Sunday, March 9, 2008

Karma and fate and Charlie Crist.

I've been caught up in all the news swirling around Florida Governor Charlie Crist lately. Hard not to notice him these days, of course, what with all the press conferences and public appearances surrounding the VEEP speculation and the Dem primary debacle.

But that's just the latest spotlight. Charlie has been blazing an interesting, mostly below the radar, trail of service the last couple decades. I missed the early years, since I'd lost touch with his career path, but recently rediscovered him when some fellow classmates drew him back to my consciousness at a party a few years ago.

Charlie sat behind me in homeroom at St. Pete High in '72. I didn't really know him all that well, since we ran with different circles of friends. He was the consummate public servant even then. While I and my gang of artist friends were off scoring beer and hash and gathering at 3 a.m. for pancakes at The Owl, Charlie and his much cleaner cut group were holding fund raising car washes and bake sales and generally doing good for the sake of the community.

I admire the self-sacrificing choices that Charlie has made over the years in the name of public service. And I certainly don't envy the enormous plate of responsibilities that sits before him today, especially in the wake of the subprime fallout and the outlook for the Florida economy in the months and years to come.

I have a feeling we'll be reading a lot more about Charlie. Hope he maintains his core goodness.

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