SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts

Mourner recounts 'extraordinary' encounter with John McCain

A steady stream of mourners, of all ages and political persuasions, lined up outside the Arizona State Capit...

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 6:49 AM
Updated: Aug 30, 2018 6:49 AM

A steady stream of mourners, of all ages and political persuasions, lined up outside the Arizona State Capitol in the midday 104-degree heat to pay their respects to Sen. John McCain.

Among them was John Goodie, a former Mesa High School security guard and football coach, who arrived two hours early carrying an American flag to remember the man who once sought him out in the most unexpected of encounters.

Arizona

Continents and regions

John McCain

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Misc people

North America

Political Figures - US

Southwestern United States

The Americas

United States

Goodie, who lives in Gilbert, Arizona, met McCain in 1996 while working at Mesa High School. After speaking to the local Young Republicans inside, McCain insisted to his hosts that he needed to meet the school's security guard.

A black car pulled up to Goodie's post. McCain jumped out of the back seat, and asked him if he was "Big John Goodie."

"He said I just want to thank you for your efforts on the Martin Luther King holiday," Goodie recalled, noting that he helped lead the drive to honor King in Arizona. In 1983, McCain voted against legislation to make King's birthday a federal holiday -- a position he would later regret.

"Although we are on different sides of the political spectrum," McCain told him, "I just wanted you to know that I admire your tireless efforts in getting the Martin Luther King holiday for the City of Mesa and the state of Arizona," Goodie recalled.

The Arizona senator, who apparently knew of Goodie's efforts from coverage of the Arizona MLK debate on television and the newspapers, talked to Goodie for a few minutes about his football career, then shook his hand and said "Keep up the good work."

"He made it a point to stop by to holler at a $12-an-hour security guard," said Goodie, who explained that he went on later to be one of Barack Obama's delegates at the Democratic National Convention. "I was blown away. That is a priceless moment in my mind. That encounter is one that I will never forget. That fact that he sought me out. That was priceless to me."

On the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death during the 2008 presidential campaign, McCain (and Hillary Clinton) made the pilgrimage to the Lorraine Motel where King was killed.

In Memphis, in April of 2008, McCain pointedly apologized for his 1983 vote: "We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing."

The Arizona senator recalled that he had learned of King's death while in his prison cell in North Vietnam.

McCain said he felt "just as everyone else did back home, only perhaps even more uncertain and alarmed for my country in the darkness that was then enclosed around me and my fellow captives. ... The enemy had correctly calculated that the news from Memphis would deeply wound morale and leave us worried and afraid for our country."

McCain had changed his position after studying King's history and realizing that he was "a transcendent figure in American history" who deserved to be honored.

Reflecting on McCain's legacy, Goodie said he most admired McCain's "courageousness."

"He was a brave man. He was a very respectable statesman," Goodie said Wednesday as he made his way in line toward the entrance of the Arizona State Capitol where McCain is lying in state.

"He didn't hold back. When he made mistakes, he apologized -- like the Confederate flag and a number of other things," Goodie said. "That takes a special individual. That's something I hope the history books will record. ... That's bravery. Even though in his politics, he turned against his President, he kept his head up all the way to the end."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 193732

Reported Deaths: 2572
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38352591
Washington25592233
Marion22026306
Clackamas17440214
Lane13007148
Jackson10862139
Deschutes896274
Umatilla820284
Linn492969
Yamhill446376
Klamath441164
Polk375752
Malheur351863
Josephine334570
Douglas327271
Benton310019
Jefferson219837
Coos206633
Columbia174427
Union144823
Lincoln137921
Wasco137728
Hood River118730
Crook111322
Morrow110716
Clatsop9858
Baker95414
Tillamook6493
Curry6469
Grant5095
Lake4517
Harney3448
Wallowa1845
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3764405

Reported Deaths: 62573
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123645624067
Riverside2994554594
San Bernardino2967824715
San Diego2785913729
Orange2709835026
Santa Clara1190642096
Kern1091771374
Sacramento1048401686
Fresno1018381688
Alameda879401657
Ventura810011013
San Joaquin732201391
Contra Costa68741805
Stanislaus621421061
Tulare49654839
Monterey43613383
San Mateo42038568
San Francisco36720544
Santa Barbara34337456
Solano32953252
Merced31898460
Sonoma30035320
Imperial28443726
Kings22989246
Placer22679292
San Luis Obispo21308260
Madera16462242
Santa Cruz16264207
Marin14056227
Yolo13910210
Shasta12152226
Butte12026199
El Dorado10168112
Napa987082
Sutter9433112
Yuba626847
San Benito606563
Lassen570624
Tehama557262
Nevada474275
Tuolumne413166
Mendocino410149
Humboldt404641
Amador365847
Lake347643
Glenn239125
Colusa223416
Siskiyou223424
Calaveras212954
Inyo142838
Del Norte13938
Mono12844
Plumas7106
Modoc4994
Mariposa4487
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned520
Medford
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 78°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 53°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 78°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 78°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 72°
Thunderstorm threat, critical fire danger this afternoon
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Friday, May 14 morning weather

Image

Day two of manslaughter trial in fatal Medford road rage case

Image

Special bond fuels Abramson and Armantrout's CCC title run

Image

Thursday, May 13th Evening Weather

Image

HealthWatch: Signs and symptoms of a stroke

Image

HealthWatch: The importance of donating blood

Image

Pet of the Week: Cohen and Whiskers

Image

Thursday, May 13 morning weather

Image

Take a Hike: Panorama Point

Image

Take a Hike: Twilight Trail