having a senior moment

Five hours before Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Hynes would speak, I was sitting with two colleagues in an otherwise empty row of chairs against a side wall in a Chicago banquet room.

One of Hynes’ PR members came over and told me that I wouldn’t be able to sit there because the chairs were meant for senior citizens.

I looked around at the empty ballroom and said that I would be out of the way by time the chairs would be needed.

A couple hours later during the long evening of waiting for Comptroller Hynes to speak, I noticed a quartet of seniors, one with a fabulous red tie, sitting in the exact spot that I had been sitting.

I slid over and made a handful of images of them watching the returns come in.

I went and got a pen from my coat and returned to get their names.

Immediately, a PR guy rushed over and said, “No Press.” I said, “What?” He said, “No Press’. I said what do you mean by “No Press”? He said, “No Press”. Baffled by the fact that I was among 30 members of the press that had been given press passes to enter the banquet hall, I stood there as the PR guy went to get his boss Dan McDonald, the press secretary for the Hynes’ campaign..

I was glad to see Dan because I had a nice conversation earlier in the evening.

Dan quickly cleared things up by telling me that I had photographed former Senator Adlai Stevenson III (seated next to former Illinois Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch, the first woman in Illinois to run for governor) and that the Senator wasn’t up for doing interviews. The original PR guy thought that I was trying to interview the Senator. Ok, now the scenario made sense.

Minutes later when I approached the Senator’s wife Nancy for her first name, the junior PR guy said, “No interviews, please.”

I could only laugh.

©2010 Scott Strazzante/ Chicago Tribune


3 Responses to “having a senior moment”

  1. and that guy’s probably now in gov’t service. in charge of a billion dollar budget

  2. PR flunkies given a little bit of power who love to use it on photogs and are such a pain in the ass. Sure we want the coverage and publicity but “our” way. Well you know what you can do with “our” way MR or Mrs PR person.
    Nice story Strazz. Laughing is all you can do though to keep from screaming. 🙂

  3. I’d love this shot even if I didn’t know who was in it! 🙂

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