Today the judge took my co-clerk and me out to lunch in San Francisco. The restaurant she chose looked nice, but from the outside didn't strike me as an exceptionally exceptional place. Of course, once we walked in we immediately noticed another federal judge eating there, and as we sat down we noticed yet another federal judge. The owner, who sat us in a very doting manner, also gestured toward a window table and informed us that "The Mayor is right over there." I took a look and saw the back of a very large man with unmistakable hair. Yes, it was our own Gavin Newsom, in all his charismatic glory. Clearly, we had just entered a high-powered San Francisco hot spot.
Apparently the Mayor was eating with someone who knew the judge, because as we were having coffee and dessert, the Mayor and his dining companions came over and said Hi. The Mayor introduced himself and shook my hand. His grip was firm, yet gentle. Strong, confident, yet strangely tender. I enjoyed it. I looked up at him and said with a smile, "Mayor Newsom, you spoke at my law school graduation." I was immediately aware of how awkward that came out. The Mayor gave me a searching look, and I quickly said, "I went to Boalt."
He said something affirming, like "Right on," or "Way to go," and gave me a friendly punch in the arm. He then made a self-deprecating comment about how he hoped his speech didn't put me to sleep. I gushed about how excellent his speech was and he gave me another friendly punch in the arm.
The Mayor and his friends then talked with the judge for a while and left. To be sure, this isn't Cement Horizon's coolest Gavin Newsom encounter, or even my first encounter with the Mayor, but I left the restaurant feeling pretty good about myself.