The news today about the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post political reporter David Broder had me searching through my business card file.
I have one of Broder's business cards, and I got it from Broder himself ... in Shelbyville, at what is now the Parkway Cafe.
It was in the 1990s -- either 1993 or early in 1994. U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, who now represents Nashville and the Fifth District in Congress, was at the time representing the Fourth District, including his native Shelbyville. Cooper had a health care plan which was positioned as a moderate, more business-friendly alternative to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton's plan.
Broder, who was covering the issue, followed Cooper on a day of activities in the district, starting with Cooper's appearance before the Shelbyville Breakfast Rotary Club. That's where I met him -- Richard's Restaurant. I'd heard his name for years and seen him as a guest commentator on the occasional TV show, and now here I was shaking his hand. It was intimidating -- what does a reporter from the Shelbyville Times-Gazette say to one of the titans of the Washington Post? We didn't really exchange anything more than pleasantries, but I did exchange cards with him, and I still have the card as a memento.