The Ballad of the Yodel and the Fiddle


From the NYT's Carl Hulse, a little picture of how aging Senatorial porkmeisters stay so close.

"I am going to miss you," Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, who has seen scores of senators come and go during his half-century in office, assured Senator Conrad Burns, Republican of Montana, as they bumped into each other in a hallway just off the chamber.

Mr. Burns, who showed flashes of temper upon his return to Washington after his defeat, was nothing but gracious with Mr. Byrd, with whom he served on the Appropriations Committee. "I appreciate all your courtesies," he told Mr. Byrd.

Mr. Byrd then asked Mr. Burns, a professional livestock auctioneer, to regale him with one last yodel, and Mr. Burns obliged, in expert fashion.

"Almost as good as the fiddle," Mr. Burns said, referring to Mr. Byrd's instrument of choice. "Almost," responded the Democrat.

Only one of them lost. Pity.