Paul Wellstone died ten years ago today.

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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.”

One Comment on “Paul Wellstone died ten years ago today.”

  1. I didn’t realize what day it was until around noon. You can tell when something is close to the bone when you remember exactly where and what you were doing when you heard it for the first.time. This is very well written.

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