I'm not one to be overly nostalgic. But I was looking through some of the news emails that I collected through the year. Maybe I am starting to look at the list and take a little longer because I am seeing more folks in the list that I know. Is that a sign of aging?
There were many folks that passed away during the year 2005 that made the news. Some of the ones that made me stop and think were, in no particular order:
Rose Mary Woods. Now most people may not know her but she was the secretary of President Nixon who "accidentally" erased 18 ½ minutes of tape conversation between Nixon and his aides. Watergate was huge in my memory as it happened in my freshman year of college and my interest was high in the political realm. I first thought that people should get off the poor ladies back – she made a mistake. Now, I'm not so sure that she wasn't the scapegoat for some tape tampering ordered from the neighboring office.
Eugene McCarthy. The Senator from Minnesota that challenged LBJ for the Democratic nomination in 1968. It did pay off when Johnson withdrew his name from consideration for the nomination after McCarthy placed a strong second in the New Hampshire primary. I thought it took really guts to challenge a sitting president within your own party. More sitting presidents should be challenged on basis of principal even though it could be political suicide for them. What ever happened to doing something because it was the right thing to do?
Dick Weber. Here's one most won't know anything about. As an impressionable 12 year old who could not hang out at the bowling alley enough, this one hit home. Dick Weber was one of the greatest bowlers of his time. I remember sitting at home on Saturday and watching the Professional Bowlers Tour and dreaming of the 300 game at night. Almost 40 years later, that perfect game is still avoiding me. Weber was also the first autograph that I ever received from a sports figure.
Don Adams. Agent Maxwell Smart was only on TV 2 seasons but his ineptness as a secret agent was a good laugh. I really thought his shoe phone was the coolest. Now my cell phone is the size of a pack of cigarettes. Ah, technology.
Eddie Albert. Green Acres gave this city boy his first look at farm life. What a hoot! Get it Hooterville, hoot – never mind. After living in rural America the last 15 years, I have finally got it straightened out what the farm life is really all about.
Pope John Paul II. – I loved this guy. John Paul was a loving example of God's love on earth. The only one of the list of notable deaths that I wrote an entire column about this year.
Rosa Parks. Nope, I didn't know her or ever meet her. But this had to be one tough lady in a quiet sort of way. See a wrong and not whine about it. Just do something. Her taking a "white" seat on that bus changed history more than any of the leader-wanna-be's in the African American community today.
For each of us, there were unsung heroes in the eyes of the world that touched us even more. I will also miss two friends from Sloan that have touched my life - Ethel and Winston. They influenced my life for the better. Peace to their memories.