most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps

7/9/08

I liked GFWD’s list of questions from a few days ago, so I’m going to post my own answers and encourage anyone else to do so.

1. What are the most important qualities you want in the next POTUS?

Three things: someone willing to address the problem of black-market nuclear materials, someone to provide a brave vision of America powered solely on alternative energy, and someone willing to sharply reduce the influence of “corporate personhood”.

2. What do you think of the passing of Jesse Helms?

Okay, time for Lefty McLiberalpants. No offense to some commenters (whose opinions I always respect), but frankly, I have zero amount of respect for that fucking asshole and the planet breathes easier without him. He did nothing but create abject misery for people that weren’t white and straight, and while we’ll always hear the mantra “nobody fought harder for North Carolina”, I don’t think many Tar Heels can fathom what an embarrassment he was to my adopted home state.

When I’d tell anyone outside of the South that I was going to NC, most of them would shudder and say “you mean, where Jesse Helms is?” He was not deserving of grudging respect. He was not deserving of anyone saying “you gotta hand it to the guy, he got things done.” He was a rotten guy that did a lot of rotten things, and it needs to be in writing. I’m reminded of the Public Enemy lyric:

Elvis was a hero to most

But he never meant shit to me you see

Straight up racist that sucker was, simple and plain

(Motherfuck him and John Wayne).

jessehelms(bl).jpg

3. What song was playing that “first” time?

“The Lark Ascending” by Ralph Vaughn Williams. I’m serious: download it and play it in headphones with your eyes closed. Just do it right now.

4. Favorite Tar Heel basketball player of all time and why?

I’m with Dean (and Chip): Tyler and Sheed. Just magnificent and inspiring.

5. Most famous person you’ve shaken hands with or met?

In terms of being “famous”, I guess it’d have to be Bill Clinton – I met him in Chapel Hill in ’92 when he was still running in the Democratic primary and he talked to a bunch of us about baseball and the designated hitter rule.

Best story, however, is probably Michael Jordan. In 1988, I was trying to drop my badminton P.E. class, but they said I needed an advisor to sign my drop/add form (young-timers, ask somebody what those were). That weekend, I took a plane to Los Angeles, and the Chicago Bulls were also on the flight. I wandered up to first class, stuck my drop/add form in Michael’s face and asked him to sign as my advisor. He looked at the form, shook his head in that “I remember this crap” sort of way, and signed it with a smile.

I figured if UNC wouldn’t count Michael Jordan as my advisor for a P.E. class, they were nuts. Turns out they were nuts. Man, didn’t anybody have a sense of humor?

0 thoughts on “most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps

  1. Jason Savage

    the Jordan story is absolutely fantastic.
    i have heard the “get things done” defense of Helms. Sounds a bit like the “at least you know where he stands” assessment of George W. I’m not sure why execution and/or convictions are a positive thing when the results are so harmful.

    Reply
  2. Matt

    I don’t think I’ll take advice on racism from Flavor Flav and Public Enemy, who pepper their lyrics with violent threats against “crackers.”

    Reply
  3. Anne

    Ian, I was interested in your very specific list of platform items for your ideal presidential candidate. I need to go look up what “corporate personhood” means!
    But I don’t think your platform planks qualify as “qualities.” Do you have a list of “qualities” for your candidate in mind, too?

    Reply
  4. kent

    I’ve quoted that Chuck D line many times, but it should be said that according to biographers, Elvis was absolutely not a racist.
    What’s my ideal president — one who will do the fucking job. I’m sick to death of Republicans who distrust and hate government being put in charge of the government. They invariably prove themselves right by turning it into a mismanaged, corrupt clusterfuck.
    Sadly enough, a President’s ‘goals’ are generally worth about as much as a Coke can full of Skol juice, and the true measure of the man is how he reacts to events. It’s good that Barack has a plan for Health Care, Energy Independence, Global Warming, and International Diplomacy. But what makes me feel more confident in him, is to see that he’s also cautious and capable of nuance. I think Bush was Bold and Decisive, for sure. He was also bloody-mindedly wrong about everything.

