pmcneil [at] mchsi.com
Suggestion for Class Soundtrack:
"Start Me Up" by The Rolling Stones
This mainstream rocker, released during our junior year as part of "Tattoo You," started up a few great parties down on Ashland Ave (1255 to be exact) and on campus. This song was also the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's rally song that helped spark big wins in 2006. There are some others worth mentioning, like Neil Young's 1979 "My My Hey Hey" from "Rust Never Sleeps." But whenever I tried to play that in Bigelow, Bill Wyss's powerful speakers, blasting AC/DC, overpowered my Neil Young or Jackson Browne.
My work in political consulting and PR continues, with its inevitable ups and downs. From my home base in the Quad Cities, I served as communications director for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign in Illinois. I also ran as a delegate and attended the Democratic National Convention. Great experience — that is, until Election Day. I'm lining up with our home-state Senator (Obama) this time around.
On a personal level, Mary and I — now in our 17th year of marriage — are busy with James (12), Jack (10) and Ellie (6). Jack travels to political events with me in Iowa and signed up for "Camp Obama" in Chicago later this month [May 2007]. Both boys are competitive swimmers and advanced to state this spring. Ellie has me wrapped around every one of her little kindergarten fingers and I love it. I got back into swimming, after a 20-year hiatus, and took third in the Illinois state swim meet in March (in the Backstroke), proof again that doing all those flip turns at Mac pay off in the long run.
My Mac Memories:
- Shoveling 800 inches of snow during January 1982
- Protesting President Reagan's 1981 budget cuts in social services in front of the union… a lot of good our efforts did — Reagan won 48 states in 1984
- Hanging out on lazy spring days in front of Old Main, Springfest, Mac Weekly, WMCN ...
- Talking politics with the Mac Conservative Colloquium (or whatever they called themselves) and learning early in life that conservatives rarely change their positions
- Sneaking away for tasty lunches at The Phoenix Restaurant next to the Hungry Mind
- Swimming in the nationals
- Great professors, great friends, great lakes and parks