My first years as a legislator I was young enough to hang around with the interns and pages playing Frisbee and softball, and what not, without being thought of as an old fogey. They gave me confidence that progressive politics was still much in demand. One of the pages, Carol, shared a story that to this day I’ve never seen written, and it’s interesting enough to share.
Her dad was Hubert H. Humphrey’s photographer for all those many years he was Minnesota’s very popular U.S. Senator. Part of HHH’s mystique was that he always remembered everybody. He’d come back to your town, say six years later, and remember your name and what you did for a living – quite a feat amongst so many, many thousands of Minnesotans. “You know how he did it?” Carol asked me.
“No,” I said, “tell me.” Well, her dad would take pictures of everybody Hubert met and then ask for their name and address (and occupation) to send them a print later (making a note to himself about what they did). Then when next Hubert was making an appearance in that vicinity he’d review all the photographs ahead of time so when Hubert would run into somebody he’d met before, her dad would whisper into Hubert’s ear, “Say, this is Joe the barber.”
Pretty smart politics!