It was with great sadness that I read about the death of Senator Paul Simon.
Though always a fan of his thoughtful politics and respectful demeanor, I particularly have fond memories of the time I met him in person one chance evening.
I was on a Northwestern University dorm-sponsored scavenger hunt back in the early 90’s, and while traversing the cold streets of downtown Chicago, one fellow in our team of eight shouted out “That’s Paul Simon! Senator Simon!” It was a joyous outburst one might hear upon a sighting of celebrity, or an old friend, or a school teacher one cheerfully remembered. Especially to residents of Illinois, I learned, Paul Simon seemed to be a bit of all of that wrapped into one.
Along with his wife, Senator Simon — yes, wearing a bowtie, as was seemingly always the case — graciously stopped for us on the sidewalk on this wintry night, signed autographs, and posed with his arms warmly around us for a picture.
Some people simply exude an aura of kindness and integrity, and that would clearly include the late Senator Simon.
May he rest in peace, and may his family and close friends find strength and happiness in the memories of his life.