Saturday, December 17, 2005

saying goodbye to someone i hardly knew

Investigative Journalist Jack Anderson, 83, Dies

Someone I hardly knew, but looked up to a great deal, passed away today. Jack Anderson is a cousin of mine, but I've always known him just as a "great uncle." I've only met Jack a few times, but I have been very aware of him my whole life. When I was a little girl he had a political column that ran in the funnies section of the Washington Post. Every day I attempted to read his column, which was way over my head. But it always stuck with me that I was related to someone that was "smart" or "cool" enough to have his own column. As I've gotten older and discovered my own love and hopeful talent for writing, its never been lost on me that I am related to the famous and important Jack Anderson. Granted, he never got the fame Woodward and Bernstein got, but his work was always as important. He was my first lesson that not all people get the respect and attention they deserve.

My only true memory of Jack happened on TV. I think it happend on his own TV show, but I'll have to find someone who can verify that fact for me and fill in the rest of the details. But he was interviewing Senator Dole inside the Capitol building about how safe and secure the building was. He asked "so could someone get a gun in here?" And Senator Dole told him no, that the building was secure. And then Jack pulled a gun out of his pocket, and asked "What about this one?" The senator jumped a foot in the air. I was only 10 or 12 at the time, and excited to see my cousin on TV. But that was all I ever had to know about him to know that he's a cool guy.

I have fleeting memories of Jack from family events. He was a gray haired older man with a big voice and a lot to talk about. We have a ginormous family and so it wasn't possible to know much about every member of the family. But later on as an adult I ran into "Uncle Jack" at some political events and went up and introduced myself to him. I'd always say, "I'm Erin McBride" and then pause to see if he would take the bait. Each time he would stop, shake my hand and look me over to decide if I looked like one of those McBrides, or if my last name was just a coincidence. He always figured it out first that I was one of those McBrides and was very nice to me.

And on a sidenote, Tara of "Tara's Page" fame is also closely connected to Jack. Her father worked very closely with him for many years. I knew of Tara for years because of this, without actually ever knowing her. But now I know her just fine, and can't wait to start our European vacation together next week.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. dad talked him into that (it was his gun)! lol!

  3. ps--yes, your memory is right. he had taken it apart and put it back together after he got through security. afterwards he and dad both had there photos posted at all the security entrances with strict orders not to allow them into the building.


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