Friday, July 25, 2008

Patrick J. Lucey

A decade ago, my husband was preparing to take me on a surprise trip to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary, both of which fall at the end of April. The secretive details of this mystery trip were held closely to my husband's vest as we anticipated what promised to be a wonderful journey regardless. Other than the travel agent helping with the arrangements, no one knew where we were going.

I had my suspicions, but I kept them to myself.

The Sunday before our departure, we were invited to join some good friends of ours for lunch. Our hostess had invited her cousin to join us.

Like me, our hostess, and her husband, long time friends of my husband from college days, had no idea where we were going on our upcoming trip, and she delighted in the prospect of guessing. Her cousin was invited simply because he happened to be "in town," and my husband, a former industrialist, had known him for many years.

That cousin was Pat Lucey.

Patrick J. Lucey.

Patrick Joseph Lucey was Democratic governor of the great state of Wisconsin from 1971-1977, when my husband knew him best, working with him in industry. In 1977, then President Jimmy Carter appointed Pat Lucey to become Ambassador to Mexico, a position he held until 1979. In 1980, he was tapped as a vice presidential candidate by Independent candidate John Anderson.

We had a delightful brunch, and spent much of it talking about his time as Ambassador to Mexico, and about Mexico City specifically, a city I had never seen, and the best restaurants there, sights to see and things to do.

Our trip a few days later? You guessed it. And the coincidence was too remarkable for words, so so did I.

Mexico City.


Mary said...

That's my grampa!
i really enjoyed your article :)

kathy riordan said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Mary. Thanks for your comment.

toni said...

Very interesting! My great-aunt whom is well in her 90s told me about Lucey, and how they almost got married. My great-aunt's name is Rosalinda Valls. I wonder if he remembers her.

kathy riordan said...

Very interesting, Toni. Thanks for your comment.

Zip Raasch said...

Having been born & raised in Ladysmith, Wisconsin and a Graduate of Edgewood College, I was excited to learn Governor Lucey was appearing in Portland, Oregon, while on the Presidential campaign trail in 1980.
As Vice Presidential Candidate Lucey came into the Headquarters, I approached and politely asked for an autograph on the Wisconsin highway map I had brought along, one from when he was still Governor and which had his mass produced photograph and signature.
Ambassador Lucey smiled and joked, "But I already have," referring to the printed reproduction of his signature. I still have that autographed map, framed along with a Anderson-Lucey campaign button.
R. Zip Raasch