Nightstand | Ken Burke
Valentine's Day is one of Burke's favorite days of the year. Sure, he likes to celebrate the day of romance with his wife, Cecilia, but for the past six years, he has been enjoying it for another reason, too. Burke, 52, is Pinellas County's Clerk of the Circuit Court, and on Feb. 14, he will officiate during the annual group wedding day at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. "This has really turned into a great event for us,'' he said. "It's something completely positive.'' Burke was elected to office in November 2004; since 1999, he has served on the board of trustees at St. Petersburg College.
What's on your nightstand?
James Madison by Richard Brookhiser. I'm just starting it, and then I'm also reading Huey Long by T. Harry Williams.
You chose that over Kingfish?
Yes, someone else had it and recommended it. Reading about him was scary. I never realized how diabolical he was. He really would have been a dictator if he was president. He was ruthless.
So, since it's our Valentine's Day Nightstand, what books come to mind when you think of romance?
I just don't have any come to mind, but I will tell you one funny thing. If you asked my wife that question, she'd remember that when we were dating, I gave her a book to read. It was a biography of Archbishop Francis Spellman. He was just a fascinating individual, and he was probably the most powerful churchman in America. I guess that's my answer, and she will get a good laugh.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer