NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

December 7, 2013

Reflecting on Mandela's life

Big Freddy was sitting with his eyes closed and his chins on his chest when I joined him for our mid-morning coffee and whatever.

“Are you asleep or dead?” I asked as I pushed my way into my side of the booth.

“I was cogitating about Nelson Mandela,” he said.

“Cogitating?” I asked. “Looked more like you were daydreaming.”

“Cogitating goes deeper than daydreaming,” Freddy said.

“And what, beside his death set you off?” I asked.

“The coverage,” Freddy said.

“It’s well warranted,” I said. “Great man, great story. What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing,” Freddy said. “He changed more than his part of the world in his lifetime, without trying to get even. That’s more than something.”

“So have others in history – Mahatma Ghandi for one,” I said.

“And others as well, over time, but it took longer to get the word around back then,” Freddy said.

“I think you need a re-fill,” I said, as I waved to the waitress.

“Just suppose what life would have been like if there had been radio and television a couple of thousand of years ago,” Freddy said.

“I have enough trouble dealing with what life is like for too many today —never mind the past,” I said. “Ancient history is what it is, and what we’re doing and dealing with today is going to be ancient history for those living in the year 4013, if the world’s still habitable.”

“But think about it,” Freddy said. “We’re about to celebrate Christmas. OK, it’s not a holy day for everyone, but suppose TV had been around when Christ was born.”

“You’re kidding,” I said. “TV coverage of just a young couple having a baby in a stable way back then? Is that only coffee in your cup?”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
CDC Director Warns Of A World Where Antibiotics No Longer Work Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans