Monday, February 4, 2008

Memory of George McGovern

I heard from James Rowen yesterday that his father-in-law, Sen. George McGovern, will be in Milwaukee Tuesday, February 12. Rowen's message stirred memories of McGovern. The Senator has always been one of my heroes and his call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney is absolutely correct. But that's not the reason for this post. The real reason is so I can share a memory ... the day I finally met George McGovern.

It was 1987 or 1988. I was working as a waiter at the Kenwood Inn on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus just to earn a bit of cash while finishing up my undergrad studies. I had just finished clearing a table and was returning to deposit the dirty dishes when I spotted George McGovern walking into the Inn with, I assume, a couple of professors. A table in another section was provided to them before I could ask to serve them.

Well, I had to introduce myself and at least shake McGovern's hand. I pondered how to do this for a few moments, but finally just got the nerve, walked to the table ... and ... just froze and waited.

Noticing that someone was standing there, the Senator turned, looked at me and asked if I would be taking their order. I said no, nervously blurted out my name and told him that I had always been a fan of his and that I voted for him in 1976.

At this last bit of information, the professors smiled knowingly at the silly student, because everyone knew, of course, the Senator was the Democratic candidate for president in 1972. The Senator thanked me and kindly reminded me of this. I told him that I was aware of that and that the reason I voted for him in 1976 was because I had not been old enough to vote in 1972.

A big smile came across his face and he thanked me for my support. And, I received my handshake ... one I still cherish.


  1. That is one good story!

  2. his call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney is absolutely correct

    Yep. there's a window of at least a few months; plenty of time. Besides, it's what the Dems need in the middle of the election.

  3. Won't happen and you're right, the timing would be bad. But the thought is absolutely correct.

    Besides, I don't know when the Senator made that statement. It could have been some time ago, like at the beginning of Bush's presidency.