Columnist missed an opportunity
Re: Seeing the legacy of Interior Secretary Gale Norton (Writers on the Range, SDN April 8)Terry Tempest Williams’ article was not as enlightening about Interior Secretary Gale Norton as it was about the writer. It seems that Ms. Williams is struggling more with the awkward encounter she had with Secretary Norton in the women’s restroom at DIA; and less focused on the opportunity. Ms. Williams began by incriminating the Secretary by noting she came out of the handicap stall (most readers will admit to that crime). However, I give Ms. Williams 10,000 points for introducing herself to the Secretary. It should have been no surprise that Secretary Norton was less than pleased to meet the author of the NY Times article that was so critical of the Interior Department. Ms. Williams was honest when she admits to being flustered and not remembering the exact exchange of words. Where Ms. Williams really lost focus was in the second half of the article. When Secretary Norton said, “If you knew what we knew, you would think differently.” Ms. Williams brought up her own issues with authority and missed the opportunity. As promised, the Secretary sent a publication, along with her card, to Ms. Williams. I have had the privilege to know former cabinet members, senators, congressmen, etc. Once they are away from their post and eyes of the media, there is a wealth of information to be garnished from them. Perhaps the Secretary would change Ms. Williams’s opinion about some things and probably confirm others. In the end, Ms. Williams would have obtained something very special from the knowledge Secretary Norton has acquired. That is the wisdom that comes from listening.
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