Letters to the Editor

Klinger letter: Cecil Andrus

Some years ago, long before relocating to Boise, I encountered the late Cecil Andrus and his lovely wife Carol at a Boise Library! evening lecture. I was a stranger in town, trying to decide where I wanted to spend the rest of my life in retirement.

“Governor, you certainly won’t remember me, but way back in 1977, I started my career in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington by working for you as a kid fresh out of college from North Carolina. You had just become the new Secretary of the Interior.”

“No, David,” Andrus gently corrected me, “you never worked for me. You worked with me.”

Two years later, we encountered each other again in a public gathering in Boise. Andrus came up and greeted me … by first name.

Unlike the Trump Administration’s new Secretary of the Interior, there was no need for employee loyalty tests under Cecil Andrus. The man earned loyalty from the people around him, effortlessly, and with a grace and humility that’s as rare now in Washington as the endangered species we protected together.

David Klinger, Boise