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Voice: Remembering Judge Saund and the nation's capital

July 25, 2001

It has been 40 years since I made my first trip to Washington, D.C. — June 1961.

You caught the train in Niland in those days — changed trains and stations in Chicago. It was a pleasurable cross-country ride.

It is hard to believe a liberal, Judge Saund, represented El Centro in those days. Ray Barnes, former managing editor of the I.V. Press, was his administrative assistant.

Congressmen and senators made the same salary — $22,500 annually, with one paid trip per year back to the district for the congressman, three paid trips back to the state for the senator.

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Judge Saund had no office in Imperial County and I think none in Riverside County.

I saw Sam Rayburn presiding over the House (he died later that year.)

It was the original Washington Senators' last year in D.C. before they moved to Minnesota. Ray and I saw a game at Griffith Stadium. Jim Bunning (now a U.S. senator from Kentucky) pitched for Detroit and posted a 5-4 win.

On the boat ride down the Potomac to Mount Vernon, I met the Terrills from Holtville.

I enjoyed dinner with Ray and Jean Barnes and their family in Virginia. The Barnes had been there about two and a half year at that time and enjoyed it.

From the National Archives to the Smithsonian, I tried to cover a lot of it, much of it afoot. The first trip to Washington, D.C., is the standout!

Judge Saund suffered a stroke in spring 1962 and was defeated for re-election. He served three terms.

He was chairman of Mexico-U.S. inter-parliamentary group. His committee assignments included foreign affairs, interior and insular affairs and irrigation and reclamation.

RICHARD MALLATT

El Centro

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