Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fond Memories ... Stephanie Tubbs Jones

Cleveland (and others) are mourning the sudden passing of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (STJ). This is a difficult post to write. I, like many, have lots of STJ stories to tell and good stuff too.

My sister and I, in particular, loved to share STJ stories. Most recently we'd talk about how STJ was a ride or die Clinton supporter. We were a bit perplexed by her staunch position. But if you are going to support someone, you should support them right?

My sister is in the same sorority as STJ. And my sis also lives in DC. So come Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Weekend, it was a given that STJ would throw a nice gathering and she would be seen around town during that wknd having a good time too.

I'll miss her smile! It was infectious as was her positive spirit.

I may even pull out the proclamation that her office presented to me in 2002 for producing and distributing the complimentary CleveEvents list, a weekly electronic listing of events in the Greater Cleveland area.

But I can't leave out a most memorable time involving the congresswoman. It was September 11, 2001. I was working as a researcher/producer in the newsroom @ WCPN/ideastream in Cleveland. As the morning television programs displayed images of what was going on in New York and D.C., I began to scramble to contact members of congress who might be in Washington at that time. Somehow amidst the chaos, I was able to get STJ on her cell phone and of course, we went LIVE w/the call. She told us that she was okay and she told us what she knew at the time - which was not much because this was very early on; still morning. But for her to take the time to talk to us and for her constituents to hear her voice was comforting.

What will Clevelanders do for the Annual 11th Congressional District Labor Day Weekend Parade and Picnic in a few days; heck, what will the Dems do @ the upcoming DNC in Denver? No matter the event, STJ's presence (or lack of it) will be missed. Sorely missed.

And not to make this a foot note, but STJ's passing along w/that of longtime Cleveland councilwoman Fannie Lewis (I used to live in her district, Hough, for several years) last week is a devastating blow for Cleveland politics.

I'm feeling a little heavy ...

Additional resource:
Do you have any memories w/the congresswoman? Do share.

NOTE: image from AP

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