    Reply
  5. Matt

    Relative to Jesse Helms… Obama not only voted for a resolution commemorating Helms’s achievements, but also co-sponsored it.

    Reply
  6. GFWD

    I realized I never answered the questions I asked.
    1. I want someone smart who inspires and who makes adjustments on the fly, if they are sorely needed. It’s great to have a plan, but sometimes situations change.
    2. I read a ton of articles following his death and appreciate the sentiment both his detractors and loyalists had. On the one hand, he was a powerful voice for the state of NC who went out of his way to make lasting gestures for some of his select constituents, whether it was replacing lost military medals or visiting former employees in the hospital. On the other, he seriously opposed many Civil Rights matters and treated folks with an alternative lifestyle with contempt. And he thought that a wall should be erected around the University of North Carolina.
    I once sat in his chair in his Senate office and saw noted Civil Rights activist, James Meredith, stuffing envelopes in one of his suite’s smaller offices. My first thought, upon hearing of his death, was that somewhere Harvey Gantt must be dancing, but I doubt he even cares.
    Check out what this guy did: http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/politicians/helms/story/1135443.html
    3. FIRE AND RAIN by James Taylor (I could tell you the day, time, place and Carolina game that was played earlier that day, too); I went to see Taylor perform at a cozy outdoor amphitheatre a few weeks ago and that sumbitch did NOT play that song. I was pissed. But it’s probably a good thing, as I would have been dumb enough to blurt out to my wife and our friends, “you know what I did for the first time when I was listening to this song?”
    4. It’s easier to pick a favorite player from each era (pre-Carolina, during Carolina, post Carolina). By that logic, my picks are:
    A. James Worthy (went to my high school and brought us a title and then played for my Lakers
    )
    B. George Lynch (I was his advisor and he brought us a title)
    C. Sean May (a little doughy, got hurt and came back, saved his best performances for his final six games in a Carolina jersey, and brought us a title)
    5. Also met Bill Clinton when he was campaigning in Chapel Hill in 1992. Was late for Psych class because of it. Enjoyed getting my picture taken with Phil Ford and Charlie Scott better, however!

    Reply
  7. DFB's&T's

    Kent: you claim Barack has a plan for lot of things. In reality, both parties are talking loud, but saying nothing. I can not point to a specific plan by the Republicans re fuel, environment, etc. But, Barack has no SPECIFIC plan either. Beware that the emperor, in fact, has no clothes. They all suck.
    As for Helms: I don’t think that the man can be defined in easy terms. Was he anti-homosexual? Yes, along with 99.9% of his generation and over 50% of our generation. Did he object to wasteful government spending? Yes, and if a politician today would adhere to the same beliefs, he or she would be elected in a landslide. Was he a segregarionist member of the DEMOCRAT party? Yes. But, after integration gratefully became the law of the land, he actually led the way of many Southern politicians (including Democrats) in hiring and treatment of blacks (see noted scholar from the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Russell Mead’s WSJ article from 2001).
    By the way, as an indication of the media’s utter distate of Helms, note the following: NC Senator Sam Ervin’s obituary was 26 paragraphs long on the front page of the Washington Post. Yes, this political opposition to nearly EVERY civil rights bill and opposition to Justice Thurgood Marshall was not mentioned until the 25th paragraph. Fair?
    Senator Helms had his faults and history will likely claim that most politicians of his generation seem now antiquated. But, to issue a blanket statement that he was 100% racist or 100% anything is not fair.

    Reply
  8. CM

    Agree that dealing with black-market nukes comes first…if some country goes and nukes us, then we won’t be around to have gay marriage anyway.

    Reply
  9. T.J.

    “I’m sick to death of Republicans who distrust and hate government being put in charge of the government. They invariably prove themselves right by turning it into a mismanaged, corrupt clusterfuck.”
    Democrats LOVE government, and they do the same thing. That’s what government is: one big mismanaged, corrupt cluster****. Both parties are full of bums looking for self-aggrandizement, personal wealth and accomplishment at our expense. Whether it’s social programs or the military-industrial complex, our tax money will always end up in the hands of the powerful, the already-monied and the corrupt. How people continue to have faith in and vote for either major party astounds me.
    Helms was an embarrassment. I agreed with some of his votes opposing some programs and spending, but not for the reasons he gave. He simply believed government ought to control our lives in a different way than the rest of the Senate did.

