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Election memories

November 12, 2008 - Jim Bartholow
The excitement generated by this year's election was unprecedented for sure. But I recall another historic presidential election — 1960. I was only 10, but I recall our class at John Dewey Elementary in Warrensville Hts. was abuzz about John F. Kennedy running for president. His candidacy got us interested in politics and how the nation is run. I guess it was the charisma generated by JFK. He was young, had a stylish wife, a beautiful family, and was Catholic. His opponent was the dour Vice President Nixon, symbol of an older generation, surely not our generation. We cheered the day after Election Day to celebrate Kennedy's victory. I felt the same way the day after this year's Election Day. Barack Obama generates an excitement not normally seen in politics. I hope that burst of energy translates into change and progress for our nation. As a reporter I covered a number of elections and as an editor worked in the newsroom on many election nights. I remember nervous candidates in the hallways of the Washington County Courthouse, waiting for results from the board of elections. Interviewing was a challenge once the results come in because either the winner was being congratulated by a sea of well-wishers, or the loser wanted to exit the courthouse as soon as possible rather than submit to an interview after a crushing defeat. I loved it, though, because this was news and it's what you live for as a reporter. I look back with pride in covering Marietta's 1975 city elections when voters brought three women aboard - Margaret Yeager, Jane Chovan and Nancy Hollister, whose career in politics was just beginning. Nancy went on to serve as Marietta's mayor, state rep, lientenant governor, and even a few days as governor.

Veterans Day I never served in the military, but as Veterans Day passed I was struck by the compelling articles in our Stories of Service section that appeared in Tuesday's paper. Knowing some of those who served or are serving makes the reading all that much more compelling. Also, reading these stories reminded me of the sacrifices, and opportunities, miliary service opened for my dad, father-in-law, and uncle. They never talked much about their service. My dad was a firefighter at a naval base in upstate New York and put that training to use as a volunteer firefighter after World War II. My father-in-law fudged about his age so he could enlist in the Army; he ended up being a driver for Gen. Omar Bradley and boy did he have some stories to tell. My uncle never talked about his service in WWII. It wasn't until his funeral that I even knew he earned a purple heart.

Herb Score's passing I felt a sadness at Tuesday's news that longtime Cleveland Indian Herb Score died. He was an awesome pitcher (20-9 in 1956 and a two-time all-star). I remember listening to the game the night he was hit in the eye with a line drive off the bat of Yankee Gil MacDougald. Then, as a broadcaster for 34 years, Herb described the action of some truly awful Cleveland teams. He rarely mentioned that he played the game at such a high level, opting instead to be eyes and ears for fans by sticking to descriptions of the games. Through it all, Herb stayed objective, non-critical, and always an Indians backer. Hearing his voice let you know life was pretty good; it was summer, the Tribe was playing, and if they didn't win tonight, there was always tomorrow. I really enjoyed hearing Herb Score.


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