My title is borrowed from Paul Harvey and his sign-off closing from his old radio show, “The Rest of the Story.” For those of you that are not familiar with Paul Harvey, he often furnished good back stories to the major news events of the day. When I was about 12 years old, I came down with nephritis, a fancy name for some kind of kidney disease. I was stuck in the Barre City Hospital (hot happily) for about a month.
Oh, I hated this time and confinement. It was in May and the weather was breaking after a long Vermont winter. I could hear kids playing outside my hospital bedroom window, some of my friends coming over from our house on King Street to get my attention. Our home was not far from the Barre City Hospital so this was equally tormenting as I wanted to be home and playing outside.
Little did I know my future wife was also a patient at Barre City Hospital at this time and she was just down the hall from me. She said the nurses talked about some bratty kid down the hall that kept whining about going home. I was so mad at our doctor, Dr. Dente, that when he came into my room, I would roll over and look at the wall and not talk to him. I guess I was a brat. During the month of my stay, a gang of nurses came in and held me down and forced me to have an enema. I don’t think I needed one – I think this was more a show of force. I fought like a tiger, but I was overpowered by some brutes (lol) – some of the old Barre City Hospital nurses.
Radio was a bigger thing then (still is for me) and the radio was turned on first thing in the morning in our house. The radio stations were local, the announcers were members of the community, and the programming was good. My father brought my radio over to the hospital so I could listen (no tvs in the rooms back then – at least not in my room). With all day to lie in bed the radio was my best friend and this is when I came to enjoy listening to Paul Harvey and his radio show, “The Rest of the Story.”
And now for some more commentary (from me).
A few pieces of news from yesterday – first the big story is the FBI search of Mar Lago, Trump’s home in Florida. This had to be predicated by a signed search warrant and evidence presented to a judge to convince the judge there was sufficient evidence to, and probable cause of a crime. I cannot overstate this part, and then the unprecedented search that was made of a former president. This was at the highest levels of seriousness and accountability in our government. As an aside, Christopher Wray, the head of the FBI is a Trump appointee and also a member of the ultra conservative Federalist Society – the same group that advised on Trump’s Supreme Court appoinments. It should not go unnoticed that this FBI search was on the anniversary of the Nixon resignation in 1973. I have always believed that the country was and our system of government was cheated in not holding Nixon accountable. We need to do this for leaders and should do it when warranted. It is my most sincere wish that we finally, as a nation, have the will to hold leaders accountable. This process was aborted when President Ford gave Nixon a pardon and left justice waiting.
My second story, this resonates with me, is the death of one of my favorite historians, David McCullough. Some of you may have read his great history, “John Adams.” I first discovered David McCullough with his history of the Panama Canal, “The Path Between the Waters.” He also wrote of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, a fascinating story, and “1776,” a history of the American Revolution. There are other titles I am missing here off the top of my head, all good history. My favorite is the John Adams history. David McCullough was 89 and lived on Martha’s Vineyard.
My last story has to do with the death of singer/actress Olivea Newton John. She had been battling cancer for many years and was 73 years old. When we were a young family and with Jamie about 5 years old, we had a vacation in our favorite place, Wells/Ogunquit, Maine. We went to the movies in Oquanquit one of the nights we were staying in Maine and the theater was playing the movie, “Grease” with Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. I have to admit I was not really aware of Olivia Newton-John then, but I new of John Travolta. Well, during the movie, our Jamie, the young fella, was dancing to all of the music – he loved it. He danced his way out of the theater at the end of the movie. Others in the audience got quite a kick out of this. I have always been grateful for a wonderful evening and memory we got from this movie and the fun music that was so much of the film. RIP Olivia Newton-John and thanks for the happiness we had with your talents.
And now you know, “The Rest of the Story.” (thank you Paul Harvey for a great line to close with.
Note: the picture is of me several years ago on the First Branch of the White River between Chelsea and Tunbridge – I would rather be fishing is the message (lol)