Friday, February 16, 2007

Perspective

Too many politicians get too religious once elected. They think they are God.

My old boss, Cong. Jake Pickle, never lost his perspective. A rare quality for a man born to bask in the spotlight of politics.

His humanity sometimes surprised those around him.

Once, he was dedicating a new rural water supply system outside Bastrop, Texas. Although Pickle was a Democrat and Nixon was in the White House, the head of the FHA flew in from Washington for the ceremonies. A healthy crowd of locals attended plus two TV crews from nearby Austin worked the event. It was a good ceremony, a worthy project.

On the drive back to Austin, Pickle suddenly barked: "Stop the car." Safely on the side of the road, Pickle pointed out the window to an old man pouring water from a new faucet into a rusty old bucket.

"Someday you'll be driving through here with your grandchildren," Pickle said. "And you'll do what I did. You'll say stop the car. You'll say see that old man getting water. I got him that water. I got him electricity. I built this highway."

It was unlike Pickle. You could almost hear the Star Spangled Banner playing softly in the background.

Then he leaned over with a twinkle in his eye and said: "And you know what? Your grandkids really won't give a damn."

And that, my friends, is political perspective.

1 comment:

Denise said...

When we moved to Texas from Louisiana, we thought the days of colorful politics was over. I grew up in the days of Edwin Edwards and his infamous quote to the press about the $17,000 in small bills his wife, Elaine, had with her. When the microphones were thrust in this Cajun's face, he smiled and said, "Seventeen thousand? Why that's chump chainge to Elaine." The press nodded, the people nodded and life went on. Then we moved here, and the race was on between Ann Richards and Clayton Williams. We heard the remark about lay back and relax and knew politics knows no state boundary lines. Then we registered to vote and our district attorney at the time said in the Hispanic culture, beating your wife was considered foreplay. We actually witnessed a Texas politician get run out of town. Gotta love those politics.

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