1 Aug


John Dingell is DC living history, more correctly, living Congressional history.

Congress decided to pull a Tuesdays With Morry with him, you know, the book about sharing life with someone while they were still here rather than after when regrets are what navigate. The Energy & Commerce Committee hearing room, Rayburn Building, House side, Room 2123 is now named the John Dingell Room. This Room Dedication wasnt about politics for the Democrat representing Michigan’s 12th. It was about respect.

As long as I have been around Congress, I have seen him walking in and out of hearings on what my grandfather would call “his sticks”, arm braces. Moreso than ever before, our culture takes things, and people, for granted, especially in our twitter world, I am afraid, young pups of media tend to write John off. John’s curtness is due to nothing less than wisdom.

At his age, John’s brevity isnt from Old Age, it is ‘been there done that so many times your eyes would cross kiddo.’ And he has.

The best vignette of John for me was when I was in his office, a few weeks back, talking with staff while presenting my perspective on technology’s devastating impact on 2D IP, ID and Commerce along with my TITLE 17 edit folio that I delivered to key legislators (and then some and growing).

John’s office was my last folio drop.

My eyes drank up history on his walls. Wow. What I would give to sit with him for an hour and record history. Let me be frank… he has lived through the tail end of one century and the turn into the next. Moi, I tell the ‘Moses was my bassinet mate’ jokes about me… well, it is with humility, I offer that honor to John.

I will tell you why…

The more things change the more they stay the same. Life model’s havent changed just the young whippersnappers have. A chap I chat with from time to time said for him becoming 50 was his great equalizer, recalling with fondness his liberal days as a long haired hippie eventually turned Conservative and military having served in several theaters of war. I did offer him what comes out in my hair brush daily (and then grows back) if he had a hankering to relive his hippie days, with a twist, as a redhead.

Point of sharing is that I have witnessed young pups of media, hooligans with a hand taperecorder, disregard John as they push past him in the hall after a Young Gun, Gang Of 8 or 10 or 20 when the MAN who has been there done that seen the Good the Bad & the Ugly is walking at his metronome pace to and from his office daily. Talk of example to look up to. Talk about person to follow. Talk about Wikipedia…. that online write history by community… you realize John is WICKED PEDIA in the flesh if you catch him at a hearing where he sits, listens and in ONE line cuts through the witnesses crap to the Reality Check point.

The naming of a Hearing Room after him, at this time now, is brilliant and honor to a man I wish the kids who cover Congress would be forced to sit in his room and hear War Stories that will charm them to honor the halls they troll looking for stories, some real and some “gotcha.” 

Listen, if we want to change the tenor of Congress, us oldies need to lead. Thought? Pizza party, Mr. Dingle? Cameras and tape recorders required to live and learn about life before black & white TV, way back to the good old smoke signal days my boys tease me of coming from. Yeah, I got a million, starting with the Red C, I mean sea… Moses didnt part the waters, he parted Company(ies). Google glass? John’s call….

I have a sense a good friend or two on the Energy & Commerce committee could make this happen. Dibs on the first invite. AND dont forget, me listening to you talk about my questions I want to ask Faith, philanthropy, 2D IP, ID and Commerce…after all Joel Gray sang it best “Money makes the world go round… Life is a Cabaret.”

I promise no Dolly jokes… NOT!… just outed myself  😉 


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