SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
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.


* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Can't anybody play this game?
* Radogno: Pass the grand bargain by the end of this month or forget it
* Question of the day
* CMS warns comptroller over draining special funds
* *** UPDATED x3 *** ISBE to vote on settling Urban League school funding lawsuit
* *** UPDATED x1 - FY18 bills filed *** Get out your checkbook, Mr. Mayor
* Midway contract criticized
* Bob Michel passes away
* Another day, another Rauner campaign ad
* Clearing up a little confusion
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Madigan orders committee to take up Thompson Center sale issue
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Bustos will remain in Congress after considerin.....
* Evanston stands to lose funds under proposed st.....
* Proposed bill would use money from emergency ca.....
* Illinois schools adapting to new 'asthma emerge.....


* Groups, individuals helping white extremists shed hate
* EXCHANGE: Cervical cancer survivor pushing for screening
* Illinois State University seeks public input on its future
* Thousands of demonstrators across US say 'Not My President'
* UIS provides shuttle between campus, downtown Springfield
* Deadline looms for Dakota Access pipeline protest camp
* Illinois schools adapting to new 'asthma emergency' law
* No charges against student who distributed racist pamphlets
* United aircraft blows tires before takeoff from O'Hare
* Hundreds protest Trump at Chicago 'Not My President' rally

* AFSCME strike authorization vote outcome to be revealed this week
* Cheri Bustos won't run for Illinois governor
* Illinois bill would rein in pro athletes' worker comp claims
* GOP criticizes Illinois comptroller for buying used $32K SUV
* Effort to privatize economic development questioned
* State budget impasse still hurting schools
* DHS moving into former Barney's Furniture store
* Madigan says House will consider sale of Thompson Center
* Bustos, other Dems demand Rauner pay domestic violence money
* State budget gap could be more than $7 billion

* Kraft Heinz withdraws $143 billion Unilever bid
* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* The 50 priciest​ home sales of 2016 are here
* Rauner finally weighs in on budget to Capitol laughter and groans
* Springfield's incapacity a threat to all small businesses, including mine


* Police investigate break-in at Portage Park car dealership
* Apartment fire leaves Westmont building uninhabitable
* No injuries reported in fire that destroyed 2 Naperville homes
* No injuries reported after barricade situation in Austin
* Man shot in vestibule of Gresham building
* Dear Abby: He keeps insulting wife about her past
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Feb. 21, 2017
* 17-year-old boy shot in Hermosa
* Man critical after Rosemoor shooting
* Police: Man shot dead in Altgeld Gardens


* Petcoke piles gone, but another dangerous pollutant discovered in the air
* Woodlawn sees another chance at revival in Obama library
* Sanctuary movement: Houses of worship consider offering refuge to immigrants
* Morning Spin: Does Illinois' official seal get the state's birthday wrong?
* 1 killed, 8 wounded in shooting attacks in Chicago
* Man threatening suicide in South Austin prompts SWAT response
* Police standoff ends on Far South Side
* Obama library: Latest stories, photos, commentary
* Boys basketball bits: No easy choice for No. 1
* Trump taps Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser


» Hundreds Protest Trump At Chicago 'Not My President' Rally
» Report: Chicago's African-American Men More Likely To Be Unemployed, Undereducated
» Citizenship Ceremony Held For 25 People At City Hall
» With Eye On Farmers Markets, Lawmakers Target Regulations
» Chicago Aldermen Consider Crackdown On Street Performers
» Gary’s Disappearing Public Schools
» Why Was Rauner Budget Proposal Greeted With Confusion?
» Syrian Family Reunites Three Weeks After Travel Ban
» Man Charged In Shooting Death Of Chicago Toddler
» State Week: 'Balanced' Is In The Eye Of The Beholder


