10:27 AM

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Goodbye: Godfather of Soul, Jerry Ford

Mister Nizz

I know, it's old news

But I thought I'd mention it in passing. James Brown died on Christmas Day, but I was too sick to care enough to post anything on here. That's the way of things-- read the particulars in the NY Times if you need too. I will certainly miss him.. he had style. It would be hypocritical to say "I was a big fan" but I had a few of his CDs. He made an indelible impression on me way back in the 80s when he played at the played at the POST OFFICE PAVILLION for New Years' Eve (I forget which year but I remember LIVING IN AMERICA was his big hit that year (and it played in Rocky IV which should date it a bit). He put on a hell of a show, playing for hours and hours, and this was a man in his late 50s/early 60s!

I hope God holds you in the palm of His hand, soul man. You were the hardest working man in show business.

What can I say about the death of Jerry Ford that hasn't been said already? Like the man's presidency, he a decent chap that went unnoticed in the grand scheme of things. I was very young during the Ford presidency but even then I felt that the guy was a placeholder. Let's face it, "Whip Inflation Now" buttons aren't going to get you a very noticeable place in history. Still, Ford was our first and only (so far) appointed president, and really, the only example of how the line of succession works in this country when both the President and Vice-President disappear. He was not a very succesful president domestically or internationaly, but he did provide a very much needed sense of continuity in government at a moment of poltical crisis. Alas, his presidency seemed doomed from the git-go with all the rumors of dealmaking being bandied about during the 76 election (which I have only a fuzzy memory of now). Ford barely even defeated Reagan for the Republican primary. It must have galled him to be considered for a Vice-president position when Reagan got the nod in 1980 (and I DO remember how reluctant he seemed to hold his hands up in the victory pose with Reagan right after Ronnie's acceptance speech). His post presidential career, such as it was, was in seclusion-- one rarely heard from Ford in years where Carter was often in the news building houses for Habitat for Humanity or being an Elder statesman somewhere, or even Nixon would appear from the past with his engaging and trenchant commentary on the world scene. So if I'm shrugging, at least I can say, thanks for your service, Mr. President, and thanks for letting the federal employees off today so traffic is light. God Bless.