Jennings Randolph Elected To Senate In 1958

Charleston Gazette
November 6, 1958

Democrat Celebration Is Big Flop
By Terry Marchal - Staff Writer

Nobody knew there was going to be a Democratic Victory Parade Wednesday until an hour or so before it assembled at the Courthouse.

It was a pretty bad parade, even in a city which stages poor parades as a matter of course.

There were 14 cars lined up on Virginia St. in front of the Courthouse. All bore placards identifying them as Democratic Cars, and all of them looked like proper Democratic cars except the baby blue Cadillac which stood empty at the head of the line.

The cars just sat there. All, except the Cadillac, were filled with people, mostly women. Once in a while someone would lean from the window and yell a braye yell. On these occasions, the onlookers would shift their eyes curiously toward the noise. There wa a singular absence of enthusiasm.

Of course; nobody knew there was going to be a Democratic Victory Parade.

The lethargy continued unabated even when a cab drew up abreast of the Cadillac and Jennings Randolph stepped out. He helped his wife and son, Frank, into the lead car and looked into the faces of The People - about 65 of them, including a few who stand in front of the Courthouse seven days week. The People didn't say anything and neither did Randolph.

The new senator was spared what might have been an embarrassing moment when some photographers appeared and asked him to stand in a Victory Pose. He obliged, without changing an inscrutable - smile he had worn since leaving the cab.

Joe Burdett was pretty scrutable. He stood a dozen paces from the Cadillac, and would look nervously toward it, and then toward the dingier cars in the rear. By the time the photographers had finished, he had edged silently to a point right beside the Cadillac.

There were no other Democratic in sight, although some may have been inside some of the cars.

A woman began to clutch anxiously at the arms of the photographers and ask them to take a picture of Burdett. Jim Sprouse, a Democrat who didn't get nominated for the House of Delegates said it was a shame there hadn't been some more preparation. Hank Patton, a policeman, said he was happy about the Democratic landslide, and while they were talking Burdett got into the Cadillac. The photographers left.

One onlooker, who wore an Army overcoat, remarked that Randolph and Mrs. Randolph look like brother and sister, which they do. A Sheriff's deputy with a spot of egg yolk on his lapel agreed and then turned and walked briskly into the Courthouse, plainly a man with important work to do.

All at once the man who was behind the wheel of the Cadillac began to blow his horn and the other drivers joined in, and it began to sound like a real parade. People in the cars began to yell and wave their placards, and a woman leaned from on car and yelled "Hooray for Randolph."

Some policemen on motorcycles started their sirens and began to lead the Cadillac away. All the horns were blowing and people in the cars were waving, but nobody in the crowd outside the Courthouse said anything. Eight cars went roaring off behind the Cadillac, but the next one in line stopped for the red light at Court St. and held the others up. The traffic got tangled and the first eight cars already had disappeared before the remaining cars moved up Virginia St. By this time, the only people left at the Courthouse were the people who stand outside the Courthouse all the time.

All things considered, though, it probably was a far snappier parade than the Republicans could have whipped up on Nov. 4, 1958, even with advance notice.

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