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Loneliness versus Aloneness

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I initially did not like my KSL election night assignment. I was assigned to cover the loser: Dave Buhler, a genteel, quiescent soul. I wanted to be with the likely winner: Ralph Becker, and the likely arousing crowd with the natural sound of a winner. But I won't forget the election with Buhler, a decent, seemingly moral, unemotional candidate, moving almost like a stranger in a room of people who came to support him. There was no back slapping or under the breath cursing as the returns showed that the anticipated landslide turned out to be a veritable rout. Buhler reminded me of a bank manager, moving about the crowd, shaking a few hands but nothing effusive from anyone. People munched their carrot sticks and celery and then eyeballed Sean Hannity on Fox, where some celebrity was explaining how he just discovered "three days ago" that the "N" word was offensive to African Americans. But Buhler seemed so lonely in the cast of presumed friends. I remember Chet Huntley on NBC ruminating that the only election he would enter was a contest where he was certain to win, such as the Vice Presidential nomination on a vote of acclamation. Buhler seemed like a lonely guest at his own reception. Remember, you can be lonely in a crowd, detached and so separate, but you are not alone like atop a mountain. But I would rather be alone atop a vista than lonely in a crowd where the handshake and smile seems forced or ever so polite.


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Tom Callan


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