Thursday, May 31, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2074, May 31st, 2012

This blog editor with the late Senator at a function during the 2009 elections.  (Photo by Gort 42).


Former 20th District State Senator Charles Lemmond died Thursday at the age of 83. His death was announced by his long time aide who later succeeded him in the same office, Lisa Baker. Lemmond was an institution in Luzerne county law and politics. But before that, he and his wife Barbara were extremely active in the volunteer community throughout Luzerne County with a special concentration on the Back Mountain Memorial Library as well as Childsren’s issues. Politically, Lemmond first made his mark as a Luzerne County Judge. He was appointed to fill a term by Governor Richard Thornbugh. As a Luzerne County Judge, he had a sterling reputation for fairness and thoroughness. However he was defeated when he tried to seek a full ten year term because of the juggernaut they called the Democratic party of the 1980s. I remember the late Joe Tirpak who was County Chairman at the time saying, “The only thing wrong with him is that he isn’t one of ours”. He was defeated by then District Attorney Chester Muroski. Lemmond always presented himself in a very refined and dignified manner. That led some political operatives to underestimate him. When State Senator Frank O’Connell announced abruptly in 1985, nearly at the end of his second term that he was resigning, Lemmond entered the race for the Senate seat. Almost immediately, Charles Kirkwood, a hotel owner from the Poconos launched a tough campaign directed at the fact that the growing Poconos needed representation. His campaign operatives savagely attacked Lemmond as just the same old politico looking to advance himself. Lemmond fought back in a very reserved but determined manner. When the smoke had cleared, Lemmond won a convincing victory tallying up huge margins in Luzerne and Wyoming County as well as the upper tier counties of the district. Trouncing Kirkwood in the primary, Lemmond won the Special Election defeating Democrat Joe Bilbow. Elected to his own term in 1986, Lemmond never looked back. He was heavily involved in his district work but went about his efforts quietly. Lemmond would host visitors in his Harrisburg office and insisted they imbibe in a bottle of Hank’s Root Beer which he kept at the ready for constituent visitors. I had a few meetings with him in Harrisburg as did Mrs. LuLac. Out of town this week, Mrs. LuLac spied a Hank’s Root Beer display in Virginia and shared the story that a former State Senator from our area would serve that drink in his office. In all of the meetings we both had with Lemmond, there were other constants than the Root Beer. He’d be honest with you in terms of what he could do for your issue and you’d always get an answer within 48 hours. In later years, I’d see Lemmond at various campaign events which he chose very carefully. Lemmond was a curious mix of power and quiet leadership that is rare in Harrisburg and Washington these days. He never raised his voice to get attention, the attention always seemed to gravitate toward him. He was a combination of knowledge and power that he used for the good of his community. My personal opinion is that he would have preferred to remain a Judge. But fate had other plans and the residents of the 20th district were blessed with a steady leader representing them for nearly two decades. Our condolences to his family as well as people like Senator Baker who was very close to him. There will be many tributes dedicated to the late Senator. But I bet his favorite would be if some of his friends and constituents would track down an ice cold Hank’s Root Beer, lift it in his honor and take a swig. I think the Senator would appreciate that gesture.


At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Senator was a gentleman.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Lisa Baker said...

Dave, Thanks so much for your special tribute to Senator Lemmond. It is fitting that you are recommending a toast of Hanks Root Beer - it was staple in our office and a favorite drink of the Senator. Many thanks for your kind reflections on the "Gentleman of the Senate."

