When I see former President Jimmy Carter on TV or old news clips I can remember a time when more people knew me in a room than Jimmy who?
In 1974, President Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford, one of the most honorable people in the U.S.A. became President. Let's go back another year when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned his office and Ford was appointed VP. For the record, President Ford was the only non elected President of our beloved country. So every Democrat who came out of the woodwork wanted the nomination for the Presidency. At the same time, yours truly became a candidate for a local election and campaigned as any reasonable person would do.
The campaign consisted of the usual; meeting people, posters, meet the candidate over a cup of coffee. My committee arranged for me to go to Soldier Field for a Chicago Fire football game in a now defunct football league. The plan was to have a Democratic candidate receive an award midfield at half time. It was to be presented by some former Governor of Georgia named Jimmy Carter. Our response to that was Jimmy who? Pierce McCabe, a fellow candidate asked me to take a picture with Carter and explained Jimmy wanted to be the next President of the United States. I said no, who wants their picture taken with some dreamer? Yet, reluctantly I agreed.
Once we arrived at Soldier Field, Jimmy Carter sat with us as any other spectator would do. No one and I mean no one paid any attention to him. In fact more people said hello to me and asked who that guy in the suit was. Of course we told them his name and explained what he was doing. Is he nuts? What's his name? Jimmy who? And so as history tells us Jimmy Who did become President.
Interestingly, the last time I saw him at a political rally I couldn't get within one inch of him due to the security guards. But, for one shining moment, more people knew me than Jimmy Who? If you look close at President Carter's picture you will notice our name tags (if you can make them out) and there I am, standing with him. Do I know Jimmy Carter? We went to a football game together in 1974.
Memories they light the corner of my eyes and I hope yours too.