Sunday, June 11, 2006

Governor's chair

This is the kind of thing that Larry taught me: Set up the shot, grab it and go.

This is my nephew Randy sitting at Gov. Evan Bayh's desk in the Indiana Statehouse in the mid-1990s. At the time I was working for a newspaper in Southern Indiana and had some sort of assignment to cover at the Statehouse. My nephew had completely lost interest in high school in an Indianapolis suburb, and he was nearing dropout status, so I breezed by the school that morning and made a pitch to the principal that would have made Phil Silvers smile with glee.

I was permitted to take Randy out of school to accompany me on my Statehouse mission on the condition that he wrote a report about it. At the end of the day, I stood over him like an old school, cigar-chomping editor and haranged him until he banged out an essay on a typewriter in the media room of the Statehouse.

Earlier, while we were touring the stately old Statehouse, we asked if we could take a peek inside the governor's office. Sure, why not, the security person said. The guv was not in anyway. So we were ushered into the empty room with the admonishment of looking-not-touching, sure-sure, and then the security person became busy with something else outside the room.

After a few minutes of ooh'ing and ah'ing at the trappings of these gubernatorial digs, I said, "Hey Randy, sit behind the desk. Yes. Yes! Hurry. Just do it!!" By the time Randy had alighted his butt on that chair, I had already set my zone focus using the F-stop (Larry's training), and of course the flash was powered up and ready.


We both left the Governor's Office with a courteous "Thank You!" and very subtle smirks on our faces!

You are such a wag. Of course you had to do that. I'm certain that you either turned the boy academically and success became his or, like his uncle and associates, he has become something of a legend, shining on the fringes of polite society. Either way, you changed his attitudes, I'm sure. Kinda like throwing flames and smoking hemp and sleeping behind the pillars at the Lincoln Memorial or something. Or, maybe purloining neon sign parts from gangster warehouses or blowing stuff up. Stuff like that is sure to test the mettle, sharpen the senses, blur the lines. In any event, the gals love it.

No lying ladies. Of course that sort of stuff turn your heads. We know, that's why we do it.
He's now training to become a Border Patrol agent.
I love the composure and dignity of the "governor."

Personally, I was always very impressed by black rubber circles and squiggles on the high school parking lot.
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