At some point over the last few days—with what's been happening between Trump and Cruz—I decided to sit down and compile a list of names of people I've known throughout my life. The only condition for making the list was that, as much as I might miss them, I can't help but feel a little grateful they aren't here to see this. Here it is, so far:
Mom... Dad... Roy Turner and Addie... Aunt Lorraine... Herb and Blanche Wolf... Tony and Mary Rivero... Perry Swisher... Miriam Gibson... Grandma and Grampa... Mr. Cherry... Miss Morgan... Mrs. Koger... John Gale... Mary and Phil Woods... Gene and Janie... Dee Loveland... Seichi Hayashida... Ed Lemmon... Mr. Rice, I think his first name was Jim... Bill Nakamura... Reverend Fothergill... the Griats, Ernie and Faye... Wanda O'Brian... John Gale... Mr. and Mrs. Estrik... Emery and Margaret Howard... Mrs. White... Lee Sharp... Dr. Valenti... Dr. Brunn... John Tokel... Harry Lawless... Larry Boyd... Molly Watanabe... Katie Leavitt... Mr. Hartwell... Jim Kimball... Wayne Gass... Ron Woods... Delores Richie... to be continued.
This list will grow. I am fortunate to have known a lot more of these kind of people than the other kind, and I'm confident other names will come back to me. Some of these associations go back to when I was a little kid. Others, I met during my adult years. There are old neighbors and old teachers and old folks that lived in Meridian decades ago. There are parents of childhood friends of mine and friends of my parents'. The common denominators they share is that I admired them all for their humility, integrity, kindness and basic decency, and that they have all died. Some long ago, others not so long.
Over the past few days—with what's been happening between Trump and Cruz... the barrage of sleaze and scum and basic indecency that has come to define the presidential candidacies of two men, either one of which could conceivably insult, lie, accuse and inflame his way into the highest office in the land—I couldn't stop thinking about, in particular, Mom and Dad, and how appalled they would be. Thinking of them led to remembering the rest. It felt good, to visit their memories for a while. And invigorating—like clearing an abominable stench out of my nostrils with a breath of fresh air.
I just hope there are enough people like them still with us to put this trash where it belongs.