Newspaper Articles

Charleston Gazette-Mail
May 1, 1960


In Reverse

Brinkley? The TV Guy? Gee!

By L. T. Anderson

We were just standing there, at the entrance to the old post office (there ought to be a better name for that building) waiting for Sen. Humphrey to start speaking when my wife began to tremble.

Since she already has given her endorsement to Sen. Kennedy (he's such a nice looking boy, she says) I couldn't account for her agitation.

Unable to speak, she pointed weakly toward a pale man in sun glasses who looked something like a rich Neil Boggs.

Her face twitching, she finally whispered hoarsely:

"It's David Brinkley."

And indeed it was, as big as life.

I don't mind saying I felt pretty damn sophisticated as I sauntered over and introduced myself. I had little to say, however, because I was desperately trying to think of something devilishly clever so I'd be quoted on television. I couldn't think of a thing until after we parted, I with a bashful "goodbye," and he with a pleasant grunt.

Unlike Jean, I'm accustomed to the hordes of correspondents, columnists, poll takers, photographers, television personalities, politicians and observers who have swarmed into West Virginia for the Humphrey-Kennedy fracas.

The fact is, no West Virginian can call his lapel his own. He is badgered on the street, cornered on the job, backed into corners. His hand is shaken. Buttons are pinned on him, and his opinions are gravely recorded.

His words, sometimes slightly garbled, turn up on the front pages of remote newspapers. He is thrust in front of cameras, smiling nervously. He is asked questions.

Somewhere, in smoke filled rooms, candidacies may soar and plummet on the answers. An unemployed McDowell County miner may have the fate of the nation in his hand, and a Summers St. merchant may eventually pick the President.

West Virginia, for a glorious few weeks, has become the center of national attention.

But on May 11, like the dawn mists, the reporters and columnists and personalities and candidates and their cameras and pads and pencils and poll sheets will all fade away.

Then the only man who'll ask your opinion about anything will be your barber, and he probably won't listen to your answer. He has troubles of his own.

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