Had to look at name tags to recognize a few people...heck, ain't none of us getting any younger. Had some laughs. Chatted with Joe's mom, shared memories of her husband, George, who passed away several years ago. There were others no longer with us that brought home the passage of time.
I got a big hug, three pecks on the cheeks and some nice words of welcome and remembrance from the former member of Congress and talk-TV host. I gave him an autographed copy of Southern Man. Noted the slight graying at Joe's temples. Very distinguished looking, though in many ways, he still looks so much like that thirty-year-old who was inspired -- goaded? -- to run for Congress by the election of Bill Clinton, and the leftward lurch of the country afterward.
I left the Congressional office in 1998; worked for Joe at The Florida Sun for a while after that, and helped prepare the Congressional office for the incoming member, Jeff Miller, after Joe resigned. But basically, my interest in national politics ended with the Clinton impeachment hearings. If memory serves, I didn't vote in any presidential elections after that, until my vote for Mitt Romney in 2012, which wasn't so much a vote for the Republican candidate as it was a vote against the Democrat incumbent. My main reason for voting for Romney was my belief that he would be immensely better for the economy than Barack Obama.
|Me and Joe, Back in the Day|
Still, it was nice to see folks, and remember when we were younger, had boundless energy and genuine hope for the country.
And now, back to defending Dixie and writing books.