A Political Scene: Lindy Boggs
Lindy Boggs has to be one of my favorite portrait sessions.
A few tidbits from Mrs. Boggs extensive resume:
Boggs first took office in 1973, after the presumed death of her husband from a plane crash. The first bill that the House passed that year, House Resolution 1, officially recognized Hale Boggs’s death, opening the door for a special election, which Lindy Boggs won, running as a Democrat in the New Orleans-based 2nd District. She was reelected seven times thereafter. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana. She was also a permanent chairwoman of the 1976 Democratic National Convention, which made her the first female to preside over a major party convention. She is the mother of three, including news commentator Cokie Roberts.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed her official U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, or the Vatican for those who don’t know what the “Holy See” is. She had just received this appointment when I was asked to photograph her. We met at her family home on Bourbon Street, in New Orleans. Incredibly gracious and charming, she first presented me with a series of outfits for her to choose from for the portrait. Returning to my preferred location in her home, she offered to help me move a couch to a better spot for the shot, in front of a painting of her late husband. She was 80 years old!
We had lively conversation throughout, ranging from her experience working with Jesse Helms (she attempted to dissuade me of my long standing animosity of the man and insisted he was always the perfect gentleman) to a debate over which was sexier, scars or tattoos. We both agreed it was scars.