I took some time to visit family in Florida but was kept busy, before and since.

I think we’ve all learned about someone, or details about them, only after they die. That was the case with Harris Wofford.

I mean, many people knew of him as senator who married his same-sex partner who was 50 years younger – but what about all his civil rights achievements, and credit from some for getting two presidents elected?

ticketSIDEBAR: A 90-year-old marrying a 40-year-old – who’d been partners for 15 years, since they were 75 and 25 – reminded me of when NBC’s A Closer Look with Faith Daniels visited Miami Beach in 1992 to tape (yes, tape!) talk show episodes. I drove my mother down to the beach and we sat in the audience for two shows. One involved May/December romances.

Comic actress and singer Martha Raye’s husband Mark Harris was one of the guests. His claim to fame was becoming a frequent guest on Howard Stern’s radio show, due to the marital age difference. (Raye didn’t appear. She had been sick for years and died in late 1994.)

1992 Faith Daniels Mark Harris
There were no selfies back then, so you know I could not have taken these pictures!

In case you don’t remember, or never knew, Raye was known for the size of her mouth, large in proportion to her face, earning her the nickname The Big Mouth. Later, she referred to that in a long series of TV commercials for Polident denture cleaner, saying, “So take it from The Big Mouth: new Polident Green gets tough stains clean!”

P.S. I have no idea who any of Faith Daniels’ other guests were, or what the other episode was about. The closest person to Oedipus I knew of posed with me for another minute of fame and was on The Howard Stern Show!

FINALLY, BACK TO THE STORY, WITH APOLOGIES FOR ANY DISRESPECT: Unfortunately, the Harris Wofford obituary I heavily researched using several sources had to have some cuts, but that’s the nature of the business.

This is the link to what ran on page 1 of the Feb. 1 issue, and this is his entire op-ed from The New York Times on his marriage, called “Finding love again, this time with a man.” I really wanted to use a few more paragraphs and regret it couldn’t happen.

harris wofford

I also continued doing a lot of copy-editing.

The Feb. 8 issue contained a few short stories I’d written just before I left town.

One of the big stories was this one about new school requirements I hadn’t known about until I returned:

NJ

So, for the first time, I got to go out and interview people for the weekly “Street Talk” segment. (These are the latest examples of it.)

I had to get three people to give their opinions on (generically) requiring LGBTQ studies in middle- and high schools. The people also had to give me their name, neighborhood and occupation, and let me take a picture of them! It was good experience for someone who has never liked approaching strangers.

You’ll see what I came up with after it’s published at the end of the week!

Click here to return to the PGN, 2019: Copy Editor, Writer, Reporter page.

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