Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Former Governor Bill Scranton died late last month in California, and a memorial service will be held today in Scranton.

I met him a few times over the years.  It was always a kick.  He was the first big name politician I remember as a kid, and Scranton was unfailingly cordial.

Our last meeting was several years ago at Steamtown in Scranton.  Sen. Arlen Specter was having one of his famous made for TV events.  I don't even remember what it was about.  They never really made a lot of news, but it was nice that Specter remembered that the northeast is actually part of Pennsylvania, and he visited from time to time.

Scranton was among the assembled politicians, and movers and shakers.  We got into a conversation about his tie.  It was covered with olde English T's, the logo of the New York Times.  Scranton was on the board of directors.  At the time, WNEP was a New York Times property.  It was like talking to the boss. He was willing to listen. It's what separates the good public servants from the bad ones. The good ones use their ears more than their mouths.

Bill Scranton was arguably, the biggest name to ever call this area home.  Yet, he had a kindness and approachability.  He had money most of us could only dream about, but he had an everyman, nice guy quality.

William Scranton was 96.