Lisa Baker

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Nothing could have prepared me this morning for Mr. Yonki's eloquence in his eulogy for Senator Lemmond.
I too would like to express my sympathies to the Senator's family and friends and his former constituency.
He was a man of honour, dignity and quiet respect. The epitome of a Republican.
May he rest in peace.
The business of this classroom goes forward.....
I apologize for my long absence. I must assure you, however, that my absence was no vacation. I spent much time guest lecturing at some Southern Universities. I must say that "Southern hospitality" is not a myth but reality.
The students whom I instructed were well dressed, groomed and polite. Even the few liberals. Something you ingrates could learn to appreciate.
I would wish to discuss this morning the lack of backbone in the foreign policy of the present Commander In Chief regarding Syria.
The sheer carnage that is occuring there merits immediate and unconditional military involvement by the United States. Yet, we get nothing but a whimper from the White House. All the while thousands of innocents are being tortured and/or slaughtered.
If this nation does not show a foreign policy backbone, then it will surely falter. I understand that the current leader is a lame duck, but time is of the essence!!
I urge him to act.
Excuse me one moment.....
Students, I have just been informed the the U.S. economy only added 69,000 jobs in May. As usual, my prediction in a previous lecture has been proven correct. Again, the secret is RESEARCH!!!
I will add, I am not happy about this, but facts are facts.
Something to think about this morning....
Class Dismissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no Milburn Cleaver fan but I have to admit, he was right on with his jobs numbers forecast. No one else was prediciting that dismal.
Prof. whose gonna win the Belmont stakes??????

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another gentleman of note passed away this week. His name was Jack Twyman, an NBA Hall of Famer who once averaged 30 points per game
for the Cincinnati Royals. It was Jack Twyman who looked after Maurice Stokes after the Saint Francis of Pennsylvania Star suffered a serious stroke following a head injury incurred in the last game of the 1959 season. Stokes had been Rookie of the Year and was a top notch ballplayer on the rise. Twyman ultimately adopted Stokes, made him as much a part of his family as possible and cared for a man who never fully recovered, and he did it for three decades. The NBA did not have adequate health plans in place for something so catastrophic in those days. Twyman raised money constantly for Stokes care.
The great summer games at Kuntslers
were started to raise funds for Maurice Stokes and every NBA Star showed up and played. Bet ya wouldnt see the Stars of today turning out like that!
Twyman and Stokes were not close friends in 1959, but they were teamates and Twyman was the only player on the team who made his off season home in Cincinnati
where Stokes was hospitalized. Jack Twyman and his wife took on this awesome responsibility because he believed it was the right thing to do, the only thing to do in the circumstances.
Such Men are rare and in this case perhaps even more so because Jack Twyman was white and Maurice Stokes
black and it was 1959.


At 2:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice tribute to a great man, Jack Twyman.
One thing of note, Stokes lived only 12 years after the accident and died of a heart attack. Also it was the end of the '58 season not 59. Otherwise I'm glad Pete remembered Twyman. One other thing he failed to note, Jack Twyman could flat out score and had a sweet jump shot.
The Man had Character something so lacking in todays players who probably dont even know the Stokes Twyman story. It is one of the great sports stories of all time.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya Prof you were touring and lecturing at colleges in your
Walter Mitty dreamworld!
Did you slay any dragons lately?
Of course you were right about the jobs numbers, which are a joke anyway.
If you are negative about everything you will be right more than half the time.
Touring and lecturing, Jesus!
You, sir are a joke and a fraud.

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dave

Thank you so much for your tribute to Senator Lemmond. My father hired him as a assistant district attorney in 1967, they both worked together through and through in that office and Charlie went on to do great things, help those in need and achieve greatness. He will be missed.

all the best

Blythe Evans III

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The LuLac Edition #2075, June 1st, 2012":

****in A Proff,
Lets attack anybody and everybody! By the way, What Army are you going to use in your scheme? The one weve got is played out after 10or more years of wasted lives and maimed and dead bodies!
Proff, You speak just like a Dickless Cheney who was never anywhere a shot was ever fired in anger. You ***holes disgust those of us who ever fought for our country. In case you failed to notice we Vets prefer peace because weve seen WAR! You and Dick and Mitt never have and never will!!!Send other peoples kids to do your bidding , thats fine!

Disgusted with ***ioles!!!


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