SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
A great Father’s Day story

Saturday, Jun 14, 2014

* Yet another example of why we’ve named our “Commenter of the Year” award for Wordslinger

Late in his much-too-short life, my old man developed a highly unlikely and completely accidental friendship with Bob Dole.

When I was a kid. in 1977, my peeps and I went to Norfolk to see my old man’s brother, who was in port as chief engineer on an oil tanker.

On the way back, we stopped for a few days in DC to see the sites.

Back then, security was nil. You pretty much had the run of the place. We went to Rep. Simon’s office on the Hill and the very nice people there loaded us up with same-day passes for the White House, the Pentagon, and some special exhibitions at the Smithsonian.

Just imagine; on the same day, we got a pass for a special White House Rose Garden tour, and got to shake hands with Pres. Carter, Rosalyn and Jackie O., who was there for some reason (my mom thought that was way cool).

Long story short, over the course of a couple of days, we kept bumping into Sen. Dole, all over town.

You have to remember, Dole had been Jerry Ford’s hatchet man in the 1976 race, and was considered to be in the GOP right wing (can you believe it?).
My folks were Norwegians and red-hot, anti-fascist, anti-commie, civil rights liberals.

Finally, after bumping into him one more time, Dole approached us and said “we have to stop meeting like this” and started chatting up the old man.

My parents were immigrants and could be very self-conscious about their accents. So when Dole asked if there was something he could do for us, they kept mum.

I knew what my folks wanted, though, so I piped up “we’d like to meet Sen. Humphrey.”

“Let’s go,” Dole said.

“Senator, we need to be…” a Dole aide started to protest.

“Shut up,” Dole explained.

As we made our way down to the Capitol Hill subway system, Dole and my old man got lost in conversation. Dole had had a tough time in WWII, and I know the old man had, too, though he never talked about it.

As my aunts recounted over the years, when he was about 21, the old man and his crew had been arrested by the Gestapo for stealing food from a Nazi storehouse. They were in a slave labor camp until VE Day and some of them were worked and starved to death.

Meanwhile, the Dole aide who had been told to “shut up” was trying to find out why the Senator was taking such an interest in us.

My mom wouldn’t talk, so he was pressing me, the kid with corncobs coming out of his ears.

“So, where in Kansas are you folks from?” he asked.

“We’re from Illinois,” I said.

“Oh?. Huh. So how do you know Sen. Dole?”

“Um, from TV.”

Now he’s getting pissed. “No, I mean why is he taking you to see Sen. Humphrey right now?”

“I don’t know.”

We took the subway to some huge Senate hearing room. The old man and Dole sat together and continued talking. I sat with Mr. Shut Up. My mom sat with Sen. Kennedy (she considered herself an honorary Kennedy after meeting Jackie O and Teddy, and would talk about them like family whenever they popped up in the news).

I think it was the Foreign Relations Committee.
But we didn’t go in for a while. The old man and Dole stood to the side, continuing to talk.

I know they were talking about the war, when they were young men.

The old man had never said ten words to anyone in his family about the war, but here was this old Norsky liberal, thick accent and all, chewing the ear of the GOP vice presidential nominee. And Dole was listening.

Finally, Dole approaches the big doors, and they’re swung open for him.

He marches us down the center aisle of this huge, crowded hearing room, takes us right up to Humprhey and says “Hubert, your Illinois fan club is here.”

Humphrey was dying from the cancer and didn’t have any hair. But he lit up like a light bulb, took us to some back corridor and he, Dole and my folks chatted like old friends about this, that and nothing in particular.

My parents were thrilled and talked about their day with Dole and Humphrey for the rest of their lives.

Dole didn’t have to do any of that. We were nobodies. My parents weren’t from Kansas; they weren’t citizens, they couldn’t even vote.

But he did because he was just a decent man, and made my folks feel like big shots in Washington, like they’d really made it in America.

It’s about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Just a sweet, selfless act of kindness.

Dole and the old man would exchange Christmas cards til my Dad died. My old man didn’t change his politics, but nobody could say a word against his pal Bob.

Years later, when Dole was running for president in Iowa, I got to know Dole a little better. I liked him a lot then, I like him more now.

And I voted for him for president, for me, my mom and my old man.

Nobody writes like that guy. Nobody.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

No Comments

Be the first to comment.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Raoul: "Inflexible demands plus willful amnesia is no recipe for any negotiation"
* Violence spike blamed on budget cuts
* *** UPDATED - Home and doing better *** I'll be back later
* Gray hired by Trump
* MLB playoff open thread
* Once more, with feeling
* B3 fallout?
* Unclear on the concept
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Our top 10 Windows phone games of September
* Treat infections, find cure to deadly diseases in ‘Pandemic: The Board Game’
* LogMeIn buys password manager LastPass for $125 million
* DJI’s Osmo camera ready to take on the world, Android app included
* Do OnePlus have a new phone coming out soon?
* Verizon pushes a massive security update to the LG G4
* The California DMV has released a report of all the self-driving car accidents this year

* One benefit of the White Sox' lefty-heavy rotation
* Foot issue to sideline White Sox prospect Hawkins
* After second base, it was no-go White Sox
* Scouting, player development key for White Sox
* Arbitration-eligible White Sox won't put dent in payroll
* Hawk Harrelson's reduced schedule creates opportunity for White Sox...
* Holliday, Ventura connection goes way back


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Rauner tries to crank up the pressure - Suburba.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Illinois Senior Fair 2015 -
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....

