74-year-old one-man Democratic revolution Ham Caldwell died of cancer on Monday, John Yellig reports in the Progress. I got to know Ham when working on Al Weed’s congressional campaign, for which Ham also volunteered extensively. A slow-talking bear of a man with a fantastic drawl and a remarkable wit, Ham was best known to Charlottesvillians for his regular letters to the Daily Progress on political matters.
His last missive before his death, written during the Terry Schiavo case last month, addressed a topic closer to home than perhaps readers were aware. It’s classic — and top-form — Ham Caldwell:
If I find myself in a state similar to the poor woman in Florida and if Senator “Pinhead Ricky” in any way interferes with my wife, Kathleen, in meeting the mutual obligations of our marriage or harasses her in any fashion, I make this solemn promise: I will make every effort to find and tap an here-to-fore unknown source of physical power somewhere beneath my sub-consciousness state.
If I succeed, I will briefly shuck off my comatose state, rise with focused intensity, and rip out “Pinhead Ricky’s” soft pink lungs and eat them. This vow also extends to “Spit-Cup George” Allen who is Santorum’s political running buddy and sadly his intellectual peer. Also throw in Lassie look-alike, Virgil Goode who is automatically spring-loaded to the politically sleazy position. Nothing is really bad enough for opportunistic dreck, like these people, who exploit an issue like this for political gain. I wish that I could express this more strongly.
The bone deep hypocrisy of Republicans is shamefully shown as they howl about the moral values of the sacred institution of marriage between a man and a woman. Then they blithely vote to negate a basic mutual obligation of marriage. If Republicans do not trust their marital partners to make a final hard decision that is an inherent in marriage, they should immediately sue for divorce.
Ham A. Caldwell Jr.
They just don’t make ’em like that anymore.