Sunday, May 26, 2013

hi, jesse

Associated Press file photo (I think)

Yesterday we were walking down the D Concourse at the Las Vegas airport, and there was Jesse Jackson crossing my path.  I couldn't help myself, I reached over to him and shook his hand, and we exchanged hellos and grins.  I'm still in awe of Jesse -- his oratorical skills, his passion, his place in the history of the civil rights movement and beyond.

This photo --  Jesse on left, Martin Luther King in center, Ralph Abernathy on the right -- was taken on April 3, 1968, the day before MLK was assassinated on that very spot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.  It's the motel balcony where I took that picture of my sister Joan standing last month (See my May 11 post -- "stax, burning love, etc. - Part 3").

Jesse Jackson would have no reason to know this, of course, but I had shaken his hand once before.  October 2002.  Jerry and I were seated on the platform at the Wellstone memorial service, and so was he.  There were no smiles that day.  It was good to see him again.

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