Friday, September 27, 2013

I met WHO?

I started this unionist work to be a part of a movement to improve things at the hospital and as a result, I have been invited into coworker's living rooms and lives, I have developed wonderful friendships, and I have traveled  places, and met people, that I would have never imagined.
I have been to Washington several times, Baltimore, and will soon be in Chicago and San Diego.
I have met the Governor and our US and State Senators and Representative several times, all kinds of Organized Labor Giants and Community Leaders.
I have spoken before National Labor Relations Board and the AFL-CIO in Washington, at State AFT and AFL-CIO Conventions and to the National Federation of Nurses.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I've been mistaken for someone else.

All that being said, I was not expecting what came yesterday.
I have been at the Connecticut AFL-CIO Convention the last three days and often, President John Olsen, himself a labor giant, will pause to recognize someone in the hall.  So yesterday, he paused, recognized Ted Kennedy, and mentioned that he would say a few words at the upcoming fundraising reception for the United Labor Agency, which meets the human service needs of workers and their families.
I thought, "boy he's got a famous name."

Shortly after that, I was standing at the reception with AFT CT President Melodie Peters and VP Steve McKeever, when this Ted Kennedy came by to say hello.
Melodie asked him, "Do you know John Brady, he represents the registered nurses of Backus Hospital?"
"Nice to meet you John," he said, we shook hands and he asked about the hospital and who we represent both at Backus and elsewhere.
We spoke for several minutes, then he moved on to speak with others.

I made some silly comment to Melodie and Steve about famous names, because one of my sons is named Tom Brady.

When it came time for Ted Kennedy to speak, John Olsen spoke about his family and I suddenly realized.
THE Ted Kennedy!

You have to understand, going up in an Irish Catholic family in the 60s, the Church hierarchy was Jesus, the Pope, and the Kennedys, and not necessarily in that order.

I was so excited that I called my wife who said, "That's nice, hey, could you go to Stop and Shop on the way home?"

I represent the greatest group of people in the world, people who give their heart and soul every day in the care of others.
As a result, it has opened up a world of new experiences, but my better half has a way of reminding me of my place.
It's the place of all of us really.
Me, you, or a Kennedy, our place is to be of service to each other.

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