Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Rising Sun

My name is Bob Meek. I'm a writer. The first person I wrote for was Hubert H. Humphrey, a former Vice President (1965-1969), who also served as a United States Senator from Minnesota (1949-1965 and 1971-1978). I wrote for Humphrey in 1975 and 1976. Political speeches. Graduation speeches. Letters. News releases.

Humphrey embodied optimism. I listened to him deliver political speeches dozens of times from 1970 to 1974. I hung on his every word. I marveled at the breadth and detail of his knowledge.

Humphrey had grown up in South Dakota during the Great Depression (the first one). He worked behind the counter in his dad's pharmacy. They knew their world depended on customers. Times were tough. Jobs and farm income were hard to come by. Long-time customers would come in for their medicines and be short on the cash to pay for them. Hubert's dad was generous in extending credit.

One of the Senator's favorite quotations during the recessions of the early 1970's came from Carl Sandburg, the great American poet:

"I see America, not in the setting sun of a black night of despair ahead of us, I see America in the crimson light of a rising sun fresh from the burning, creative hand of God. I see great days ahead, great days possible to men and women of will and vision."
Carl SandburgUS biographer & poet (1878 - 1967)

Humphrey would conclude: As we will it so shall it be. A nation without a vision shall perish. A people with hope will triumph.

Good words for our times.

No comments:

Post a Comment