Jun 292009

It’s pretty hard to get over last week. Governor Sandford in S.C. taking off for a week to play with his girl friend in Argentina. Then we have the death of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and here in Tampa Oxiclean sales person extrodanaire Billy Mays, and then Sunday night, the 51 year old former director of the Florida Aquarium.

I guess that Mark Sanford was probably a bit glad for the rapture that apparently took place at the end of the week. It certainly helped get him off the front pages. I have always argued that these little sexual piccadelos shouldn’t be such a big deal, but when it’s one politics biggest “family values” guys, they deserve all the criticism they get and more. Sanford is also one of the guys who voted to impeach Bill Clinton for his BJ in the Oval Office, but now that Mark’s been caught leaving the State unattended to go spend nearly a week with his girl friend, he’s not about to step down. And Rush Limbaugh (I swear this is true) has found a way to blame it on the Obama Administration, and to proclaim that we need hypocrisy.

I’ve felt sorry for Ed McMahon these last few years. He always struck me as a class act, and was certainly the perfect foil for Johnny Carson for those many years. He’d apparently fallen on hard times financially, and was also in ill health. I hope he knows he brought a lot of joy to a lot of people over the years.

There’s no doubt that Farah Fawcett was a pop icon of her time. I don’t think there was a teenage boy in America in the 70’s who didn’t have that poster on his wall. Fawcett showed a lot of class too, especially in these last years as she invited everyone to journey with her on her fight against cancer. I think she fought the good fight, but in the end, it finally got her.

And the of course, Jacko. What a story he was always. Whatever you think of what he became in the last years, he stood pop music on it’s head and set the standard for music videos. The guy had talent, both as a singer and as an entertainer. Unfortunately, during these last years, he spent more time being a star than an entertainer, surrounded himself with the wrong people, and has now paid the price. The indication from the coroner’s office is that he was emaciated with injection marks all over himself. I think all his attempts to avoid pain and sickness, rather protecting him, led to his early death.


Who doesn’t know Billy Mays. I guess he was to “As Seen on TV” as Jackson was to pop music. The guy spent his life selling, and he was good at it. I actually kind of liked watching the new Discovery show, Pitchmen. It was interesting to see what went on behind the scenes. I’m sitting here reading some news Sunday afternoon, and can’t believe I see his death announced on TBO.com. Like Jackson and me, Mays was only 50, but according to the preliminary autopsy report, he had heart disease. You’d never know to see him. I guess he didn’t know it either.

And today, I read about a lesser known personality who died at age 51. Jeff Swanagan was the director of the Florida Aquarium in the late ’90s. He went on to start the Florida Aquarium, and had recently moved to Cleveland to be the Executive Director of the Cleveland Zoo.

So what a week it was. I’ll try to write more about Sanford and Jacko later. I have some thoughts on both of them.

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