on our minds

Marti’s reaction to John Glenn’s death

photo of Mom Enough co-host Marti EricksonWe lost a great American hero this week with the death of John Glenn, fighter pilot in WWII and Korea, first American to orbit the earth and longtime senator from Ohio.


I was privileged to see a very soft side of this great man when I stayed with him and his sweet wife Annie at their home in suburban Washington in February, 1994. I had been invited to the White House to talk with Vice President Al Gore about research on parent-child attachment and how it should inform family policy (an exciting opportunity!). Because John Glenn’s daughter Lyn was the one who had told VP Gore about my work, she and I were going to the White House together and her parents invited me to stay with them.


Annie Glenn met Lyn and me at the airport and when we arrived at their home, Senator Glenn, fresh out of the shower, greeted us warmly in his white bathrobe. Then he showed us, with excitement and a little frustration, the “newfangled” Valentine card he was preparing to send his grandchildren — one in which you record a personal message. He proceeded to try multiple times to get the message to record just right, laughing with Annie at his own mistakes. It was an endearing moment I will treasure forever!


That night I slept in the bed where John Glenn had been born in 1921. And the next morning, Sen. Glenn drove Lyn and me in his little sports car to the White House for our meeting with the Vice President. (That meeting, in turn, led to years of extraordinary family policy work with the Gores — a story for another day. Right, Grancy Hoit?)


So today my heart goes out to the Glenn family on the loss of a remarkable man and a sweet grandpa. I’m honored to have met him and had a glimpse of the private side of a public icon. ~Marti

Comments: 2  |  Reply  |  Category: on our minds


  1. Jane Townsend on December 14, 2016

    Marti, what a sweet and touching story! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Marti Erickson on December 14, 2016

    Thank YOU for noticing and commenting, Jane. It was indeed a memorable moment and a privilege for me.