Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 4, 2014

HAMILTON: Quarterback Congressman Jack Kemp and the art of perspective

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — As a part of the photo-ops that were made available, any and all candidates for public office could go, one at a time, on to the stage where the prospective prez and vp were and have their picture taken.

I cued up to go and watched as each candidate stood next to Kemp; he give them a quick look, took his left hand, grabbed the candidate by the wrist and then lifted their right arm above their heads. I expected no more than that when my turn came.

As I stood on the stage next to Kemp, he reached down and grabbed my wrist and then looked not only into my face, but did so in a manner as if he was looking into my brain. We both stood motionless for more than a few moments.

Kemp squinted his eyes as if we were both lost, and left me feeling as though I didn’t belong there. After a moment or two, his eyes left my brown face and head full of black hair and gazed upon my suit. It was then that he saw my nametag that indicated that I was running for senator. He then grinned and said, “Oh, you’re a candidate,” and then with a swift and powerful lift, he almost dislocated my shoulder as he raised the arm of my shorter-than-average body high above my head and held it there as it throbbed in pain. I left that stage massaging it and wondering what had just happened.

As I rejoined the audience, I saw a few of the bowed, belly-bulging and bald Bills black alumna looking at me and smiling; and it was then that I realized what had happened. I was not what Kemp expected to see on the stage that day, and it was because of where in time and space from where we had both come.

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