* Rockford University looking to finish raising $17.3 million
* Corruption arraignment Tuesday for ex-Chicago schools CEO
* Chinese students bring new business to Champaign-Urbana
* ISU president calls for end to budget turmoil in Springfield
* EXCHANGE: Many point with pride at World War II service
* NIU to rededicate plaque honoring fallen WWII veterans
* Chicago State names Alabama university official to top post
* Mural, crosswalk art project underway downtown Springfield
* Donations come in for new police dog in Winnebago County
* Chicago man sentenced to 5 years for CTA train beating

* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Democrats: Illinois could go broke without budget
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund
* Prosecutors say former Congressman Aaron Schock is 'grandstanding'
* State Rep. David Leitch won't seek re-election
* Rauner to Democrats: 'Time's up' in budget impasse
* Illinois panel OKs medical marijuana for 8 health conditions
* State Sen. McCarter to challenge Shimkus in Congressional primary

* Choose Chicago slashes staff amid budget impasse
* United dangles 100-seat jet order to spur pilot accord
* Is Wall Street's 'fear gauge' entering its end game?
* Brace yourself: A pumpkin shortage looms, threatening pie supplies
* LeBron James and McDonald's are breaking up

* Parents blast CPS for cuts in special ed programs
* Mayor tells U.S. attorney general that Chicago cops are in “fetal” position
* Blackhawks’ success further motivates Nick Leddy
* Viktor Tikhonov’s Blackhawks debut feels like his NHL debut
* Indicted ex-CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to appear Tuesday in court
* Charity raffling off Blackhawks Stanley Cup ring
* Sweet: Emanuel says House GOP needs to work through ‘some issues’
* Democrats warn Illinois could go broke without state budget
* Obama returns to Chicago on Oct. 27 for fundraising
* Aldermen complain about ‘menu’ price hikes

* Ex-Cicero president Betty Loren-Maltese raising cash at estate sale
* CTA says no room for harassment on buses and trains
* Thirsty Sox fans hope for many Cardinals homers
* Blue Cross eliminates most popular individual plan
* Bomb threat at Governors State University cancels classes
* Police officer, two girls honored for helping save boy's life
* Teen charged in fatal shooting of civilian worker for Chicago police
* Byrd-Bennett to be arraigned Tuesday in Chicago school kickback scheme
* Assault weapons bans at stake in Highland Park case before Supreme Court
* Three years after building skyscraper, Roosevelt University plans cuts

* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Mike Lang: 'Racial Taboo' screening will advance local unity efforts
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Bernard Schoenburg: Supreme Court refuses to hear Illinois Policy Institute appeal over press access at Statehouse
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund
* Prosecutors say former Congressman Aaron Schock is 'grandstanding'
* State Rep. David Leitch won't seek re-election
* George Will: Impeach the IRS director
* Eugene Robinson: Obama is right to be cautious on Syria

* Tom's Mailbag, Oct. 9, 2015
* Updated: 1 dead, 3 wounded in shooting at Northern Arizona University
* 1 fatally shot at Texas Southern University housing complex
* Cubs-Cards tickets cost a pretty penny
* 10-09-15 Robert Picklesimer on the Homer Opera House
* 10-09-15 Penny for Your Thoughts
* Feeling sick? It's going viral around here
* Talkin' solar farm
* #SundaySneak: Behind the scenes at Market Place Mall
* UPDATE: Prosecutor reviewing Paxton standoff for possible charges

* Redskins without CBs Culliver, Hall or TE Reed at Falcons
* Memphis builds on momentum it established last year
* In rare event, remnants of Pacific hurricane hit Alaska
* Chiefs kicker Santos has franchise field goal mark in pocket
* Million Man March anniversary inspires memories

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin wants college textbooks to be affor......
* Durbin, Franken propose open source textbo......

* Kirk cheers Senate passage of National Def......

* Collateral damage.
* East St. Louis teacher strike continues. Silence from the board.
* Revision of Automatic Transfer Law Achieves Common Cause for Illinois Juvenile Justice Reform
* MRED becomes Centennial Sponsor for IAR’s 100th Anniversary
* Chuck Weaver selected to replace Darin LaHood in 37th Senate District
* What Freedom Caucus members are looking for in a Speaker
* Senator Weaver sworn in, says he's ‘ready to get to work’
* Sen. McCarter hints at challenging Shimkus for 15th CD seat
* Name change sanctioned by IAR board at Fall Business Meetings
* Teamwork makes RPAC Phone-a-thon successful

* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller