In the newsroom the other day, we were discussing the most famous (or notorious) people we "know."
My usual contribution is usually Bobby Rahal, winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1986, who sat next to me in Study Hall when I was a freshman. A sophomore, he spent the hour, day after day, doodling pictures of race cars.
There was another connection that I had forgotten. However, as we get closer to Election Day, I am reminded every day of my link to William Ayers (right).
I realize that this revelation will put me on some list or another, but in the interest of full disclosure -- and since I haven't posted for nearly a week -- I will provide some details.
Sometime in the early 1960s (probably 1963-66), I met Bill Ayers in his parents' home. He was the older brother of one of my grade-school friends in suburban Chicago. I encountered him only a time or two, because he was 10 years older and away at college (where he was helping form Students for a Democratic Society or some such). However, I do remember that it was through Bill Ayers that I first saw a Peace Sign button; he explained to us pre-teens what it stood for.
Within a couple of years, Bill Ayers became nationally known as a fugitive member of the Weather Underground. From time to time, as middle-schoolers with time to kill, we would go into the Post Office and look at his Wanted poster. Weird.
Years later, Ayers surfaced, became a professor and (pick one) acquaintance/associate/co-conspirator with Barack Obama. Meanwhile, I haven't seen his brother John -- we gravitated to different circles in high school -- but once in 35 years, at our high school reunion more than 15 years ago.
End of story.