senator no says

no. one last time.
senator jesse helms passed away this week.
for good or ill, he was probably america's most controversial politician for over 30 years.

so it was an historic loss, if not for the country, then for the people of north carolina.

because he voted against so many bills from food stamps to the mlk holiday he was (un)affectionately known as senator no.

but at first he was a newsperson working for our old paper and then the local tv station. through his years in the senate as his negative and racial views and attack ads earned him the controversy he deserved but could care less about which only fueled the fire, we took him to task; like a good news organization should. so i can only assume his relationship with his former employers and his view on all things journalistic soured.

because as public a figure as he was, and as historic a loss this was for at least the people of north carolina, if not the country, he had the last laugh on us.

along with car accidents, fires, and shootings; funerals are not the type of assignment i got into this profession to cover. but they come with the territory. but the significance of helm's passing called for coverage that mirrored the significance of his years of public service.

well, though the public was allowed to attend the funeral and visit as he lay in repose the day before, photographers were not even allowed on church grounds, let alone inside.
our only access was a video feed and some emailed photos from a member who does the A/V for the church.

hence my post on top of the hayes-barton pharmacy from across the street. though we did have chris seward, ethan hyman, jason arthurs and takaaki iwabu on the ground and just a smidgen closer.

even from the grave, helms did it his way.

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