POLITICS

Henry Winkler visits Fonzie jacket, talks about his mom

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

Henry Winkler has more than one mission on this trip to Washington. "First of all, I came to visit my jacket, which is in the Smithsonian," the actor, best known for playing "The Fonz" on "Happy Days," told Yeas & Nays. "In my heart I visit it every day, but in body, whenever I'm here, I go to the Smithsonian." And he doesn't go unnoticed. "First of all, they are shocked and second of all, we always take a picture together, the three of us, them, me and the jacket," he said of the museum-goers.

Winkler's real business in town was to talk about a condition you've probably never heard of: upper limb spasticity, as part of the Open Arms campaign. It's when the hands and arms clench up after a person has a stroke or an injury to the brain or spinal cord. Winkler's mother was a stroke victim and passed away before a relatively new treatment became available -- injecting Botox to unclamp the hands. (Yes, the same Botox used by every "Real Housewife" to ever grace television).

"I wonder how it would have changed just her point of view about living if she knew and it was available to her," Winkler said of his late mom. "Because I watched her energy, her joy, drip out of her because you do therapy, but it worked for her only so much, and she would then start to decline."

Winkler also told us his take on the election. "I hope that the man who actually cares about 300 million Americans as opposed to very few is re-elected," he said of President Obama, who he's never met. "I would like to get his autograph one day," Winkler said. "I did send the entire collection of 'Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever,' which are the novels that I write for children, to his kids and got a beautiful letter back from Mrs. Obama."

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Nikki Schwab

Staff Reporter - Yeas & Nays
The Washington Examiner