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
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans