Governor’s Christmas joy: Betsy’s back!
By Michael Sneed December 23, 2013 6:22PM
Gov. Pat Quinn with Betsy the briefcase on his way to Mexico in April 2013. | Provided photo
Updated: January 25, 2014 6:11AM
The Xmas file . . .
Betsy the briefcase is ready for Christmas.
Sneed is referring, of course, to Gov. Pat Quinn’s caramel-colored leather briefcase, which he has been dragging around for more than three decades!
In recent months, several of the governor’s aides have commented that Betsy, stuffed to the brim with Quinn’s “special” files, “could be on her last legs.”
“She was extremely tattered and her handles were wearing thin,” a Sneed source confided. “Most of us didn’t think she was going to make it much longer.”
In 1982 at Christmastime, Quinn first met Betsy, his fat file repository baptized by the governor’s longtime aide, Lou Bertuca.
For 31 years, Betsy has been by the governor’s side, a trusty sidekick — a bulging piece of leather serving as a traveling desk. Quinn’s receptacle for all major issues.
Why, Sneed is told, the governor has even been heard to exclaim: “For every issue there is a file!”
You see, Betsy is Quinn’s constant companion and has practically traveled the greater part of the world.
Why, Betsy has been to Iraq (twice), Afghanistan; Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, to visit injured Illinois troops; and all over Illinois.
Sneed is told that the governor particularly appreciates the briefcase’s giving leather and durability, the perfect repository for extensive files traveling through combat zones, flying on helicopters . . . and even visiting the White House.
“Betsy is frequently the subject of admiration on airplanes when the governor travels!” the source revealed.
So when the governor was warned that Betsy was on her last legs, he wouldn’t accept such a thought.
A few months ago, Quinn brought Betsy to see Tony the Shoe Doctor in Oak Park, near his home. The governor resides in the Galewood neighborhood in Chicago.
Sneed is told that Tony worked his magic, stitched and polished up Betsy, and was credited for rescuing her.
“She now looks “better than ever and ready for the next 30 years . . . and just in time for Christmas,” Quinn was heard to exclaim once again!
Hey, isn’t this kind of information the reason you read Sneed?
Christmas letters . . .
Ho. Ho Ho. My recently married son, Patrick, had new reading material this Christmas: Letters to Santa given to him by his wife, Becca, from her nieces.
The letters, written by Maquinna, 8, and Taryn Peglow, 6, were sent to Santa at the North Pole from their home in a very chilly Minnetrista, Minn.
Both girls want desks, and Maquinna also requests a teddy bear and two bones for her dog.
So Santa took photos of the letters asking for the “crismis tedy bare, dog bons, desck and some suplis” — which is, of course, part of Santa’s lexicon, and sent them to Sneed for a spell check.
I’d like to share the precious missives with you.
Sneedlings . . .
Tuesday’s birthdays: Ricky Martin, 42; Ryan Seacrest, 39, and Lee Daniels, 54 . . . Wednesday’s birthdays: Sissy Spacek, 54; Annie Lennox, 59, and Bill Zwecker, ageless and priceless . . . Thursday’s birthdays: Lars Ulrich, 50; John Walsh, 68, and Lynn Martin, ageless and priceless . . . Friday’s birthdays: Gerard Depardieu, 65; Patrick Sharp, 32, and Cokie Roberts, 70 . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Denzel Washington, 59; Maggie Smith,79, and Ed Vrdolyak, 76 . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Mary Tyler Moore, 77; Ted Danson, 66, and Ald. Ed Burke (14th), ageless and priceless . . . Monday’s birthdays: Tracy Ullman, 54; Sandy Koufax, 78, and LeBron James, 29 . . . Tuesday’s birthdays: Ben Kingsley, 70; Val Kilmer, 54, and Anthony Hopkins, 76.