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WHEN PERSONAL HISTORY GETS BLURRED

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personal history

SENATOR MARK O. HATFIELD AND THE MUSEUM GUY

Before selfies you had to trust someone else with the job. Some shots worked out better than others.

On this day Senator Hatfield traveled to NW 14th and Everett in Portland, Oregon. He came to deliver his papers to the Oregon Historical Society.

What was it like meeting one of Oregon’s greats? He seemed like a normal guy.

One of my college classmates was the son of a politician and saw Mr. Hatfield many times over the years. He said he was impressed how well Hatfield adapted to the people in front of him.

He said he was the best at putting people at ease.

And that’s what he did at the OHS warehouse.

He could have skipped the whole thing and had a driver drop his stuff off while he lunched downtown, but he came onsite.

He could have ignored the staff and finished the transfer from the passenger seat of his car, but he engaged.

You’ve got to like a guy who agrees to a picture.

That’s part of personal history.

When his colleague Senator Packwood came in, the tone was different.

He delivered his material and seemed over-interested in being a good guy. He even took the crew out for coffee at the local Starbucks.

This was during a time of lots of attention toward the Senator.

The place was packed when we sat down, just a few of the fellas talking over coffee, except one of us had just resigned from the U.S. Senate.

Everyone there was looking over. It was the first time I realized how annoying unwanted attention could be. We sat in a bubble where it was okay for strangers to stare.

Mr. Packwood seemed used to it.

When you meet the famous, and infamous, how does it go?

About David Gillaspie
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