A little bit of Bay Area history on Oliver Sipple, who risked his life to prevent Sara Jane Moore from shooting President Ford in September 1975:
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.
[Update: in comments, Nicholas Whyte rebuts this story persuasively.
Also in comments, first-time CRN commenter Brian Mackey whines that it has taken me several hours to update this post to reflect Nick’s comments. I apologize for spending time offline with Zeke and Becky during Becky’s winter break, enjoying what are likely the last few days we all have together without obligation before Zeke isn’t around any more, rather than updating this post immediately so that people who are uninclined to read comment threads may have come away misinformed about a minor facet of a dead president’s administration.
I further apologize for the fact that I’m now going back to that family time-spending thing. Brian, if you could do me a favor and tell yourself to bite me, I’d greatly appreciate it, you know, from a time management perspective. Thanks in advance.]