The news of Ted Kennedy's death is everywhere. People can't stop talking about the impact he made in the Senate or his legacy. I'm not about to be one of those people, but I do have a story to tell about Ted Kennedy...
Political celebrity sitings in DC are common. However, I'm never at the right place at the right time to see the celebrities of DC. The closest I've gotten to someone famous is motorcade. (Oh...and the time I passed Condi Rice running along the Potomac one early Friday morning.)
Another time I was out running on Capitol Hill early in the morning - I'm talking before the sun was up. When I was triathlon training, I used to leave my house around 5:45am two mornings a week for a 3-4 mile run. I timed my runs precisely so that I got out onto Pennsylvania Ave SE right as the Marines were beginning their run. This was for safety purposes. I didn't like running in the dark by myself. Tagging behind the Marines made me feel safe.
One cold morning I was huffing and puffing around the Hill when I was greeted by an elderly man in shorts, a hoodie, and tube socks standing on the corner by the Senate office buildings. He said something along the lines of "you're looking strong; keep it up" to me. And I said thank you in return and kept running. A few steps later it dawned on me that: 1) he was important judging from the security force in his presence; 2) he acted like a professional politician - cheering me on with a smile on his face as if I were able to cast a vote for him right then and there; and 3) he looked SO familiar. It wasn't until a few hours later when I saw HIM on CNN that I realized I had bumped into Ted Kennedy that morning. For the record, he is MUCH shorter than I expected him to be. And he was extremely friendly and chatty at 5:45am.
Without even realizing it, I got some encouragement and praise from Ted Kennedy himself early one morning on Capitol Hill before the sun came up.