Jack Backiel left Westport a while ago. A member of Staples High School’s Class of 1965 who ended up graduating from private school — and the son of the owners of our local bowling alley and driving range — he’s now retired, living in Florida.
He still loves his hometown though, and comments frequently on “06880.”
He’s also a frequent visitor to Washington. If there’s a political hearing to attend, or a protest to join, Jack is there.
In March he flew north for the March for our Lives. Several students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — the site of a mass shooting the month before, not far from Jack’s home — shared his flight.
The next month, he was there when Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about Facebook’s privacy issues. Jack was interviewed by BBC, for a report that aired in Britain.
During Paul Manafort’s trial, he met the defendant’s attorney and Fox News’ Peter Doocy as they awaited the verdict.
A couple of days ago, Jack was at Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearing. He waited in line for 2 hours, to be seated for 20 minutes. Several protesters interrupted the event, with one man carried out by police “like a bag of potatoes.”
Though Jack’s “sense of history” drives his recent visits to Washington, it’s not a new undertaking.
In 1974, he was seated right behind Connie Chung as the House Judiciary Committee considered impeaching President Nixon.