When I was in school, it was a common English class assignment to write letters to our future selves. I vaguely remember doing it, although the future Ford I wrote the letter to was probably the 25-year-old me, not the 60-something one.

Imagine the teenage Rob Ford communicating with the current one.

Would there be anything that we would have in common?

Come to think about it … the timing might be right.

It was the 1970s when the letter would have been penned. Timing wise, it was after a couple of years of digging and dodging, that a sitting United States president was eventually impeached and then opted to resign the Presidency. A resignation that was promptly followed by a legal pardon by his hand-chosen successor. Shortly after that, a peanut farmer from Georgia and a former Hollywood actor took turns in the White House.

My point is that Washington D.C. has always been tumultuous and elections have never been about qualifications and resumes, rather just be the man or woman that simply wins the election by one electoral vote and take it from there.

Good timing saves careers and wins as many elections as anything else.

Speaking again of timing, fall often meant helping my mom with some household gardening. Cutting a few things back, of course, but digging up bulbs was a common task, too. Forty years down the road, the “digging up” of things and its partner “dividing them” is now the purview of a then-unheard of concept known as Cable News.

In the ‘70s, if you wanted the “news” you watched it at 6 p.m. or you read about it in the evening’s Record-Eagle. Young Ford might have even known that the notion of consuming 24-hours a day, and seven days a week with “news” and its apparently desperately needed analysis is nothing if not a bad use of time.

I read with interest recently about the village of Northport’s ongoing dialogue/battle over allowing a marijuana store to open in its area. If there is one current thing that would cause my teenage jaw to slacken, it might just be reading that pot is still a political football.

The widespread availability and embracing of all things alcohol might be a close second. Individuals brewing, pressing, distilling, and then selling their own beers, wines, ciders, whiskeys, and all that would be thought of as crazy, but I’m pretty sure that young Mr. Ford was convinced that the legalization of pot was just around the corner.

Without doubt, strides have been made toward legalization. I recently made my first visit to a modern local marijuana dispensary and would love to write something about it. Unfortunately, the timing is still not exactly right for what I might say.

All this talk about “timing.”

It’s said that hitting a baseball is all about timing. Getting the barrel of the bat over the plate and on the correct plane at the same time as the baseball gets there is key to making solid contact. It follows then that pitching is all about messing with the hitter’s timing. Managing to put the ball into that same space but in a location and at a time so as to cause the bat to miss the ball.

If ever a place in time ever represented difficulties in timing, much less the exercise in futility at making solid contact with anything, it’s right now.

Perhaps the more “timely” letter should have been written from me to that kid.

Contact Rob Ford at robfordwrites@gmail.com.

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