Lois DeButts passed away last week. She was 81 years of age and full of life and vigor right to the end. Lois looked at least a decade younger than her chronological age, and she still had that vivacious personality that must have served her well during her long-ago stewardess days. She died as many older people do, with a fall. She hit her head and never regained consciousness, leaving behind her beloved companion Sandy Reed.
Lois sold me my home 11 years ago as one of her last business transactions. She subsequently retired and became our full-time neighbor, often chatting with my wife. Lois was thrilled when I got married, and rushed across the street when we returned from the hospital with our newborn son. In fact, Lois took the first picture of my son, my wife, and me.
The only thing she ever asked of me was to share the big giant red rose that stood by our front corner, that she had given as a gift to the previous owner of our home. It really was Lois’, as the rose always bloomed in her direction and she had the best sight of it. Lois will be missed; she was one of those truly nice people with nary a bad word to say about anybody. We were lucky to have had her in our lives.
* * * *
With the presidential primaries being pushed up, California will be voting for its choices in early February. Not much time at all for the candidates to get into the state, run their commercials, make their speeches, and meet all 40 million people. Tall task indeed. It would help if the field was winnowed down a tad, but I am not going to take anybody’s desire to run for president away from them.
Let Biden stay in it, let Kucinich press the flesh and get radical, let Dodd keep on shouting, and allow Richardson to run for VP, but in the end the winner will be either Clinton, Edwards, or Obama for the Democrats. I often vote my principles in a primary election, which means Kucinich would get my vote, but in this election the nominee is too important. I swing back and forth, I read stories, opinions, watch press conferences, I chat it up with people in politics, all to get a feel for who is the right person and who can win in the fall. I am not in favor of Edwards, he just seems too weak to me, and Clinton just seems like too much of the same old stuff. Obama excites me, and for the most part I like his positions on matters that matter. So two weeks ago I was for Clinton and today I am for Obama, and who knows where I will be on election day.
As for Republicans, many of my friends may want to slap me around on this one, but I like Rudy G’s personality, though he is an out-and-out hawk, which is a real turnoff. Ron Paul has some good libertarian ideas; I am empty on Mitt Romney, who could not declare waterboarding torture when McCain took him to task on it. Fred Thompson needs to explain himself; as an actor, you can be most anything, but is he for real? Seems likable, but I am truly clueless on his record and his political statements. McCain has honesty and fortitude, plus a treat-them- like-humans attitude toward immigration. Again, he is a bit too militaristic for my taste. Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter need to make room for the real contenders. The most likable and interesting character is Mike Huckabee, yet another presidential candidate from Hope, Arkansas. His Baptist minister background is revealing for one major personality trait I like – he appears nonjudgmental. He says to treat others as we would like to be treated. Gets real folksy like that. Plus he has a good sense of humor. Not sure if I agree with him much on political matters, but good to see an honest straight talker in the race. It is unlikely I will register and vote for a Republican this year.
As for Iowa being the great determinator of all things presidential, I say hogwash. These minor personality contests in the beginning stages will carry little weight when considered against the big delegate states voting in February. That is when things will matter. Let’s hope our news commentators don’t run out of things to say until then. Or maybe they already have.
* * * *
I would watch more sports, but the Lakers and Clippers recently lost seven in a row, so that was no fun. And then UCLA lost to Texas in a cliffhanger. The jury is out on first year UCLA center/forward Kevin Love. Great as he is, he is not the dominating player we were told to expect. Good, maybe it will mean he will stay for a couple of years instead of jumping to the NBA. I will also keep watching the pros and see if Laker center Andrew Bynum will develop. Having Jordan Farmar blossom this year is fun, though I am not sure if anybody can keep up his frenetic pace. If Lamar Odom shows up every night and Derek Fisher is a welcome return, the Lakers can make the playoffs. My concern is that coach Phil Jackson does not have the team playing hard; in fact they sort of look like him, a little down in the mouth and slow to get moving. The Clippers are often without leading scorer Corey Maggette and have been without Shaun Livingston and Elton Brand, so what can you expect from a team with three of its top players out? Their center, Chris Kamen, must be commended for his outstanding play this year; he is currently averaging 14 boards a game, a dramatic improvement to go along with his 18 points a game. Here’s to the home teams!