Paul Wellstone
Paul Wellstone

   I have trusted two elected representatives in my life.  Paul was one.  And he is the only one that I have to say that I loved.  When he was elected, I suddenly felt like I finally had a representative in Washington.  One of the great honors in my life was to work on a small committee of six with him before he was elected.  I represented the Minnesota Episcopal Peace Commission.  The committee sought to bring together an alliance of progressive organizations.  He was one of the only senators, maybe the only one, who talked with chauffeurs, guards, and cleaning staff as equals. 
    Once there was a death squad in the yard of an El Salvadoran family, the father of which had had the temerity to speak out against Reagan-induced terror in El Salvador.  The jeeps with armed teenagers had encircled the house.  Talk about terror.  He called Paul by phone and asked for help.  Paul knew who to call and the family was spared.  Who would that family call today?  In the company of other progressives, I refer to him as Paul and everybody knows who I mean.  In most places in the country, people assume that he was murdered, that his death was not an accident.  The history of the twenty-first century would have been different had he lived, which is, of course, why he didn't.  The conservatives saw to that.  When they can't kill the message, the kill the messenger.

Dave Moore
Dave Moore

  Dave Moore is what television should have been.  He was the news anchor* man for WCCO, the CBS affiliate in Minnesota in the early sixties.  That was a time when stations communicated trustworthiness in their news people by hiring trustworthy news people.  The early sixties was also before the time when corporate interests had totally engulfed the medium.
    Moore was genuine on the screen.  He also had fun.  Late on Saturday night he did "The Bedtime News" in which he did wacky things.  (Presumably the corporate type were already asleep.)  He would say, "Okay, here are the scores."  Then they would play fast marching music and roll by a bunch of numbers.  When they put in team names they included names like "Skins v. Shirts."  Sealy Posturepedic Mattress was the sponsor.  Once he did a whole five minute commercial for Sealy wearing sunglasses and a shirt with broad horizontal black stripes, smoking a cigarette, sprawled in a folding chair, and completely in French.  Ad writers might sit up and pay attention that people remember who the sponsor of a show was fifty years later because of wacky behavior.
    I met him once in the audience at the Theater in the Round Players theater.  I shook his hand and told him that he have given me a lot of laughs on late night Saturday TV when I was young.  He smiled broadly and told me that he had fun too and that I was welcome.

* An anchor man is 1) the strongest man in a relay track or swimming team, 2) the man with the lowest grade in his class at the Naval Academy, and 3) the point guy on a news show.  Now that stations care more about ratings than credibility, i.e. using babes for newscasters, the point person on a news show is simply the anchor.