Monthly Archives: December 2007

Talk about “the Return of the Repressed”! :

“WASHINGTON (CNN) — One of the women who tried to assassinate President Ford 32 years ago was released on parole Monday from a federal prison in California, according to a Bureau of Prisons spokesman.
Sara Jane Moore, 77, was released in the morning from the federal women’s prison in Dublin, outside San Francisco, according to Mike Truman of the Bureau of Prisons.
There was no immediate comment from the prison facility, where Moore had been Inmate No. 04851180. Officials said she had a recent parole hearing, but they did not know what prompted her release.
Nor was it clear what her plans are or where she is headed.
The former nurse and mother of five had been trying for 20 years to gain her freedom.
Moore was arrested in September 22, 1975, outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco after firing a single shot at Ford. A bystander had grabbed Moore’s arms just before she fired a .38 caliber revolver and was credited with probably saving the president’s life. The bullet missed Ford’s head by inches.”

“I got this really great gun –
Shit, where is it?
No, it’s really great –
Wait–
Shit, where is it?
Anyway
It’s just a .38 –
But —
it’s a gun
You can make a statement
Wrong–
With a gun –
Even if you fail.
It tells ‘em who yu are.
Where you stand
This one was on sale
It — no, not the shoe –
Well actually the shoe was, too
Not, that’s not it
Shit, I had it here –
Got it!”

“Seventeen days earlier Ford survived another attempt on his life by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, in Sacramento, California.
Moore pleaded guilty to attempted assassination and was sentenced to life in prison. At the time she had been married and divorced seven times.
In recent interviews Moore said she regretted her actions, which she said were motivated by radical revolutionary politics.
As an inmate she worked as an accountant in the prison drapery factory.
Ford died December 26, 2006, from natural causes”

Regarding that earlier attempt. . .:

“Oliver “Bill” Sipple, a paunchy former Marine and high school football star, aged 33, was walking past San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel on September 22, 1975, when President Ford emerged. Just three weeks before in Sacramento, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a deranged acolyte of the murderous cult leader Charles Manson, had got within a few yards of the President with a loaded gun. She had failed to get a shot off, but now the Secret Service was watching a small crowd of protesters across the street.
Sipple moved toward the front of the crowd to see his president. He saw him all right-as well as a gray-haired woman by his side, pulling a revolver out of her blue raincoat. Sipple grabbed her arm. Her shot missed the President by a few feet. Sipple wrestled her to the ground, and prevented her from getting off a second shot by shoving his hand into the firing mechanism.
Sipple shunned publicity. He was gay and he had never told his straitlaced Baptist mother. But Harvey Milk knew. “That guy saved the President’s life. It shows that we do good things, not just all that ca-ca about molesting children and hanging out in bathrooms.” It was Milk, according to the respected journalist Randy Shilts, in his biography The Mayor of Castro Street, who outed Sipple by an item dropped in Herb Caen’s gossip column. A despairing Sipple told reporters: “I want you to know that my mother told me today she can’t walk out of her front door because of the press stories.” He insisted: “My sexual orientation has nothing to do with saving the President’s life.” Apparently President Ford thought it did. There was no invitation to the White House for Sipple, not even a commendation. Milk made a fuss about that. Finally, weeks later, Sipple received a brief note of thanks. Exposure was too much for Sipple. Already listless, he drifted into alcoholism and drug dependency, finally taking his own life. It was a sorry end to a heroic act-and the beginning of an issue that would roil the gay community and identity politics in the decades to come. Did anyone have a right to “out” someone else?

I think we all know the answer to that question. It’s Oliver Sipple’s tragedy that he didn’t.

(That’s Sipple at left, Squeaky, head down, behind the pole.)

“Hey pal — feelin’ blue?
Don’t know what to do?
Hey pal –
I mean you–
Yeah you.
C’mere and kill a president.
No job? Cupboard bare?
One room, no one there?
Hey pal, don’t despair–
You wanna shoot a president?
C’mon and shoot a president

Some guys
Think they can’t be winners
First prize
Often goes to rank beginners
Hey kid, failed you test?
Dream girl unimpressed?
Show her you’re the best
If you can shoot a president–
You can get the prize
With the big blue eyes
Skinny little thighs
And those big blue eyes

Everybody’s
Got the right
To be happy
Don’t stay mad
Life’s not as bad
As it seems
If you keep your
goal insight
You can climb to
Any height
Everybody’s
Got the right
To their dreams…”