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Gregory Humphrey Makes The New York Times!

July 6, 2019

That headline sums up the energy today which flows from the desk of Caffeinated Politics.

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CreditDiana Walker, via The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images

I made The New York Times‘ Daily Newsletter regarding the campaign rally of President Bush (41) on Oct 31, 1992 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. They had asked for campaign memories of special rallies and I sent them a summation of the day.  I took my family to see an old-fashioned mode of travel for a presidential campaign.  While what I sent was many paragraphs long, and truly allowed for a reader to feel the event in words, only a snippet was used by the paper.   I am glad, however, the sentence they used contains the mood of why that rally remains my favorite of the many I have been fortunate enough to have observed.

I was elated when the Times asked July 3rd for permission to quote me. My best friend made the NYT over two decades ago for running the New York City marathon, and now I have made it to the ‘Gray Lady’ too!! We now have checked those items off our bucket lists.

It is a very good day as the NYT has been my favorite daily newspaper since arriving in Sturgeon Bay in 1982 for work at WDOR.

For the record—and for my readers–this was the whole summation of what was submitted to the NYT.

October 31, 1992, was a cold and blustery day across Wisconsin. Light snow flurries swirled through the air as many thousands stood for hours at the old train depot in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The presidential campaign that year was winding down, and even though President Bush was campaigning with David McCullough’s latest book “Truman ” in his hand while reminding voters that he too could win the election as Harry did in 1948, the polls were all indicating the opposite. In spite of that there were still campaign stops to be made, as Bush was traveling Wisconsin by train, while working over-time at trying to making his Truman moment come true.

I had secured tickets for my mom and dad along with most of my immediate family, including nieces and nephews who wished to attend what turned out to be the most incredible campaign rally I have ever witnessed. My Mom and Dad surely had doubts about standing in line for several hours to see the event, but I also know they loved it. They talked about that day for the rest of their lives.  It was that same train station in 1944 where my mom’s family had arrived from Ozone, Arkansas.  

We had arrived very early which allowed us to stand in the very front near the podium allowing the young ones in my family to have a moment they will never forget. I have been lucky to be up front at many of these election moments over the years, but nothing compares to the sights and sounds of President Bush (41) arriving on the train to greet the people. Being a lover of history this was a moment that made time seem to move backwards as the loud engine and sharp whistle brought a President to that little depot. I had at times wondered if my folks thought my involvement in politics was worth the time and energy which I had put into it. But that day as I watched their faces I had my answer. This had impressed them!

At about 5:00 P.M. off in the distance the lonesome sound of the train was heard and the crowd exploded with cheers. As the big locomotive brought the long line of train cars into the depot the President and his family were waving and ready to embrace the folks who were friendly in spite of the national mood. The crowd was highly partisan, as it should be, for such an occasion. I was mesmerized by the historical and grand moment that this old-fashioned campaign rally had generated. Nothing will ever surpass that event.

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