Campaign diary 7/28/2020

I’ll probably get around to writing up more reasons to vote for me but doing so interferes with my druthers……for my French corespondent “Druthers” is an old fashioned term meaning preferences. And my blogging druthers are to wander all over and talk about everything under the sun not just a shoot-for-the-moon race for Congress.

There has been waaaay too much about my race for Congress in the blog but that will almost certainly cease the day after the August 11th primary. I mailed in my ballot yesterday the one that President Trump warns could be forged by Chinese…..(not Russians) to deprive him of the victory he is all but certain of because the Murdoch boys of Fox News salt their Trumpaganda to keep Donald happy and ignorant.

And while Donald will still be president after Minnesota’s primary I will be able (most likely) to return to the book I was furiously trying to finish until I got it in my head that just maybe I could become a viral hit and take Pete Stauber’s campaign down. It hasn’t happened yet and the votes are being mailed in even as I type this.

So, yesterday I ponied up the beginning of a second installment of financial aid to a fellow who had some great stories to tell. I can be a soft touch.

Mr. anonymous had called me up a week earlier to tell me that he had some ideas for helping the homeless and after a bit of a conversation I invited him over to my back yard to shoot-the-bull. The ideas required money which I was not the angel investor to provide but as Mr. A needed a little help himself with (the federal stimulus payments under threat) I gave him a little something to tide him over rather than have him help me around the house.

This morning I made a few inquires after meeting him again yesterday to start on a second installment of help. Mr. A does not know that this is as much as I’m willing to do. My wife and I contribute to other institutions as part of our charitable routine.

But I was taken with two stories Mr. told me which I will relate in thumbnail here: I’m a sucker for a good story.

Story 1. Like Elvis, and Buddy Holly, President Kennedy came to Duluth shortly before his untimely death. In Kennedy’s case it was the Fall of 1963 not long after the death of his newborn son. On this visit was staying at the once gilded Hotel Duluth with a passel of Secret Service agents. He snuck out of the Hotel to escape his security and walked over to the nearby Coney Island where a cook was trying to close up for the night. Kennedy knocked on the door and reluctantly allowed in where he placed an order for 100 coneys (hot dogs covered with onions and often chili) for the Secret Service agents. The cook, a young mother, had her pre-toddler with her (Mr. A) and Kennedy asked if he could hold him. Remember, Kennedy’s own infant had died not long before. For the next half hour 100 coneys were dutifully cooked up. As they waited the child placed his hands on the back of JFK’s head where he would be assassinated later in November.

The president was used to having other people pay for his food so when the ten cent coneys were placed in two sacks all he had was a hundred dollar bill to pay for ten dollars worth of nourishment for the agents. He told the cook to keep the change.

That’s a Helluva story.

Story 2. Mr. A lives in a small apartment complex that was once the only hotel between downtown Duluth and Two Harbors. In 1928 it hosted President Calvin Coolidge who was in town at the same time as the Republican nominee for President, Herbert Hoover. The Secret Service of this era didn’t want the two men in the same accommodations and they were taking up every room in the hotel with the President. Hoover was staying in the Downtown also at the Hotel Duluth. Mr. A lives in the room where Coolidge was staying and where, on one occasion over the two days, both president and president-to-be met with their respective wives.

Another helluva story.

My largess will end but my raconteur has, he said, a photographic memory. He knew the dates of Presidents going back to the beginning including birth, inauguration, end of term, death etc. He learned of Coolidge’s visit from the son of a former Duluth police chief…..or was it St. Louis County Sheriff…..I’m not sure. I don’t have photographic recall. But I will be able to check the Duluth Herald or News Tribune from the date he gave me, July 4th 1928, to see if there really is a photograph of Calvin in the doorway of the then Stratford Hotel.

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