Yesterday I accompanied my buddy Tim Hewitt as we attended a funeral for our friend Paul Bishop who was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. After the funeral service we took a tram tour of the huge cemetery with its 450,000 grave sites.
Our tour guide on the tram informed us that only 2 Presidents are buried in Arlington – Kennedy and Taft. Kennedy gets his own stop on the tour where you can get off the tram and check out his and wife Jackie’s grave sites along with the eternal fame.
Taft on the other hand doesn’t have his own stop but as we passed his resting place, our guide mentioned him being known for two baseball-related events. One, he was the first President to attend an opening day ballgame and initiate throwing out the first pitch. Two, because his legs were starting to hurt him while sitting so long at that game, during the Seventh Inning he rose up to stretch them. Obviously, when the President stands, everyone else stands also and this led to a full on endorsement of the Seventh Inning Stretch. (The tour guide neglected to inform us that there is some debate about whether or not Taft originated the Stretch. A little research reveals that there were more than a few claims that the Stretch had been going on for many years prior to Taft doing his thing (click here.) Regardless, it makes for a good story.)
As for my friend Paul, he was not only a good guy and a great friend, but also a tell-it-like-it-is kinda guy. His 15 minutes of fame occurred when he disclosed the seamy side of mortgage lending practices as shown here in this 60 Minutes segment:
For additional info on Paul and his efforts on this matter (click here.)
The funeral service was my first Arlington military service and it was very impressive. Everything was extremely well organized and handled with a great deal of dignity and respect. Paul was cremated and his remains placed in Arlington’s huge columbarium (click here.)
Paul resides in Section 83:
Think I prefer to remember him as posing on Buzzy’s front porch some years ago here with Tim and Larry Crum.
Since it is a Twofer Tuesday how about this medley where Elton does an instrumental he titled Funeral For a Friend before busting into Love Lies Bleeding. It was the first track off of Elton and Bernie’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” double record. See? Yet another twofer!