EDITOR’S NOTE: (The following is Jeanne Bragg’s last column for The Post)
In looking over notes and memorabilia from my seven and a half years with The Murfreesboro Post I chanced upon my very first column.
I write often that I don’t remember anything anymore, and I certainly didn’t remember my first words.
But I thought they would be equally appropriate as my last words, and I would like to share them with you.
Sunday, Oct. 8, 2006:
Anyone who knows me very well knows that it wasn’t with my blessings that I became “Mrs. Murfreesboro.”
For years, when asked if my husband would ever seek political office I’d say, “He’ll have to get a new wife first.”
Well, never say never.
Throughout the grueling months a long campaign, I fought the raging internal battle in my stomach to accept having a husband who would always be in the limelight. But as a citizen I knew he’d be just great for the job.
One day I waited with eagerness to watch an interview with the real First Lady, Laura Bush, on TV and thought, “Nobody wants a First Lady who doesn’t want to do the job.”
And then and there I decided to support my favorite candidate. We had always been a team and this was no time to change.
There was no going back.
When I finally did accept some campaign responsibility I found it was very easy to stick a yard sign in a yard. I then advanced by baby steps to sending out mailers, and before you know it, I was knocking on doors and asking people to vote for my husband.
From knocking on doors and attending group functions, the next step was standing on street corners.
Now that’s something to inspire fear, but it was actually kind of fun to see the city pass by you for a day.
Then there was THE day -- election day.
Out of 10,000 votes cast, we won by a mere 199.
Who says hard work doesn’t pay off? And the rest, as they say, is history.
Despite my initial protests at carrying the title of “First Lady” I must say that I have truly enjoyed it.
When people ask me what it feels like to be married to the Mayor I say with sincerity that it truly is an honor -- an honor to represent the finest community of people anywhere around.
But it is also a responsibility ¬¬ a responsibility to represent those who campaigned to help us win, as well as a responsibility to represent those 4,801 people who did not vote for my husband. A responsibility to be nice on days when you don’t feel like it and a responsibility not to run yellow lights (not that I ever did that anyway).
“Mrs. Murfreesboro” seems presumptuous and is not a title I would necessarily choose to carry.
Mike Pirtle, the editor at the time and one of my favorite people in the whole world, had the idea for me to write a column. Of course, I initially said no --absolutely NO WAY. After my initial reaction, I reluctantly said, “Well, let me think about it.”
I thought about it: I probably won’t have to put out yard signs or stand on street corners or attend functions or even always be nice. But I could possibly have an opportunity to represent the finest community of people anywhere around and learn a lot in the process. So I am still thinking about the possibilities.
May the rest be a history, too, of sorts.
And it has been.
Together with you I have married a daughter, born and raised grandchildren, been on many trips (especially to New York), re-elected a mayor (twice!), celebrated families, cleaned out lots of cabinets and worked out many problems of the world, especially technology-related ones.
I have enjoyed every single moment and wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. Do know that I will miss you all.