My dad and Hubert Humphrey

Scott’s Father’s Day tribute to his dad includes a picture of his father and Hubert Humphrey. Scott noted that the picture was taken not long after Humphrey had led the charge to retake the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party from the Communists between 1946 and 1948.

Around the same time as that picture was taken, my father, a socialist, was a leader in the movement to wrest control of certain union locals in Washington, D.C. from communist control. As part of that crusade, he spoke at meeting to rally anti-communist forces. Hubert Humphrey, fresh off his successful crusade in Minnesota, was the featured speaker.

My father spoke first. He was a quiet man at home, but a forceful and compelling public speaker. Once I heard him rev up low-paid workers for a confrontation (non-violent, of course) with a notoriously tough hospital official. I had never heard my father curse before, but a few choice expletives escaped his lips that night.

I’m pretty sure my father kept it clean on the night of the rally with Humphrey. However, I suspect he delivered a stemwinder.

When he was finished, it was Humphrey’s turn. The Senator began with high praise for my father’s presentation. He told the crowd, “I can’t say it any better than Bill Mirengoff just did.”

That didn’t stop Humphrey from trying, though. According to my father, the Senator proceeded to speak at considerable length. Humphrey knew no other way. To be fair, my father thought Humphrey did a bang up job.

Somewhere, I have a picture of my father and Humphrey shaking hands at the event. There might even be a clipping from a press report. Maybe I’ll try to dig this up in time for next Father’s Day.

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