    Reply
  10. craighill

    from the wash post:
    As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Helms led the successful effort to bring Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into the NATO alliance. He secured passage of bipartisan legislation to protect our men and women in uniform from the International Criminal Court. He won overwhelming approval for his legislation to support the Cuban people in their struggle against a tyrant. He won majority support in the Senate for his opposition to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. He helped secure passage of the National Missile Defense Act and stopped the Clinton administration from concluding a new anti-ballistic missile agreement in its final months in office — paving the way for today’s deployment of America’s first defenses against ballistic missile attack. He helped secure passage of the Iraq Liberation Act, which expressed strong bipartisan support for regime change in Baghdad. He secured broad, bipartisan support to reorganize the State Department and bring much-needed reform to the United Nations, and he became the first legislator from any nation to address the U.N. Security Council — a speech few in that chamber will forget.
    “not deserving of grudging respect”?

    Reply
  11. Piglet

    There will be a time and place for me to say a mouthful about Jesse Helms, but right now ain’t it.
    My first thought when Nixon died was “The Expletive is deleted at last”, but I managed to hold my tongue until the mourning from those who actually liked the contemptible worm stopped. God only knows how I did it.
    It wasn’t too long ago that Ted Kennedy was at death’s door and a whole lot of conservatives who don’t care too much for the Old Lion sent out kindly worded prayers for his recovery. I’d like to be able to say I’m at least as courtly as a conservative.

    Reply
  12. Piglet

    Oh–and the other stuff.
    POTUS–The ability to inspire trust and respect from other World Leaders, regular Americans, and the citizens of Earth, in about that order. Abiltiy to admit mistakes and take the heat for them. Ability to do the right thing and take the heat for that, as well as the ability to effectively explain WHY it’s the right thing.
    First time music: Bela Lugosi’s Dead. I didn’t plan it that way; it was just what the college radio station was playing at the time.
    Tarheel: None. I couldn’t even name a single tarheel player if the million dollar trivia jackpot depended on it, and I skip all of Ian’s bball entries. If that disappoints you, I apologise.
    Famous person: Had a brief and meaningless handshake with Bill Clinton once. I’m going to say Christopher Reeve and Kevin Spacey, who I actually had conversations with during my summer stock theater days.

    Reply
  13. Neva

    I agree with Piglet. If you have nothing good to say, at least wait until he’s cold. I am not a Jesse fan but he was someone’s father and grandfather. I think at this time it makes sense to remember the better (and I believe there were some) things he did. For my part, he helped my brother get his passport through quickly in order to take a trip in an emergency. Lots of people have stories like that one and from what I hear, one on one, he was a caring and thoughtful man who genuinely liked people and wanted the best for them. I think that’s what Bono saw when he met with him and influenced him on assisting Africa. Why that didn’t translate into more changes of heart on policy I’m not entirely sure. I always thought of him as the grinch who might just need a little who in whoville to get to that heart dep down in there. Perhaps he needed more folks like Bono to influence him? Of course, I love Bono, and he can influence me anytime :) so I’m a bit biased.
    As far as your other questions – I want a trustworthy and SMART president. That would be a nice change.
    No music present – was outside.
    Cannot for the life of me remember meeting anyone famous. Of course UNC basketball players are all around here and I remember JR Reid coming to our dorm to date a hallmate and I’ve seen Michael Jordon around and I kind of know Hubert and Montross but not really. I’ve seen a few more in passing I think but never spoken up. How sad. Know some local NPR folks if you consider them famous, but I doubt you do.
    I hate to admit it on this blog but I’m not much of a basketball fan. So sorry. Don’t hate me.

    Reply
  14. jersey

    (1) Someone who will surround himself with the best people he can find, delegate authority, and not interfere as long as the policy he’s decided on is carried out. (Here’s to hoping Obama can channel his inner Reagan).
    (2) I thought he was dead already – who knew?
    (3) Didn’t have music playing the first time, but my favorite song at a different point in time was “Sure Shot” by The Beastie Boys (and she put it on – I loved that).
    (4) I’m surprised that I’m the first one to pull the tab for Ed Cota. Led the Heels to 3 Final Fours, broke the ACC record for most assists in a season, 1st player in NCAA history to finish career with 1,000 points/1,000 assists/500 rebounds. And NO ONE on those 1998-1999 teams tied on a bigger buzz on Franklin Street. Love that guy.
    (5) Slight Change – Top 5 famous people I’ve golfed with: Michael J. Fox, Gov. Thomas Kean, caveman, Jamie Widdoes (aka Hoover from Animal House), and Boomer Esiason.

    Reply
  15. emma

    1 – Experience and integrity
    2 – This will show you how childhood impressions can go a long way. When I was in first or second grade, my Mom held a luncheon at our house in honor of Dot Helms. I was allowed to get out of school to help serve at the luncheon. I was never allowed to just get out of school, so I liked the Helms for a long time because of that. Until Joe Farmer and Greg Humphreys advised at the Cat’s Cradle that I should Vote for Gantt. So, I did.
    3 – No clue, but I’ll bet it was something awful like Carrie by Whitesnake.
    4 – So many to choose from – Charlie Scott, Bobby Jones, Donald Williams, Sean May, Brendan Haywood, Vince Carter. But when it comes right down to it, I would have to say Tyler Hansbrough – the bloody nose and my kids are still doing (just two days ago) the Jesus Lizard/Hansbrough dance.
    5 – I waited on Stefan Edberg once, but I never get to meet famous people. They were always around the day before.
    By the way, I am working on at least exposing Neva’s daughter to be a basketball fan as I was lucky enough to take her to her first UNC bball game last December.

    Reply
  16. Amy S.

    GFWD, you scooped me on the link about L.F. Eason III! I was going to post it, and say, Now THIS is a guy who is both principled and good.

    Reply
  17. kent

    Matt> I’ve never met a black person as sensitive to racial slights as you are. Toughen up. I know it’s hard to be a member of the race and gender accustomed to oppressing everyone else, but needs must, G, needs must.
    T.J.> Goverments have the misfortune to be run by human beings it’s true, but c’mon. There are enough examples of mismanagement and malfeasance by the current administration to fill a book the size of the federal budget. Clinton and Gore ran an effective and relatively efficient Federal Bureaucracy.
    DFB’s&T’s> Spend some time on the candidate sites and get back to me. A specific plan for anything non-trivial in government is a thick book produced by a committee — Obama is as specific as he can be under the circumstances, as no doubt, McCain is as well.
    You know the old military truism: No one’s battle plan survives contact with the enemy. In the case of Presidential candidates, that enemy is the reality of having to govern. The best you can hope is that they keep all the plates spinning and don’t do anything really stupid or destructive.
    Need I point out that Bush has done everything stupid and destructive he can think of over the past seven years? Imagine how much damage he’d do if he treated being President as a full time job!

    Reply
  18. jje

    Emma – you waited on Stefan Edberg?!?! What was he like? I was completely in love with him during my serious tennis days. My dorm room at Granville was completely plastered in pictures of him I’d carefully clip out of Tennis magazine. I was so crushed when he married “that woman” (LOL!) and retired. Sigh…it was a long-held dream to see him play in person, but it just never materialized. I was not the type of girl to have crushes on famous people, but he was definitely the exception. *swoon* Lucky girl!!!
    Piglet, for a million dollar jackpot, you couldn’t come up with at least Michael Jordan?
    Eh, what the heck:
    POTUS quality: honesty
    Jesse: Mostly indifferent. People die, circle of life and whatnot.
    First time: Piano Man by Billy Joel
    Favorite Tar Heel: Hmm, college days, it was definitely Dante Calabria (okay, maybe I did have one other little crush). Otherwise, Eric Montross, George Lynch and Hubert Davis. Obviously I’m dating my years at Carolina. But I don’t think they make ’em like these guys anymore.
    Famous person: Well, I WISH I could say Stefan Edberg. I could name a bunch of guys from my days of writing for IC and THM, including Jordan. Honestly, I think the coolest/most interesting famous person I ever got to hang out with was Oleg Cassini, the couturier of choice for Jackie Kennedy. I was just a teenager at the time, so he didn’t mean a whole lot to me, but in retrospect, it was a brush with real history.

    Reply
  19. neva

    Wait a minute! I just remembered! I did spend an whole evening with the band Hot Chocolate (“You Sexy Thing”) when they played a private party at the restaurant where I worked briefly in London. We did some late night drinking together. Totally forgot that.
    And, I also worked with Emma when she waited on SE (but, alas, I was not there that night) and I wouldn’t have known him from Adam anyway. Turns out I’m not a tennis fan either (sorry GFWD)!

    Reply
  20. cullen

    1. honesty, integrity, true leadership in crisis
    2. Thank the Good Lord it’s finally over; N.C. needs to move on..
    3. No idea–let’s go with ‘Ambient Noise’ by They Might Be Virgins
    4. Tough one, cause I”m a diehard, so to choose anyone who left early for any reason is sacrilege, including MJ, Stack, Sheed, etc.. I friggin’ loved Steve Hale, but hey I’m an offguard who likes to release and go back door–this is really too hard
    5. We met Patrick Rafter once, since someone mentioned smooth Edberg. My wife foamed at the mouth over Patrick Rafter and we met him on LI at the old Hamlet tourney, a former warm-up for the US Open. I guess I’d have to go with the Dean himself—caddied for him and Valvano once at the Crosby celebrity golf tourney, which always drew lots of famous folks. Saw LT (Lawrence Taylor) and MJ spray some shots wildly and break some windows and dent some shit.

    Reply
  21. GFWD

    I guess since all of you seem to be in the afterglow of the All England Club’s annual little grass court tourney, I’ll say that my most famous brush with tennis royalty occurred when the McEnroe brothers played an exhibition in the Dean Dome with (I think) Connors and Mats Wilander. I’m not sure of their opponents, but I remember being “security” and keeping fans respectable and at bay while the brothers McEnroe signed autographs on the way to the locker room. Though I am not left-handed like he is, I always patterned my serve after McEnroe’s. Liked his fire more than Borg’s stiff automaton ways. Kind of why I always liked Agassi over Pete and Nadal over Federerererererererer. (I think I’m about two er’s short).
    Cullen, wasn’t rafter the first to climb into the stands to hug his dad after he won?
    Neva, no tennis, and no basketball? Good thing you’re otherwise smart, MILFy hot and resourceful when I come a-calling with medical questions, else I might have to divorce you as my friend!

    Reply
  22. Neva

    GFWD – does enjoying some of the events in the Olympics (and usually the NCAA BB finals) count for anything ?- those are my about the only sports I watch. I admit to being amazed by some tennis (for a few minutes at least) – better than golf anyway. I went to many a UNC football game and never looked at the field (was that why we were there?).
    Just remembered – I ate dinner at a table next to Dean just the other night. That was amazing. Made me realize how odd it must be for him as we all tried not to stare and give him privacy.

    Reply
  23. Neva

    GFWD – does enjoying some of the events in the Olympics (and usually the NCAA BB finals) count for anything ?- those are my about the only sports I watch. I admit to being amazed by some tennis (for a few minutes at least) – better than golf anyway. I went to many a UNC football game and never looked at the field (was that why we were there?).
    Just remembered – I ate dinner at a table next to Dean just the other night. That was amazing. Made me realize how odd it must be for him as we all tried not to stare and give him privacy.
    I’m distracting myself from lots of stressful stuff today with these thoughts. Thanks!

    Reply
  24. Scott M.

    1. For the next POTUS, I want someone who will:
    – get us out of Iraq (and not start a war with Iran)
    – address the energy crisis and global warming
    – refuse to allow religion to creep into government / state (and work to reverse what’s already been done)
    – try to restore the US’s image with the rest of the world
    Those are the ones that jump to mind first.
    I think Obama would do a good job on three of the four; as Matt has pointed out in the past, he’s a bit too religious for me… but I guess that’s the only way to get elected, unfortunately.
    2. I detested Jesse Helms, and was ashamed that he represented my state. As a rule I don’t wish death on anyone, but I certainly won’t miss him. Kudos to the guy who refused to lower the staff to half-mast; I couldn’t quit/retire over it, but I love the sentiment.
    3. What song was playing that “first” time?
    Though I love music, there was no music that night for me. And to be honest, I can’t think of a time when there was music… is that odd?
    4. Favorite Tar Heel basketball player of all time and why?
    I like the idea of selecting players from each of the three eras:
    Pre-enrollment – Jordan’s the easy answer, but I was partial to Sheed and Stack too. Has no one mentioned Kenny Smith yet?
    During enrollment (1995-1999) – Vince Carter! Probably the all-time most exciting Tar Heel to watch (Jordan’s the only real competition). I also really liked Cota, Shammond, and Jamison. I had lunch with Jamison once at Granville Towers (friend of a friend) – he was a cool guy. And I can’t forget Julius Peppers! If he had focused on basketball and not football, who knows how good he could have been? An amazing athlete. His screens were feared throughout the ACC.
    Post-enrollment – I’m going to say Danny Green. He does it all: best dunker (and dancer?) on the team, can shoot outside, can block shots… I love when he’s on the floor for us. It was tempting to say Hansbrough – he plays his guts out every night. And I was happy to see Quentin Thomas finally doing well last year. Oh, and Jackie Manuel! Loved that guy too.
    5. Most famous person you’ve shaken hands with or met?
    Shaken hands with? I don’t know, maybe Frans de Waal, but he’s not all that famous. I was in behind Dean Smith in the security line at RDU once, but didn’t bother him Maybe my lunch with Jamison counts here.
    Oh yeah, I played pickup ball with Jason Capel and Kris Lang once (us three against five guys who were pretty good – we still won!) – does that count? They’re not very famous though.

    Reply
  25. Schultz

    Thank you Piglet. Well stated.
    I think a lot about Ted Kennedy these days. I hate that the man is suffering and his recent bout likely signals the end of an incredible journey.
    While I have never agreed with his political persuasion, I have the utmost respect for the man because he stands up for what he believes in. Further, the man has been through hell and back several times. The loss of two brothers to assasination, the loss of a sister, his parents, his nephews, etc etc. No one here has likely experienced such sadness in life. And yet he has given his life to his beloved state and country when he could have easily called it quits years ago.
    The lack of respect shown by some on this blog towards Jesse Helms is incredible. And you call us the haters?

    Reply
  26. Matt

    Sensitive? Skin of steel, Kent, almost Superman-like. But I won’t be lectured on race by racists.
    Scott, you can take heart that Obama doesn’t actually believe any of it. I read his Chicago Sun-Times interview from 2004 where he said he doesn’t believe in Heaven or Hell nor think it makes a difference if one is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or whatever. “Many paths to the same place”, wherever it may be.

    Reply
  27. chm

    The Jordan story is terrific. But even granting that UNC is the purest and most virtuous place on the planet and also that MJ was in school at a time before big-time college athletic departments fully developed their athlete-babying apparatus, do you really think Mike ever filled out his own drop/add form?

    Reply
  28. jje

    Hey, Cullen, we must have quietly crossed paths back in the 80s. My parent’s agency did the Crosby marketing/advertising/pr for the the first couple of years when Crosby’s widow brought it to Bermuda Run. I met my pal Oleg in the tent we had set up on the 18th hole when the “stars” came off the course. I absolutely remember seeing Dean, Michael, Jimmy V, LT, etc.
    Sigh…I haven’t thought this much about Stefan Edberg in years…off to google.

    Reply
  29. Lucas

    We still have add/drop forms, at least at my school we do. We have to create them on the computer, somehow find a printer to print them out, and then walk them to our advisor to sign.
    There is something to be said for a pencil and paper.
    -Lucas, actual young-timer

    Reply
  30. cullen

    Jif, I went to West Forsyth, but loved me some of those Davie Co. gals, so I fell in with some of that lot what were hosting and hostessing the Crosby, which was consistently awesome—used to ‘dig the clambake’ party and all the sports (and other) celebs. Are you from Winston?
    Good luck with dos bebes tarheels. We’re waiting for the earth to move in this part of the western hemisphere to signal ‘safe passage’.

    Reply
  31. jje

    I did graduate from Davie County HS but lived in little ol’ Advance. Agency was in W-S.
    …but I’m not jiff, I’m jje! LOL! I have stepsisters who graduated from West Forsyth around that time, though.
    And I’m only pregnant with one…20 days and counting until Carolina’s next great player arrives. ;-)

    Reply
  32. cullen

    JJE, Oh funny, sorry. Guess I still had that whopping baby belly on my mind. I graduated WFHS in 1989 and UNC in ’93. I was pals with the Hildebrand gals and many other county-line friends. Good luck with the impending arrival.

    Reply
  33. bridget

    1. the bar has been so low for the past seven/eight years that i find the qualities i desire in a president to be pretty basic – things we used to take for granted. (it’s like that seinfeld episode where elaine had this long list of qualities she wanted in a boyfriend and it was slowly whittled away to someone who said gesundheit.) but i’m excited by the prospect of someone who thinks and can speak both eloquently and practically about issues, someone who reads, who holds complex thoughts, is smart…
    2. jesse helms… eh. he’s an old man who grew up in a different time. but i think he’s rightly judged by the considerable negativity which defined him rather than the other good bits he might have otherwise been known for. he’s always struck me as someone who just embodied his prejudices and wrongdoings, he looked like evil had warped his face. i feel that way about dick cheney too…
    3. no song that i can remember…
    4. dante calabria. huh? anyone? heh… he grew up in pittsburgh. he was always the biggest enthusiast on the Carolina bench.
    5. franco harris – had dinner at my house once. i was very very young.

    Reply
  34. eric g.

    Piglet,
    Your Nixon comment reminded me of the time I went to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA (I was clerking for a judge in O.C. and figured I might as well check out the shrine to my law school’s most famous alum). I also wanted to see how they treated Watergate. Turns out there is a “Watergate Timeline” along one wall, in which Senator Sam Ervin’s name is misspelled. So much for historical accuracy.
    All this talk of race reminded me that I needed to add an important name to my answer to number (5): when I was little, the poet Gwendolyn Brooks stayed at my house. We took her to lunch at the only restaurant in my tiny Virginia town, and the postmistress (a white woman) sneered at us when we brought an African-American to lunch. If I had it to do over, I would have walked up to the postmistress and said “How many Pulitzer Prizes do YOU have???” Ms. Brooks was real cool, indeed.

    Reply
  35. jje

    Cullen – I was ’90 for DCHS and ’94 for UNC. And yep, I totally remember the Hildebrand girls. My stepsisters were Jordans – cheerleaders and from what I remember (we’re not terribly close), pretty wild. LOL

    Reply
  36. emma

    jje – sorry for the late response. Edberg was very nice. He came into the restaurant in the middle of the day when no one else was in there. This was in London during the Wimbledon fortnight, I think. The restaurant was the Lone Star Cafe on Gloucester Road and we did not serve much healthy food – ribs, burgers, nachos, etc. I think he asked for fruit or vegetables to substitute for the greasy sides we usually served. I think the kitchen came up with something. I didn’t recognize him at first – the manager told me who he was.
    My favorite tennis player was Rafter. I understand that not only was he gorgeous, but he was one of the most polite and gracious players on the circuit.
    Did anyone watch that awesome final on Sunday morning and afternoon with Nadal and Federerer. It was one of the best tennis finals I have ever seen.

    Reply
  37. k_upon_a_time

    Re: Jesse….When I was in middle school, I received a letter from Jesse Helms praising me for my accomplishments, character, and potential.
    I discovered that letter again as an adult after coming out and wondered how many other kids he once applauded who he would deny respect and rights to after they acknowledged such an all-encompassing truth about themselves.
    I still have the letter.
    I do not mourn the man.
    I feel strange that I feel nothing.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *