An Update on Longtime Friend, Senator Don Kennard

March 8, 2010

The man who introduced me to politics 58 years ago–former Texas State Representative and State Senator Don Kennard and longtime associate of mine, is in decline at a retirement center in Southwest Austin.  But tho memory is failing–and whose isn’t– he recently managed flashes of his brillance and wit as I interviewed him for an oral history memento.

He still could recall the name of his first election opponent in 1952 and the fact that our big issue was that he tore down our campaign signs. (My first of scores of such campaigns over the years). We reminisced about the Sunday afternoon he brought over a young redhead  hellbent on running for Congress in Fort Worth against a three-term encumbent backed by the local power structure. That young man was named  Jim Wright.

Kennard has left a proud mark on Texas legislative history.  During 20 years of service, he was a progressive voice for education,  a major force for parks and conservation and a voice of conscience for the average citizen. Most impressive to me is the legion of friends who admire and love him. Weeks seldom go by that someone doesn’t ask me: “How is (Senator) Kennard?”  He could be better these days. Anyone who wants to greet him is  invited to drop a note to  6820 Cypress Point North, No. 9, Austin, TX 78746, or call wife Mary Jo at (512) 394-7222. (They just celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary). Or contact  me  (julian.read@cohnwolfe,com) ,  542-2823.

Mary Jo reports that the Senator recently called a meeting to order at the center.  Once a lawmaker…

–Julian Read

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