The Bumbler And the Fair-haired Boy

Remember when President Ford first took office? The media people loved him. Photojournalists took pictures of the President fixing his own English muffin. (Imagine that!) They covered every detail of his daily swims. The way he removed his terrycloth robe. The height of his dive. (Did they score his diving or record his swimming times? I can’t remember.) They listed his favorite tobacco. They took shots of the way he held his pipe.

Then he pardoned Richard Nixon, and the English muffins were forgotten. Soon Ford became “Gerald the Bumbler.” If a week passed without pictures or reports of Ford bumping his head, or falling down steps, or losing his balance, it really wasn’t a good week.

Now, of course, Ford is pictured not only as a bumbler but as a bumbling plodder soon to be sacrificed on election eve, and Jimmy Carter is the bright young man of the moment. We have pictures of him playing softball. Hugging babies. Standing waist-deep in a pond catfishing. Jimmy Carter in shirtsleeves. He’s the man.

If he wins, give him a few weeks. Then Jimmy will be in the bad graces of the almighty cameramen and will have to yield to some other fair-haired boy or girl.

And when that happens I’ll be able to imagine Gerald Ford chuckling as he fixes his English muffin, puffs on his pipe, and swims his laps alone.


Marrying and Burying At Church

J. Grant Swank’s article “Church Weddings Are Not For Everyone” (Minister’s Workshop, Aug. 27) touches on an issue of vital concern to many clergy. He is certainly correct in expressing joy over fully Christian weddings, and he rightly stresses the biblical injunction against the marriage of a Christian and a non-believer. But he slips in comparing weddings ...

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