Hey Senator

It’s been seven and a half years. I didn’t know Paul well, but I knew what he stood for, and what he meant to Minnesota, and what he meant to me, a Minnesota transplant who cared deeply about education rights and the future of the country.

WellstoneAnd I knew how it felt to hear he went down. That he was gone. Forever.

It’s no wonder I still feel chills when I hear Mason Jennings’ “The Ballad of Paul and Sheila.” And when I think of what could have been – what role Wellstone would play in today’s government, where it’s hard to trust either side, where we’ve all become so disenchanted with the story and the acting that we’ve forgotten what the roles stood for in the first place.

To make the nation better. To keep things honest. For us. And for our kids.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I still miss Paul Wellstone.

October morning; little plane on the forest floor.
Up on the TV between a rerun and another war.
Here in a hotel, trying to make some sense of this.
Two thousand miles from my family in Minneapolis.

Hey Senator, I wanna say,
all the things you fought for did not die here today
Hey Senator, I’m gonna do,
all the things I can to live my life more like you lived.

-Mason Jennings, “The Ballad of Paul and Sheila”

This was lovingly handwritten on June 18th, 2010