Orrin Hatch was a regular visitor to Palm Springs [Opinion]

Orrin Hatch, a retired United States Senator has died in the state of Utah at the age of 88.

Hatch was a regular visitor to Palm Springs and hiked the Bear Creek Channel Trail in the City of La Quinta with his longtime friend Jim Parkinson, formerly of Bermuda Dunes.

Hatch and Parkinson were both alumni of Brigham Young University and both were prominent members of the bar.

Parkinson once called Sen. Hatch, “A great friend, family man, and a gifted singer.” He also championed the judicial career of Justice Doug Miller of Indian Wells.

Did you say singer?  Yes! He wrote and recorded many faith-based songs while serving in the Senate. His music even reached Platinum status. His royalties were modest but paid him thousands of dollars over his lifetime.

Hatch served in leadership roles in the Senate and was a strong conservative on many olive matters. He worked a bipartisan manner and while a gentleman, the former boxer, could land a knockout punch with his own party and Presidents.

Hatch established a strong friendship with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. While polar opposites, they worked together and found ways to compromise on policy but not their principles.

Today our Senate has a majority of 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and 2 Independents. Sen. Hatch retired from the Senate in 2019. He had served seven, six-year terms in the Senate. No Utah Senator will break that record.

Hatch began his service in the Senate in 1976. He was an incredible orator, made could make the most complex legislation understandable, and was a force to be recorded with.

It was my honor to have met him twice. Once on the Senate floor after taking my Oath to serve in the Air Force and most recently in 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Hatch was in Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s suite at the Republican National Convention. I was privileged to join them along with many others. The Senator gave me a message for his friend, known to us as Jim Parkinson. That message, while G-rated, remains personal and confidential. He was a warm man and had a great sense of humor.

While some disagree with his polices, politics, and faith, Orrin Hatch was one of the “Giants of the Senate.” He had integrity, was honest to a fault, and loved his country. He was an unabashed patriot and was a proud American.

He is survived by his wife Elaine and the couple’s six children. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Sen. Orrin Hatch has earned his place in the U.S. Senate and U.S. history. He was a compassionate conservative, a leader, and a great family man and friend. He will be missed by family, friends, and colleagues.


Image Sources

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch: Shutterstock