On that evening, Publix Super Markets (a client of the agency then known as Matlock & Associates, the P.R. firm where I worked as an entry level account coordinator at the time) was to present a key SCLC figure -- Joseph Lowery -- with an award, and Jackson was in attendance for the photo opportunity and press briefing before the gala presentation.
Though I've seen Jackson in person a time or two since that event 12 years ago, it was the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid festivities at Daley Plaza last week that afforded time to speak 1x1 with Jackson, albeit briefly.
As shown in the video, Jackson was on site at the Plaza as thousands of Chicago Olympic enthusiasts -- no tears from Jackson this time (remember the night Obama was elected?), but he did take time to offer perspective to attending media regarding Chicago's fourth place finish in the bid process.
Someday my grand kids will hear about the time I made Jesse Jackson smile -- he did so when answering my question about his favorite personal Olympic memory, which Jackson recalled involved "The Tokyo Tornado" 1964 Olympic gold medalist Bob Hayes.
Photo via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and JSOnline photographer Rick Wood. Be sure to view the stirring video commentary Rick Wood recorded with Mike De Sisti.