Virginia Senate race. Like most jam bands, the majority of their fans are liberal Democrats, so the discussion has largely consisted of everybody agreeing that Sen. George Allen should be replaced by Democratic opponent Jim Webb. Nothing special there.
Then, on Tuesday evening, somebody dropped something really interesting into the discussion. A particularly active member of this online community — he’s posted 1,552 times in the past two years — related a story about the time that he met Sen. Allen’s ex-wife. (Again, only members may read the website.) I do not know this gentleman, and know little other than that he is a 29-year-old man who is a Widespread Panic fan. I cannot vouch for him or his story. But I can say that I’ve heard variants of these allegations time and time again from past and present friends of Sen. Allen’s ex-wife or her parents, who heard the allegations from those individuals.
Here’s what the fellow wrote:
I actually met his first wife after the Greek/San Diego run last year. I caught a connecting flight in Pheonix from San Diego and sat next to his ex wife and her son on the plane. Patrice Rubel, I believe her name was. She introduced herself almost right after I sat down. I figured this would be the type of person I would enjoy getting information from and she looked like the type that would enjoy a beverage, so I bought her one, which she happily drank, along with a few more after that. By the time we landed in New Orleans, she had given me an earful as to the piece of shit her ex husband was/is.
She went off about his racist mentality even mentioning affiliation with the KKK. He didn’t seem to have a problem slapping her around either which was probabally the reason he was arrested and forced to seal his records. You can’t have a “Compassionate Conservative” politician with a felony assault record preachin to his Christain conservative base about moral values.
As far as his ex wife, Mrs. Rubel goes, she was a very pleasant and kind lady, and from what she told me, quiet the accomplished artist. She mentioned there is a painting of Pres. Reagan she made that is still hanging in the white house.
Crazy thing is, while she was telling me all of this, I never doubted her for one second that she was telling me the truth. allen’s actions over the past few months have only confirmed this for me.
Her words as best as I can remember. “He’s gonna run for President one day and everyone is going to find out how much of a piece of shit racist he really is.”
Turns out she was right.
To repeat: I am not acquainted with the gentleman who posted this story. I cannot vouch for him or for his story. But I have heard these allegations many times from trusted friends. Of course, the frequency with which a rumor is repeated has no bearing on its accuracy. Only Sen. Allen, his wife, and their immediate circle of friends and family are able confirm or deny such allegations.