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Close friend remembers George McGovern; talks about McGovern's impact on St. Augustine

9:37 PM, Oct 21, 2012   |    comments
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AP

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla---Mitch Hall was George McGovern's assistant  for the last four years of his life. In 2008, he met McGovern when the retired politican moved to St. Augustine.  

"My first assignment, so to speak, I was nervous...was to pick him up at his house on Sunday morning and take him to Grace United Methodist church and he answers the door in a towel...only in a towel," said Mitch Hall as he laughed remembering his first meeting with George McGovern.

Hall was a special events coordinator before he met McGovern and quickly turned into his go-to guy and close friend. That also meant helping McGovern continue his goal to advocate for education and bring awareness to world hunger, but he never imagined how.

"He called me a week before his 88th birthday and he said, you know Mitch, I'm going through my bucket list and one of the things that I've always wanted to do is go sky diving," said Hall.

By sky diving, George McGovern received media attention he used to continue spreading his message.

"He really wanted to get his message of fighting world hunger, to keep that alive, that was always his passion since he was an aid to John F. Kennedy," said Hall.

Hall talked about how he also learned so much from a man with an extensive career, who ran for President in 1972, served in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and a man with his own museum in South Dakota. Even when he retired, he never stopped working to inspire the local youth.

"He did a lot for the children here. He is really into kids and the education and the youth, everything from presentation at the local elementary school R.B. Hunt, went to our high school spoke to them and got those kids excited about the hunger issues," said Hall.

Hall says McGovern never slowed down, but earlier this year he suffered a fall that he never really recovered from. He was hospitalized in St. Augustine several times.

"Boy he fought, he kept telling me 'as long as I live to be 100 as long as I live to be 100' and I wanted to see him do that so bad, but he's done in his lifetime... he's done what somebody couldn't do in 200 years. So as far as I'm concerned he lived his dream," added Hall.

George McGovern was 90 years old when he passed away Sunday in South Dakota.

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