John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

I got an e-mail from another former Wellstone staffer this morning, relating the story of the first time he met Paul, three years before he joined Paul's staff:

I first met Paul Wellstone in 1993 on a rainy Spring night in Washington, DC, at 10 PM.

The Capitol was built on land reclaimed from a swamp. When it rains in DC, it rains buckets. So it was that night. It was late. No one was around. I stood in the "Hart Horseshoe," the area outside the Hart Senate Office Building where cars pull in and out to let Senators stay dry. I had no umbrella.

I had just given up all hope of dryness or dignity. I’d removed my new shoes and tucked them under my shirt, and I’d rolled up my pant legs. I was about to venture into the deluge when I heard a voice behind me.

"How many blocks to your car?"

It was Senator Wellstone with an umbrella.

I happened to know that Wellstone lived across the street from Hart. I’d seen him and Sheila walking to and from the office many times. So I told him that I appreciated the kind implication that he might walk me to my car, but that my car was parked ten blocks away. His response:

"We gonna talk or walk?"

He raised his umbrella over my head, and we headed off into the rain.

There's a great article in the Star-Tribune that covers the same themes. Everyone should check it out.

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