Paul Wellstone died ten years ago today.Posted: October 25, 2012
I was living and working in Georgia. A good friend sent me an email at my office, telling me that Wellstone’s plane had gone down. I tried to call my then-wife at home to fill her in. There was no answer. But as I hung up the phone and turned around, there she stood in tears at my office door.
C-SPAN broadcast the memorial service live. A lot of tears at my house that evening.
Less than two weeks later I voted for the first time in Georgia. I wore my Wellstone ’90 button as a tribute. The polling place was crowded. As I finished voting and headed through the crowd to the door, a woman caught a glimpse of my button. She scowled at me and said, “Don’t let the door hit y’all on the way out.”
“No ma’am,” I replied with a grin, “I surely won’t.”
Years earlier I worked in the office building that Paul’s Minnesota headquarters was in. One day I headed to the deli in the building to grab lunch. In line right ahead of me… Paul Wellstone. He turned around, grinned, and extended his hand. “Hi, I’m Paul.”
“Yeah,” I gushed like a fanboy as I shook his hand. “I know.”