By Betsy Rothstein - 06/14/07 06:37 PM EDT
Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.): When I was a kid I used to go with him to the cemetery and climb over the big wall. I would be the one who would hunt for earthworms so he could go fishing the next day. It was in the cemetery that the worms were the biggest.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas): Going to football games. He’s a big Texas Longhorn fan. We went to the Cotton Bowl together. They won the championship in 1969 — I was there.
Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.): I do remember when he waited for us at the airport. He was already here. We were coming from Puerto Rico. I remember him waiting with tears in his eyes at the airport. I was 6 years old. The look on that man’s face when he saw me and [my brother] Eli was something I’ve never forgotten. It was family reunification at its best.
Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.): He took me shark fishing at the Navy base in San Diego Bay. He’d sell insurance to the sailors. He was retired Navy. I’m sure they were thinking I was going to drop in eventually.
Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), son of former Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Texas): Going camping. Just so much fun. We had a favorite place outside of San Antonio, Madla Ranch. Dad would pack us up — he was always late. He’d let me bring a couple of buddies from school. He was always late but he always got us there. He was pretty knowledgeable about trees. He was a real stickler on safety because he was a Boy Scout troop leader. That was in the ’50s. I was lucky for those times. He went into Congress in ’61. A lot of significance is attached to that time.
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), son of former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.): Probably going to Fort McHenry as a kid. It’s a national park, a historic site. We’d do everything as a family. He was always pointing things out to us, historical things. It got us interested in history.