When I would visit Dick McDonald, the co-pioneer of the McDonald’s restuarant concept, at his home in Bedford, New Hampshire, where he lived in retirement, he would often mention his admiration for Warren Rudman, his feisty New Hampshire Senator, author of the famed Gramm-Rudman-Hollings federal balanced budget bill. He and Rudman knew each other pretty well, and had somewhat similar personalities — they bnoth were caring people, but often outspoken and blunt. Rudman, 92, died today.

I recall in the early 90s going out to D.C. to meet Dick for the premiere of a new Smithsonian World PBS film called “A Moveable Feast,” produced by Linda Ellerbee. It was the story of the history of food service for people on the move, and Dick was interviewed in the film. Dick also invited Rudman to the opening at the Smithsonian Castle. The next day, Dick in turn was Rudman’s VIP guest in Congress, and I went along. We dined on Navy Bean soup inh the Senate Dining Room, as legislators and aides gathered around Dick for a look or a word, or an autograph, from the man whose name was vastly more a household word than his host, the famous Senator. Dick enjoyed riding the miniature underground rail line used by the legislators.

I just ran across a package of matches, now resting on a tray next to my tie rack, from the Senate Dining Room that I’d kept from that day, some 20 years ago. Warren and Dick were a pair of New England characters, all right.

For more on Dick McDonald, see my essay, “Breakfast With Mr. McDonald,” at http://www.chilit.org. Search under “Ebeling.”

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