In three years of reading contemporary media stories on Emmett Wilson and his career, all of it is serious. Sometimes it is interesting, but humorous? Not really.
I don’t doubt that Emmett had a sense of humor; but, because he had such a serious job, and was reported to have such a serious, retiring demeanor, the idea of Emmett yukking it up in public, and playing jokes on someone for the fun of it, didn’t seem like something he did on a regular basis. At least, not for public consumption.
Well, surprise, I’ve found several examples of jokes that he told to national syndicated reporter Fred C. Kelly, reported in Kelly’s column, while Emmett was a U.S. Congressman in Washington.
Kelly was an interesting fellow — he’s best known as the official biographer of the Wright Brothers — but his news column, “Statesmen, Real and Near,” was the first syndicated Washington, D.C. news column. Kelly was not just your average reporter, therefore; he was an important person to talk to, and Emmett knew that.
So, in honor of April Fool’s Day, I present one of Kelly’s columns featuring a joke told by Emmett:
What I find interesting is that during Emmett’s entire tenure as a U.S. Congressman, he was not quoted on any issue of importance by national reporters; but, his jokes were picked up for syndication.