Yesterday the world lost a bigger than life figure. The Honorable Rob Ford, former mayor of Toronto, Canada, lost his battle with a rare form of cancer. He was 46-years-old.
Recently, Paul and I were in Toronto for a film festival where we had the opportunity to meet Mr. Ford through a mutual friend. Rob was a very affable fellow and couldn’t have been nicer. Between him and Paul, they created quite a stir at the trendy Italian restaurant where we met him for a late lunch. A line of people kept coming up to say hello to the famous American actor and the infamous Toronto mayor. Both were quite gracious to all the fans who I’m sure were quite curious how the heck these two were connected.
I’ve always been a Rob Ford fan because he was a darn good mayor. I also appreciated his style which was to simply tell the truth whether or not people wanted to hear it. There was no candy coating from this Canadian. I also felt that he was horribly mistreated by the City Council which I believe abused its power by taking away Mr. Ford’s budgetary authority while he was mayor. Rob didn’t care. He still performed his duties as best he could and didn’t let the cowardly council get him down or make him resign. Instead, he just ran for the City Council again and won.
While he was mayor, Rob made sure the snow was removed, kept citizen’s taxes down, and above all made things quite interesting. When I posted a picture of me with Rob and Paul, many people posted comments of genuine sadness for his passing. People are naturally sad when someone good dies. However, when it’s a fighter with a gigantic persona taking on the world, it has an even bigger effect.
Rob’s followers are called Ford Nation. When I met him, I told him I was a fan and that I appreciated all he has done. He was quite surprised that I knew all about his political career and that I thought it was a shame what the council did to him. Hopefully, they regret it now or at the very least will be respectful of Mayor Ford in light of his death.
We should each remember to live life to the fullest. Rob Ford may have had a shorter life than most, but he certainly made it fully memorable and meaningful.
I’ll always consider myself a part of Ford Nation.
RIP Rob Ford.