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I met L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County executive and longtime political power broker, who just passed away, when I ran as a Republican for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners back in 2006. I was an unknown, having only lived in Oakland County a few years and only having served on an appointed board in Auburn Hills for about a year.

I introduced myself and we talked about a mutual acquaintance who served on the City Council in my town. It was a brief conversation but he wished me luck. Soon I was called by the Oakland Republican Party and having lunch with Bill Bullard. I suspect Brooks had some hand in it.

I didn’t win, and didn’t expect to. That L. Brooks Patterson thought enough to take even a small interest in me struck me as such a nice gesture. I was a nobody from Macomb.  

But in the years that followed our first encounter I would see him at a dinner at the Deer Lake Athletic Club in Clarkston, where I most recently saw him two winters ago while there for a soccer banquet. He had done water therapy with his physical therapist and was being wheeled out and I saw him from a distance. I walked up to him, re-introduced myself and we chatted a few minutes. I thought it might be for the last time.

Brooks was good for Oakland County. He did a lot of good. He may remembered for some things that were not so good, but I’ll choose to remember the good. And there was a lot of it.

They broke the mold with him.  

Chauncey Hitchcock, Auburn Hills

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