Barbara Boxer's recent announcement of her decision not to seek reelection took me back to 1991. My late wife, Senator Pat Wiggins, spent the best part of that year working in a cavernous San Francisco office as the Assistant Financial Officer of Barbara's first Senate campaign. Her job consisted of processing the thousands of small checks that flowed in from women, women's groups and a sprinkling of men from around the country who wanted to see more women elected to the U.S. Senate. (1992 may have been the Year of the Woman, but 1991 was the year of women supporting women).
Most nights, Pat stayed at a San Rafael bed and breakfast owned by a friend of Barbara's, at a cost of most of her meager salary. When I could, I joined her. Sometimes, when I would visit Pat's office, Barbara, who was then a Congresswoman, would pop in. She was Pat's age - cute, dynamic and very short. Barbara would tour the various offices, saying hello to everybody, give a brief pep talk, and be off to whatever was the next stop on her hectic schedule. Once or twice, Pat and I were comped to one of her San Francisco fundraisers. At one of them, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Cybill Shepard. For a Hollywood star, she looked acutely uncomfortable to be out in public.
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"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner