Oct. 17, 2004
CLEVELAND: Ohio is mourning, and not just because the Buckeyes have forgotten how to play football. Christopher Reeve had many friends and supporters here.
Heros of his stature are rare today. He was a person who endured unbearable pain and limitations, yet remained so positive and optimistic that millions of people who heard him speak are motivated to use a bit more of their God-given talents.
Like many other folks, I got to hear him at one of those huge all-day motivational seminars. Actually at two of them. Not only hear him, but see him up close because I was also there to take pictures.
Now, any time you see me wearing a tie you’ll also see a tie bar with a presidential seal on it. That’s thanks to Christopher Reeve.
See, this was in the late 1990’s and President and Mrs. Bush were also on the program and they asked to visit Mr. Reeve back stage. Naturally they wanted pictures, and believe me I shot plenty. And as we walked out of that private room the former president handed me his tie bar with a request to make sure he got prints. Yes, the tie bar was given me by a president, but only because he requested a visit with this hero.
I got to see him again last year, speaking to a huge crowd, and also kinda mingling with a small group. The friendly, smiling man you have seen in interviews, replayed lately on Larry King and other television shows, is exactly the same gracious, caring and hopeful individual I saw that day.
Oh, did I tell you he has a 12-year old son named Will?
I was in Akron yesterday. Spoke at the famous Tangiers Night Club, to the College Club, a group of about a hundred wonderful professional women. They remind me of the Pocahontas Club in Oklahoma.
Tomorrow I’m flying to Florida, continuing my fact-finding tour of battleground states. See, one fact I read in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today is that Senator Kerry bought a hunting license in Ohio, and plans to go after big game near Youngstown later this week. I think voters might want to know how many states he has bought a license in, and just how many deer, elk, moose, gators and other wild beasts he intends to shoot before Nov. 2.
President Bush just left Florida so there’s bound to be something for me to stumble on down there, or step in.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“You must judge a man’s greatness by how much he will be missed.” WA #139, August 9, 1925
“Darn it, why is it the good ones are the ones that go, that’s one thing about an ornery Guy, you never hear of him dying. He is into everything else but a Coffin.” WA #461, October 25, 1931
“With all the various Candidates you get your issues so confused that nobody knows what they are voting for. You have to vote for somebody you don’t want to, to keep somebody worse out.” WA #157, Dec. 13, 1925
“Every time we have an election we get in worse men, and the country keeps right on going. Times have only proven one thing, and that is that you can’t ruin this country even with politics.” WA #305, Oct. 28, 1928