Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Daily News: So long Eugene, Richard, and a Christmas Story

Eugene McCarthy died today. I remember meeting him in college during the run-up to the ‘80 campaign, one of the many times he ran for President. He spoke one evening to a gathering of supporters and others of us who were mostly interested because of what he’d done in ’68, when he forced LBJ out of the primaries. At the time I was a registered Republican (This was going to be short-lived as I had a conversion experience and left the party with John Anderson and have never looked back). I remember thinking at the time that McCarthy said a lot of things that made sense. More importantly, he kept us laughing. The one thing I still recall is how he chided automobile makers for building cars with speedometers that go to 120 or 130 miles per hour. At the time, the speed limit was 55 mph and he proposed that having the gauge only go to 85 would allow a "reasonable disregard for the law." The next morning, Eugene was in the philosophy department drinking coffee. I’d stopped in to drop off a paper or something and was invited to sit with him and some of other students and professors. He asked questions and listened to us, seemingly interested in what we had to say. McCarthy served as a representative and senator from the great state of Minnesota, which has given us many fine figure skaters, statesmen and some of our most colorful politicians (their last governor being a prime example of the later).

In other news, Richard Pryor also died. I saw him in Silver Streak… (it was a train movie)

In other news that you’ll not see anywhere else, tonight I read to my daughter L. Frank Baum’s (the Wizard of Oz guy) short story "A Kidnapped Santa Claus." It’s really good; a fairytale that speaks volumes about how good trumps selfishness, envy, hatred and malice.


  1. Silver Streak is a classic.

    Eugene McCarthy will be missed.

    michele sent me, I think.

  2. "reasonable disregard for the law."

    just found that

    fav of pryor is brewster's millions.

  3. I was unaware that Pryor had been ill for so long, although he had been having health problems in the past.

    Michele sent me.

  4. I knew Richard Pryor had been very ill for a long time - in fact, I have seen him on tv a couple of times and he looked very poorly.

    Thank you, Richard, for making a generation laugh, and helping prejudice to fall....

    Michele sent me

  5. Richard Pryor was close to genius where comedy was concerned. I tried never to miss seeing him on TV back in the day. I also saw - and loved - Silver streak.

  6. I'm a little too young to remember much of McCarthy. My mom, though, was visibly upset last night when we heard he had passed on. She was sharing stories about him as we talked on the phone.

    And Richard Pryor. Comic genius. He was irreverent and brilliant. Generations will miss out on that.

    Reading to your daughter should be top news. That's one of the most important things we can do for children.

  7. One of my mom's favorite momentos is a McCarthy for President button... We lost a great man...

  8. It sounds like Michelle sure sends a lot of people your way!

    Being from Minnesota, I can attest that we indeed do have a few good figure skaters here. ;-) And for the record, I did not vote for our past Governor (I was living in Colorado when he was voted into office), nor our current one (whom I really detest, btw). Sadly, while I was aware of McCarthy, I don't know all that much about him.

    I loved Richard Pryor in the movie, "The Toy" it was very funny and I highly recommend it. His death is a sad one.

  9. Yeah, it was sad about these two deaths! Also loved listening and watching Richard Pryor's stand-up and movies.

  10. Think Richard Pryor suffered enough--he was sick for so long and always appeared so cheerful

    I was "clean for Gene" in his first race