But what of all those others whose names adorn buildings all over town? I mean folks like Jamie Whitten, or Wilbur Cohen or Robert Weaver, whose names adorn
The thing is, I knew all three of these guys. Well: "know" is too strong; we never sat on the bank and watched the bluebottles buzz. But I have specific memories of crossing their paths in my reporter days, and I could tell you one or more stories--not particularly good stories, but stories--about each of them (takeaway: Cohen, Social Security; Weaver, first black cabinet member; Whitten, cotton subsidies and unbridled racist).When you reach an age when the folks you know have their names inscribed on buildings, you know you are old indeed.
Afterthought: my friend Rusty tells me a cute story in the Washington building department. It's about the time when President Lyndon Johnson (who?) called Chief Justice Earl Warren (who?) and asked him to head a commission investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It is said that Earl Warren agreed, but only on condition that Johnson create a single center for all judicial administration activity--presumably what is now the Thurgood Marshall building, over by Union Station. Johnson is said to have said--as long as you don't find me guilty of the murder, we've got a deal.