In 2000, following the plane crash, when requests for interviews poured in from around the country, I did only one. It was with ABC’s Cokie Roberts. It made sense to me. Her father, Louisiana congressman Hale Boggs, died when his plane disappeared in Alaska on October 16, 1972. Ironically, it was the same month and day on which our plane went down and a similar aircraft.
Filming at the Farm
I recall the day Cokie showed up at the farm with a film crew on the Friday before the election. At my request, we did the interview outdoors on the deck. I felt that the brisk autumn air would help fortify me as I laid bare my feelings. I think Cokie would have preferred the indoors, but she gamely went along. (I cover the interview on page 29 of my book Don’t Let the Fire Go Out.)
Brought Together by Tragedy
Lindy Boggs took her husband’s place in the Congress and remained there for 17 years. Cokie recalled, “It was the best thing that happened to my mother, because it was an outlet for her grief. It gave her an opportunity to do something positive.” Serving in the U.S. Senate in my husband’s place, I would come to understand the sentiments that Cokie was sharing with me
Following our visit, Cokie sent me a copy of her mother’s book Washington through a Purple Veil. I would later meet the vivacious Lindy Boggs, who, at age 85, had just finished a three-year tour as ambassador to the Vatican for President Clinton.
Over the years our paths would occasionally cross, always with warm memories of our shared experiences. Cokie wrote a blurb for my book, The Tide Always Comes Back, where she speaks of making lemonade out of life. It was a venture that both she and her mother undertook with great gusto.