Five things you don’t know about me

I hate it when I get this kind of question as an ice-breaker at workshops. See, the thing is that I was an elected official. As in, out there in the public eye with reporters asking questions about all kinds of things and then putting them in the paper or on TV.

Granted, this was more or less pre-Internet. Yes, kids, I’m old enough that I used to do bulletin board stuff via packet on a 300 baud modem—and I’m not that old. You can’t hit Google and find much from those days (at least, I can’t, so if you find good stuff please send me the links).

Now, there are hundreds of occurrences of my name (actually, 2,350 as of Nov. 15 if you search Google for “Barb Chamberlain”), but most consist solely of my name as a contact on a press release since I work in communications. Or they’re some other Barb Chamberlain (there are 46 of us on Facebook as of today; I’m thinking of starting a club).

The other problem with compiling a list on this topic is that I’m a talker like my mother and I disclose lots of things. My closest friends and family members know all kinds of stuff (and I think one of them actually reads this blog). But there’s this blogger game of tag where you link to other bloggers, with all of you writing on the same kind of topic. In this case, the theme (or meme) is five things you don’t know about me.

I think it’s fair to take “you” to mean total strangers, not the family member(s?) and friend(s?) who read this. This is our getting-acquainted talk. Pretend I’ve had an extra glass of wine or a second lemon drop or something, and you asked me about my life in politics.

Given my public profile, these fun facts are public or quasi-public knowledge or in a bio somewhere, but you as a passing blog reader aren’t likely to know them:
  • I was born on Election Day, and elected for the first time on my 28th birthday (I like to think I was born to run). Eldest Daughter (and first child) arrived six days later. As we like to say in our house when we tell this story, That Was A Big Week.
  • When I was elected, I was the youngest woman ever elected to the Idaho State House.
  • When I subsequently won a Senate seat, I became the youngest woman elected to the Senate, and hence youngest woman elected to both.
  • My ego bubble got a nice puncturing when someone pointed out that since I lost my Senate re-election bid, I probably became the youngest woman ever defeated for election to the Idaho State Senate. 1994. Not a good year for Democrats, since even Speaker of the House Tom Foley lost his seat. Sigh.
  • Given that I was born on Election Day, it finally occurred to me to ask Mom whether she’d voted that year. Yep—she voted absentee in advance. What I don’t know is how she voted. Democrat Gracie Pfost (pronounced POST) was unsuccessful in her effort to move from the U.S. House to the U.S. Senate that year. Mom probably voted Republican (in the Senate race it would have been a vote for Len Jordan, who had replaced Henry Dworshak, for whom the dam is named, when Henry died in August of that year). But maybe she voted for Democrat Compton White Jr. for the Congressional seat. These fun facts about the 1962 midterm election are courtesy of a web site that will soon vanish unless his successor copies the content: a page from Larry Craig's official U.S. Senate site. A better long-term link is this basic PDF list.

When I set out to write a list of five much more obscure items—short-lived jobs, encounters with famous people and the like—the post got way too long. So I’m saving those items for another day. You’ll just have to wait for Geraldine Ferraro’s hand, the constellation, the marriage thing, reproduction roulette, and my mercifully short-lived sales career.

Here’s the two people I have to thank for this writing assignment:

  • A blog I read regularly for great insights and resources on social media, by Chris Brogan
  • The blog Chris told people to link to in order to help boost his fellow blogger's readership, because Chris is incredibly generous as a social media leader, by Dominick Evans

Here are links to some more blogs that I enjoy reading. I went for a mix of social media, local, and inside-your-life types of blogs.

They're listed in in reverse alphabetical order, which is harder than it looks even though I can recite the alphabet backwards--hey! another fun fact you probably didn't know! They are hereby tagged and invited to write a post on the same theme, so subscribe, watch for it, and get to know them: