John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Thank You to a Real Public Servant

jyb_musingsThank you– to a real public servant. 

Louis Hall, a quiet and unassuming man, who went to work every day at our State Capitol for 62 years, retired today. 

Louis never held elective office. And never aspired to. 

Louis never helped shape public policy or wrote a Supreme Court decision or issued an executive order. And that was fine with him.

But Louis was a personality, a smile, and a sunny disposition who did his job dutifully every day in our state Capitol and made it a little bit better place to work. And has been doing so since Alben W Barkley was the vice-president of the United States and presidential candidates relied on corny musical jingles like “I like Ike” to get elected.

Lewis was a friend to everyone who took the time to say hello back to him. As well as a friend to those who didn’t. And in a place where friendliness can often be suspect, there was never an ulterior motive with Louis.

He was a constant fixture at our state Capitol for over six decades. While history was getting made –or not getting made– Lewis was quietly and graciously doing his job and never failed to deliver a kind word or humorous remark whenever he had the opportunity.

And those things are important in ways that are difficult to measure and are never fully appreciated –until they are gone.

Monday morning will start off like every other Monday at our state Capitol, for those who work there. But by lunchtime –or certainly by late afternoon–something will feel like it is missing even though it will be hard to put your finger on what that something is.

It will be the daily smile you took for granted and the friendly face you always enjoyed seeing as you turned to walk down a hallway at the state Capitol.

And could never imagine not being there.


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