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My Brush with 'Greatness'

I say "greatness" with cynical sarcasm for a reason: I once met Mitch McConnell.

He was having dinner with a local businessman in my hometown in Kentucky, one of the few
wealthy people in that town. The mother of my best friend was the nurse for the businessman's
elderly and disabled wife, and my friend and I had stopped by the house after school. This was
right around the election of 1996, and I was a teenager with zero knowledge of politics (or much
of anything to be honest) and did not have a clue who McConnell was at the time.

McConnell was friendly enough, though he seemed kind of shy and awkward and we did not talk
for very long. But he thought it was awesome that we shared the name Mitch, and laughed about it.
Then he gave me a small roll of stickers from his campaign that said only "Stick with Mitch"
and told me to give them to my girlfriend.

Later on, my late Grandfather found out and gave me my first real education in politics.
Grandpa was a "Roosevelt Democrat" and hated the Republican Party (which is quite a big deal for
someone in KY), and had nothing nice to say about Mr. McConnell. Grandpa loved Clinton (as all
sane people should) and tried to get me to throw the stickers way. But since they didn’t mention
politics or the GOP, I kept them. I still had a few when I moved to California after college, but I think
I lost them in one of my moves.

Now, fifteen years later, I am oft times disgusted that I share a name with McConnell and that
I once shook his hand. But at least I got some clever stickers out of my brush with "greatness"
in the form of Yurtle the Turtle.

Keep swinging, brother.
 Mitch (not a turtle)


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