Mr. Brown was locked in his dressing room.
The spot was West Palm Beach, Florida (it's always Florida, isn't it?) and James Brown, our Funky President, whom I had the privilege of managing, was about to go on stage on one of those hideous South Florida evenings that makes you want to dig up Ponce de Leon and ask him "WHY?"
The Godfather of Soul, who's dressing room was really a Winnebago retrofitted with trays of cold cuts, lighted mirrors and a hooded hair dryer, was trapped. He was all by himself in his portable dressing room. The only reason I knew this was because I happened to be passing by the trailer's door when I heard him banging and screaming for help.
The rule was, knock and wait to be acknowledged before you went in, but I knew this was an emergency and when I opened the door from the outside, James Brown was standing there, sweating profusely and wild-eyed like he had just finished one of his famed 3-hour sets at the Apollo Theater. He insisted that someone had purposely locked him in his dressing room and was plotting against him.
Mr. Brown had good reason to have these unreasonable thoughts. As a young boy, having had his mother run away, his father used to lock him up in their one-room shanty in the Georga-Lina woods, while Joe Brown spent his day stripping tar and sap off of pine trees for turpentine. Jimmy Brown would be locked up for hours or days at a time.
Which brings me to the conclusion that John McCain is completely unfit to serve as our Commander-in-Chief.
Yes, the man is an American hero. But I can take you to any bus station in any city in this nation, whether it be a Pro-American, or an Anti-American city and show you POWs from 'Nam who are sitting in the corner talking to the Snapple machine. They are just as heroic as McCain; with one difference. They aren't running for president.
At some point since leaving the jungle, most POWs probably had some sort of mental health assistance, whether through the government or the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program or through community groups that finally realized, decades later, that we left these men to suffer their PTSD alone, in front of the Snapple machine at the local bus depot.
John McCain never sought nor did he receive any such treatment. His own mother, on a 60 Minutes interview last spring admitted that John never talked about his imprisonment... to her or anyone else. And there is evidence of this.
We've all witnessed his legendary rage and anger. Sen. Lindsey Graham, his butt-boy on the campaign trail had been verbally abused by him; so have countless others that have gotten in his way. We've watched him age in front of our HDTV's this past year... and don't even get me started on the clenched jaw, the clenched fists, the clenched look on his face.
Do we really want this guy locked up again, but this time as the leader of the "free world?" In essence, that's what being the POTUS is all about. You are a POWH...Prisoner of the White House.
Read any memoir of any president since Harry Truman and they all talk about how being stuck in the White House, with all that security, is like living in a vacuum. The late President Ronald Reagan complained that he couldn't even go down to the drug store to buy Nancy a Valentine's Day card. John F. Kennedy used to famously sneak out of The White House late at night and Lyndon Baines Johnson, so the fable goes, used the tunnels underneath the White House to escape into the Washington DC night.
Do we really want John McCain locked up again? I'll never forget the look on James Brown's face when I freed him from his dressing room imprisonment.
I do not want a man who has never been treated for his time as a POW in Vietnam to once again become a POWH with so much at stake.
The Republicans keep whining and playing to fear with the cry "Who is Barack Obama?"
I think the more important question is "Who Is John McCain?" Can anyone say, "How about a game of solitaire, John?"