Lester: The rundown on teen's meetings with 12 presidential contenders

 
 
Posted10/15/2015 5:40 AM
Carl Miller, 17, of Downers Grove has made it his mission to meet every presidential candidate. His grandfather Art Siml of Wheaton made the signs that Carl takes to events with candidates.
  Carl Miller, 17, of Downers Grove has made it his mission to meet every presidential candidate. His grandfather Art Siml of Wheaton made the signs that Carl takes to events with candidates. - Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

In his quest to net the handshake, autograph and photo with every 2016 presidential contender, Downers Grove teen Carl Miller and his grandfather Art Siml of Wheaton have learned a few tricks.

Hanging out with valet drivers and caterers and scoping out the exits for candidates on the move at political events are of key importance, they say. So is bringing an eye-catching sign that helps them stand out in a crowd.

The results?

Carl Miller of Downers Grove met former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He has made it his mission to meet every presidential candidate.
Carl Miller of Downers Grove met former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He has made it his mission to meet every presidential candidate. - courtesy of Carl Miller

The pair had a 10-minute conversation with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was cutting through a kitchen, and

Carl Miller of Downers Grove met former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush last week in Geneva.
Carl Miller of Downers Grove met former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush last week in Geneva. - courtesy of Carl Miller
they most recently caught former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as he was leaving Geneva businessman Gerard Keating's home last week. They've met 12 contenders -- Democrats and Republicans -- so far.

"You have to make the most of a situation," said Miller, a junior at Timothy Christian Academy in Elmhurst. As a reporter who's done her share of scrambling to net interviews, I completely concur.

Multigenerational roadtrips

Miller says his quest began in August at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, where he met Hillary Clinton and heard from fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders. He and Siml have since traveled 2,000 miles trading turns behind the wheel. They're learning about politics, but the experience is also bringing them closer.

Juggling it all

Among those who had a strong finish at the Bank of Chicago Marathon last Sunday was Loryn King Kromrey, anesthesiologist at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights and mom to 1-year-old Luke, who busted out a 2:53 (that's 6:30 splits, y'all).

I ran cross country at St. Viator with Kromrey, who joined the team her junior year and proceeded to blow away the competition by minutes in one of her first meets after having her wisdom teeth removed.

She went on to run for Notre Dame's Division I team.

Still, she describes a remarkably low-key routine. No speed or track workouts, just running six days a week. Once a week, during her long run, husband Dave watches the baby.

Municipal roots

New state Sen. Laura Murphy (a former Des Plaines alderman) and state Rep. Marty Moylan (a former Des Plaines mayor) have teamed up on legislation showing their municipal roots. The bill would require the state to release money owed to towns that is collected through gaming operations, the motor fuel tax and other surcharges. That money is currently tied up in the state's budget impasse, which is well into its fourth month.

Help from Hanover

The proposal is supported by Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig, who says he might travel down to Springfield next week for the first legislative special session day this month. There are few options for municipalities reliant on those funds, he says. One of them would be suing the state to hand over local governments' share, which Craig says "is just a horrible alternative."

Selfie

Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig, left, and Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson traveled to Notre Dame University in Indiana to see the Fighting Irish take on the U.S. Naval Academy. Lake Barrington Mayor Kevin Richardson went along but isn't in the photo. Seeing them tailgating outside the stadium in jeans and hoodies, I laughed during a coffee with Craig this week, was kind of like seeing your teachers out of school as a kid.
Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig, left, and Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson traveled to Notre Dame University in Indiana to see the Fighting Irish take on the U.S. Naval Academy. Lake Barrington Mayor Kevin Richardson went along but isn't in the photo. Seeing them tailgating outside the stadium in jeans and hoodies, I laughed during a coffee with Craig this week, was kind of like seeing your teachers out of school as a kid. -

Craig and Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson traveled to Notre Dame University in Indiana to see the Fighting Irish take on the U.S. Naval Academy. Lake Barrington Mayor Kevin Richardson went along but isn't in the photo. Seeing them tailgating outside the stadium in jeans and hoodies, I laughed during a coffee with Craig this week, was kind of like seeing your teachers out of school as a kid.

Apocalypse now?

Lake Barrington Mayor Kevin Richardson cracked that if the Cubs can go to the World Series, Illinois can figure a way out of its budget mess.

Virtues and Vices

"Miami Vice" fan? Michael Talbott, aka Detective Stan Switek, will greet fans and sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, during "Miami Vice" festivities at the Volo Auto Museum, says museum director Brian Grams.

Did you know?

Daily Herald sports columnist Barry Rozner as a beer vendor at Wrigley Field back in 1984.
Daily Herald sports columnist Barry Rozner as a beer vendor at Wrigley Field back in 1984. - Courtesy of Barry Rozner

Speaking of the Cubs, did you know Daily Herald sports columnist Barry Rozner was a beer vendor at Wrigley Field and at the White Sox' old Comiskey Park before he delved into journalism? His three-barrel coin changer, ID and buttons are on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

He shared this photo with me from Game 1 of the National League Championship Series in 1984 ... his second-to-last day on the job.

Top honors

Rozner is among those who will be honored Friday at the Wendell Jones Award Breakfast at Harper College in Palatine for his work to help combat domestic violence.

Got a tip? Reach Kerry at klester@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4603.

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