Same job, different uniform.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Velvet Howitzer

My former boss and friend, Helen Chenoweth-Hage, was killed in a car wreck in Nevada.

A woman of supreme character and warmth, she was probably the most misjudged person I have known. Maybe in her death her friends and enemies will meet to salute the tender-hearted, tough-as-nails Congressman and listen to the story her example tells and let go the rancor.

A few of us knew her. We'll be thinking of ways to remember her.

See you on the Other Side, Helen.

ADDED: In case you haven't yet, go the comments. There are the stories there that I had hoped would be told.

And Ms. Lane brings Mrs. C. back to life.

MORE: The Washington Post rakes us through the mud with a bitter, classless article that wouldn't pass for anything less than a scathing editorial in any magazine other than the Post.

Labels: , ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati


Blogger Hobster said...

...drat, thought that's what I heard the Newschannel 7 dorks say. Knew if it was true, you'd have it.

Very sorry, girlf. :(

Monday, October 02, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would probably have known nothing of her if it wasn't for you. Thank you for showing me over ten years ago what an amazing women she was.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Blogger Jeb said...

Girlfriday - I'm so sorry. I had no idea until I read a press release from Crapo just moments ago. I'm so saddened by this. I kept expecting to see her back in politics here in Idaho. I can only hope she is blissfully enjoying the company of her husband again.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

Things I remember about Helen:
~ Her telling my 5th-grade Sunday school class we could call her Mrs. C.
~ Getting my very own, grown-up Christmas card from her that same year.
~ Her deep concern and care for people way beyond her own family.
~ Waking up at church camp to her tickling my toes and saying "time to get up, joyful!" while wearing a nightshirt with some phrase about being a morning person.
~ Opening a beautiful American flag blanket she had sent as a graduation gift.
~ Hugging ... she gave amazing hugs.
I wrote more on my blog.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blogger Unknown said...

The Congressman was one of my favorite characters. Outspoken, charming, funny, sweet and endearing, she was also a person of deep character. I enjoyed listening to her confound people who said silly things such as "surely, surely, you cannot believe that?!" She not only thought differently about many, many issues than did the Herd, she was willing to take the shots for openly disagreeing with the Groupthink. Was she always right? Not even close, but she was always honest with herself, with her supporters and with her God. As conservative as my politics run, I still found myself disagreeing with her a lot, but who cares? She had a way of disagreeing without being disagreeable. And she was right often enough to make listening to her well worth my time. She was an original, and we shall not see her like again, damn the bad luck.

And, GF, I am profoundly sorry for your loss.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blogger ihearttexas said...

I didn't know Helen as well as any of my siblings. I was only 11-years-old during her first congressional campaign. But I do remember always thinking it was pretty cool that we'd been to her house, would go to her campaign headquarters, and that I saw her at church every Sunday.

In 1996, as an eighth grader, I entered my first year of public school. This was also the year of Helen's second run for congress. Being a fan of an "ultra-conservative," right wing, born-again Christian politican, isn't exactly cool in Jr. High, but for some reason I didn't care. I'm in my third month of school EVER, and I decide to wear her campaign shirt on the day of the elections. I'm sure I got stares and snickers all day, but what stands out in my head is that three of the most popular boys at my school approached me and began calling me Helen. They continued this all through Jr. High, maybe even once or twice in high school.

They did it to embarrass me, to make me mad, to get a rise out of me, and it never worked. I didn't care that I liked Helen. We knew her. She was a Deacon at my church. She was my sister's friend. My other sister called her "Mrs. C." We even got a sister from her (but that's a different story entirely).

Thinking about the sea of faces I would see at her memorial service on Monday at the church of my childhood, I realize that she was an inextricable part of my life, even though I was never fortunate enough to personally know her. She connected my family to people we would have never otherwise met, and probably changed our lives in ways we don't understand.

As I've told people here about Helen, the best way I can describe her is by saying that she is as much a part of Idaho's political and cultural landscape as Ann Richards is to Texas. Both had gumption, both spoke off the cuff, and both were genuine women who wanted to positively impact their states.

I am very sorry, girlfriday. You have always been her champion, even her grandchildren's babysitter, and I wish I could be there to give you a big hug. I love you.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Blogger Jeb said...

That's a great photo of Helen, GF.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

Well said, texas...

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Post a Comment

<< Home