* Their View: Editorial: Remembering Bob Michel
* Kathleen Parker: Meet Rick. Meet the football. Hike!
* AFSCME strike authorization vote outcome to be revealed this week
* Cheri Bustos won't run for Illinois governor
* Illinois bill would rein in pro athletes' worker comp claims
* Their View: Why aren't Illinoisans blocking traffic in front of their Capitol?
* GOP criticizes Illinois comptroller for buying used $32K SUV
* Bernard Schoenburg: Dems eye Rodney Davis, who expects the challenge
* Effort to privatize economic development questioned
* Bernard Schoenburg: Dems eye Davis, who expects the challenge


* Grandview man dies in weekend motorcycle crash near Muscatine
* Rick's Six: Great weather, 3rd trial for Liggins, and Bustos not a candidate
* Commentary: The world is laughing at America
* Take center stage in Oscar Wilde classic
* Motorcyclist killed in accident was family man preparing to retire
* Restaurant owner’s newest now abierto (open)
* ‘Scandal’ a stretch, but SUV purchase doesn’t really say ‘priority’
* Commentary: The horror of waiting for the ICE agents to come knocking
* Gas prices fall, but still top last year
* Photo: Winging it


* Coyotes score 3 in 1st period, hold on to beat Ducks
* Dawn Patrol: Opponents of homeless plan speak out
* Constable: Mattresses rarely made presidents' day
* 'Ghost Adventures' host recalls suburban paranormal experiences
* Construction on Glen Ellyn police station ahead of schedule

* US Representative Randy Hultgren visits ne...
* Hultgren guides STEM scholars through pres...
* Hultgren criticizes immigration ban, Roska...
* Group upset with Trump wants Town Hall mee...
* Hultgren updates work on heroin, opioid ab...
* McHenry County Progressives meeting featur...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren talks veterans' iss...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren reflects on busines...
* Some Republican Congressmen Reject Trump's...
* GOP congressman appears to distance himsel...

* Durbin breaks silence on Trump's travel ba......

* Dem Sen Duckworth: 'This Is Not the Presid......

* Trayvon Martin’s parents on their book Rest in Power, Brown Girls premiere, and more things to do in Chicago this week
* Hundreds gather for ‘Not My President’ rally outside Trump Tower, and other Chicago news
* My Chocolate Soul Finds Its Home On Broadway
* Construction Updates On Maryville (Now "811 Uptown") Online
* SportsMonday: Now It's Northwestern's Turn
* Cheerleading's Peculiar Path To Olympic Sport
* Ill. '18 gubernatorial dreamer pool starting to winnow itself down to size
* Bit Bash's Filthy Pixels, Taco Fest 2017, and more things to do in Chicago this week
* Chicagoetry: Lope
* The Weekend In Chicago Rock


* Governor Takes Bill Action
* 2017 Budget Address
* Rauner, Lawmakers Move to Protect Taxpayers from Inmate Legal Bills
* Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Announcednew pilot program titled Tiny Boots
* Governor Rauner Attends Illinois National Guard Deployment Ceremony

  
* Overcast 3 Update Brings Redesigned UI to Podcast Player App
* Meitu’s new phone includes a dual pixel front camera and AI-powered beautification
* Tag Heuer Connected Modular smartwatch with Android Wear 2.0 could land in March after all
* Xiaomi will release even more mid-rangers and high-enders this year, Pinecone SoC coming this month
* Amazon Fire TV Stick With Built-In Alexa Coming to the U.K.
* New 2GB Verizon prepaid plan takes place of deprecated 3GB plan
* LG G6 yet again teased with waterproof design, fingerprint scanner, and yes, full-metal body

* This is not a typo: Soto throws to Soto during BP
* Garcia driven to reclaim outfield spot
* Garcia driven to reclaim outfield spot
* Bourjos enticed to White Sox by weather, opportunity
* Bourjos enticed to White Sox by opportunity, locale
* Renteria expects bright future for White Sox
* Top pick Burdi White Sox closer of future?


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
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

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




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