MOTHER MEETS THE GOVERNOR
It was supposed to be all about 8-year old JORDAN (my grandson) meeting the Governor. Turns out, it was all a ruse so his great-grandmother (“smitten” with the handsome young physician-turned-Governor of Oregon) could do so herself—in person.
Now, to be clear, this wasn’t about politics. Mother had never engaged in the stuff of politics that I can recall, but she did read the Statesman-Journal every day, occasionally firing off her staunch opinions to “Letters to the Editor”, some of which were actually published.
Nor had Mother ever voted for a Democrat, although she once bragged about crossing a downtown Salem street with a previous Democratic Governor, engaging in a brief conversation as they waited for the light to change)…
Her own sheltered life was played out in a Baptist parsonage and she was 65 years old before she obtained her driver’s license (driving like a “bat out of hell” for 10 years, until she sideswiped a parked car—but I digress).
Which brings me to 1999. Claiming a little boy’s interest in maps, U.S. States and their Capitols, Mother formed The Plan: she would arrange for Jordan to meet Governor Kitzhaber. We all knew the truth—Mother wanted to meet the Governor!
Amazingly, she snagged an appointment and found herself (and, oh, by the way, Jordan!) in the office of the Governor on a cold March day.
During my mother’s visit with the Governor, she asked “pertinent” questions, such as: “How is Logan”? (his young son) and remarked, “my, what a nice office you have”. You know, an intellectual conversation…
Governor Kitzhaber rose to the occasion (on what must have been a politically slow day). Resting his hand on the shoulder of an impressionable boy, he pointed out photos of important political people. He even posed for photos in his private office, spending nearly 10, unhurried minutes with my mother and Jordan that day.
Time flies. 2010. Jordan Bishop became a football player and student at Oregon State University. And, after an absence of a few years, Governor Kitzhaber was about to return to his old job at the Capitol.
We never made a second visit to the Governor’s office, because, too soon, the years flew by; Jordan graduated from OSU and moved away. He works with “at risk” kids and their families in another State.
My mother is no longer with us, but I like to think she would be so pleased (ok-thrilled) with how he turned out…
I’m just not sure how she’d feel about his politics. After all, he’s a registered Democrat.