Radio Iowa’s O.Kay Henderson recently spent a day with Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack, and a day with Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Gross, and she heard some interesting stories…As I rode in a car with Gross, the conversation turned to his days in a Catholic elementary school, and I learned his sixth grade teacher, Sister Noreen, would sometimes go to the back of the room and stare out the window, crying, while she had Gross teach the class. Gross said it wasn’t that hard, because Sister Noreen gave him the answer book. I asked Gross what she was crying about, but he said that’s not something a sixth grade boy would ask a nun. And Gross told me he rarely had to save money to buy his mother gifts, as he would win the Catechism contest at school, which earned him a statue of a saint. Gross says his mother loved the statues, and created a little shrine for ’em in their home. As I walked along a highway with Vilsack, the Governor told me about being a cab driver in Pittsburgh during his college days. Vilsack’s last fare was a wild ride. He saw a black guy getting beaten up by four white guys while cops watched nearby and did nothing. As the black man in the back of Vilsack’s cab jumped out to intervene, the woman who’d hailed the cab pulled out a gun. Vilsack eventually escaped unscathed, got the couple in his cab to the airport — which was a huge fare — but they stiffed him. Vilsack told me he turned his keys in afterwards and never drove a cab again, but to this day Vilsack makes sure he tips cabbies well.
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