THIS AND THAT

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@body:10. Dollar Bill Bidwill is a man who listens to his own drummer. Retaining tweedledum and tweedledee, otherwise known as Joe Bugel and Larry Wilson, was the one sure way Bidwill could be certain to sell even fewer season tickets for next season.

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@body:11. Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing talk-show blabber, will never run out of material, because he is not embarrassed to belabor the same subjects day after day.

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@body:12. Ron Brown, who seemed so gooey and charming during the presidential campaign, turns out to be the worst possible choice for a spot in Clinton's cabinet.

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@body:13. I've watched the Philadelphia 76ers several times this season on television. I don't pretend to have the last word, but the Suns would be better off today if they had traded Kevin Johnson rather than Jeff Hornacek.

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@body:14. Take this for what you will. I remember the story about sentencing that Judge Jim Bailey told me one day back in Chicago. The prisoner brought before him had been hired to kill an 87-year-old woman. The gun misfired. He held her down until an accomplice brought him another weapon. Judge Bailey ordered the death sentence. The sentence was reversed on appeal.

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@body:15. The outcome of the San Francisco-Dallas game last Sunday would have been different if Joe Montana had played.

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@body:16. I went to Ronald Reagan's first inauguration, traveling from Flagstaff by train. The Bill Williams Mountain Men were on the same train. They were an amazing bunch who never seemed to need sleep. It turned out they and their horses and buckskin suits were the surprise hit of the inaugural parade.

I ended up in the press area, located directly in front of the platform from which Reagan spoke. I looked around and saw all the wealthy Reagan followers from California, each in a fur coat. Reagan talked about his patriotism and his fear of Russia.

The crowd loved it. The conservative columnists predicted the next day that Reagan would be one of our greatest presidents. The thing I remember most about the inauguration was that Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon were in the front row.

The following day, I went out to Arlington National Cemetery. I wanted to visit the graves of the men who had lost their lives in the unsuccessful effort to rescue the Iranian hostages. It was believed that if their mission had been a success, Jimmy Carter would have won a second term.

But the mission failed. Brave men died. Their only reward was to be buried in this famous but lonely cemetery. @rule:

@body:17. I suppose commentators will be talking about Harry Truman's inauguration often today.

Historical scholar Gary Bellrichard insisted I read this excerpt from David McCullough's book Truman:

"Truman put aside his hat, scarf and overcoat. He stood bareheaded to the wind, his right hand raised, a straight-backed, bespectacled figure with closely cropped grey hair, his expression deadly serious.

"It was 1:29, and for the first time as president in his own right, he turned to face the microphones and the expectant crowd.

"Each period of our national history,' Truman said, 'has had its special challenges. Those that confront us now are as momentous as any in the past. Today marks the beginning not only of a new administration, but of a period that will be eventful, perhaps decisive, for us and the world.'"
It was ever thus.

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