Some Michigan workers remember former UAW President Doug Fraser, who died on Saturday, as a leader. But some, like this Livingston County woman and Democratic Party member, remembers him as a friend, too.
She wrote that, "My heart is sad today because our friend Doug is no longer with
"I will miss him for his dedication to the cause - not just for union workers
but for all working people.
"I will miss the twinkle in his eyes and his infectious laugh.
Doug and Winnie wintered in Palm Springs for years and occasionally we would meet them and two other couples for lunch at Melvyns' in the Ingleside Inn. I often wished that I could tape those conversations.
"He was a proud citizen of the United States of America but he never forgot
his roots in Glasgow, Scotland."
I've read about the famous sit-down strike that Fraser was involved in, which laid the foundation for union recognition and a better life for generations of autoworkers. But I never knew Fraser as a human being.
It helps to remember that the greats of yesterday were not Supermen, but people just like us who met the challenges of their times and ended up doing great things. Knowing that they were like us in many ways should encourage us to respond to our own challenges with the same courage he displayed.