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Last night, I spoke to my grandfather for the first time in many months. The occasion was Father’s Day. “Happy Father’s Day,” I said to him. (My grandfather is also a father).
My grandfather was happy to hear from me. He refused to discuss Wisconsin, his health, my cousin’s upcoming wedding; he just wanted news from the nation’s capital. “What’s going on in Washington, other than a big funeral?” he asked. He was speaking, of course, about Tim Russert. “I’m speaking, of course, about Tim Russert,” he explained.
I told him about the general depression at the news, the many tributes, the cautious speculation about Russert’s replacement at Meet the Press.
My grandfather rarely misses an opportunity to impart to me some career advice. This was no exception. “I think you should apply for an internship,” my grandfather said. (My grandfather often tells me that I should apply for “an internship.”) “That weatherman, Willard Something,* started out as an intern,” my grandfather continued. “He was also the original Clarabell the Clown.** You should write a story about him. I know you need all the help you can get.***”
When I explained to my grandfather that I already had a job, and so didn’t need an internship, he insisted I should always be looking for something better. “Oh hell, you should just apply for Russert’s job,” my grandfather said. “You women are taking over everything anyway.”
** Ronald McDonald
*** This part is, in fact, true.
“Young & Old, Let’s Get it On!” by Alpha Tango Bravo / Adam Baker