So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label Hamilton Jordon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hamilton Jordon. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No Such Thing as a Bad Day: A Memoir - a book I highly recommend

Jordon and President Carter
When I travel in my car, I often listen to audio books. Recently I listened to a memoir, my favorite genre lately, No Such Thing as a Bad Day: A Memoir by Hamilton Jordon. For those who might not remember, Jordon was Chief of Staff for President Jimmy Carter’s administration. He worked with Carter when he was governor of Georgia. Jordon graduated from Albany High School which I attended, but I never knew him personally. Evidently he developed interest in politics early on as he mentions that he was an intern in Washington DC for Senator RichardRussel of Georgia.
But this book is not all about politics, although I did get a kick out of Jordon’s early opinion of Bill Clinton before most of us had ever heard of him. I was not surprised to learn that Clinton set out to charm Carter and his people when Jimmy was on the verge of becoming president, wooing his favor. 

Hamilton Jordon said he was more impressed by Hilary Rodham in her thick glasses and nondescript dress who criticized Governor Carter for not doing more to improve the lot of women in Georgia when he had 

The major impact of this book for me, having watched two loved ones die of cancer, had to be the detailed and touching manner Jordon discussed his three bouts with cancer; Lymphoma, melanoma and prostate cancer plagued him throughout his adult life after being exposed to Agent Orange in Viet Nam. My friend’s husband fought cancer brought on by Agent Orange which was sprayed on everything over there and exposed our military as well as non-military to this devastating chemical.

Jordon was advised early on to take charge of his health as he fought these battles. I found that to be true as well. A patient must learn all they possibly can about their illness and the possibilities out in the world of a cure or the best treatment available. When he was told he had lymphoma, he didn’t follow blindly the words of his doctor who didn’t give him a very favorable outcome. Jordon researched hospitals, talked to people and finally decided to leave Atlanta and the doctors there to go to Maryland where new treatments were becoming known.

I fought tears when I heard him tell about his fear of not seeing his little boy grow up and how he held him and cried. I know my husband had fears that he would not talk about. Most men don’t want to show weakness to their family, their wives. But, these kinds of tears are healing and we should not mind shedding them. Hearing Jordon reflect on his thoughts as he waited for a doctor’s report, watched his wife as she waited, and one time hearing on television, a false diagnosis of himself as he lay in a hospital bed – a terrible report of his health. He had not heard anything yet from his medical team, and was happy when they came in soon after to give him a more positive diagnosis.

I found a new respect for people in the public eye after Jordon told of the lies spread about him and Jody Powell, another man in the Carter administration. How do you fight outright lies that are spread all over the world by the media? Even in the NY Times article about his death, they made it sound as if those lies were true before saying differently. 

it was almost a year later that he and Powell were completely exonerated. No one paid much attention to that news. 

Coincidentally, I saw in my hometown newspaper yesterday that Jordon's three children had come to Albany to visit the family home where their father grew up. He reared his family in Atlanta. I learned that Jordon fought three more bouts of cancer in his life before he succumbed in 2008, the year before my husband died of lymphoma. Hamilton Jordon worked for cancer research, and I hope his efforts and those of others will some day bring about a cure.

Image result for Hamilton Jordan

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book even though the author was the reader. Sometimes I am not fond of an author's reading.
If any of you have read this book, let me know what you think about it. I plan to read or listen to the new book which his daughter edited after his death. It will be out soon.