Emerson Hynes ( 1915-1971) taught sociology at St. John's University, Minnesota, for many years. He was my Legislative Assistant during the two terms I served in the United States Senate.
Emerson Hynes and I were students together. Later we were together on the faculty at St. John's University. For the last twelve years of his life, he was with me in the Senate as aide, counselor, and friend.
Emerson had a vocation to conversation. He was most appreciated by people with truly desperate causes. When persons in great distress, or with problems for which there was no political solution, came by the Senate office, he would never say, "Don't send them in to see me." Often the same persons would come to me later and say, "Thank you for letting us talk to that man."
Emerson brought to all problems a knowledge of history and a familiarity with philosophy. One did not start from scratch in discussing a problem with him. Few other members of the Senate, if any, had aides such as he to whom they could turn and ask, expecting an answer, "What did Plato [or Thomas Aquinas or Jacques Maritain] have to say about this?"
Father Emeric Lawrence, O.S.B., in his tribute to our friend, said that Emerson in his life was pleasing to God. I agree and would add that he was also pleasing to men. Sometimes the standards imposed by men are harder to satisfy than those imposed by God.