“He only has a few weeks to live, Billie.” That was the message two days ago. I ran out to sit with him yesterday worried about how I would handle seeing the Murray who would soon leave us. My fears were dashed the minute I walked into his home. Murray was Murray.
His body was worn out from fighting cancer but Murray was still there. He was lucid. He was funny. He was strong of character. He was sweet. He was candid. He was full of wisdom. We talked politics because that is what brought us together. He and I became good friends during the tea party movement and when Trump came to Jacksonville in October 2015, I asked him to emcee the event. He was delighted and he was a Trump supporter from then until today.
Most people knew of Murray as the music man inside of some of Jacksonville’s finest restaurants and clubs but there was so much more to Murray Goff. So much.
He had a Political Science degree from Princeton University and Judge Andrew Napolitano was his college roommate.
He had dreams of one day running as a US Senator from Florida and served as a Page for Congressman Charlie Bennett. He was enamored with politics and as he told me, “I was single focused. I didn’t have Plan B if politics didn’t work out.”
But Murray soon found out he needed Plan B. Politics had changed his life.
He was out of college and ended up working on a political campaign. He said, “I saw way too much as a 20 year old impressionable guy. I saw unmarked envelopes full of money being passed around and deals being made for that cash. There was so much lying and deception going on right before my eyes. I realized that I could not live in that world. I was disillusioned with politics and politicians. Here I had a political science degree and I couldn’t use it.”
He made a decision to get into the real estate business and he did well. He said he worked seven days a week but loved it and was making good money. And then one day he woke up and thought, “I want to start my own development company?”
He ended up doing a lot of small developments and things were moving along well. He thought he had hit it big and life was grand. But…politics entered his life.
Under the Carter Administration inflation was through the roof and then Reagan was elected. Murray loved Ronald Reagan and as a political science major, he knew the way to stop inflation was to raise interest rates. That is what Reagan did at the same time Murray had built a new condo project. With interest rates rising, Murray was hung out to dry and he went broke.
He said, “What was best for the country was the worst for me. I had people signing contracts but could not get financing. Interest rates were 18.5% with a one-year balloon. Reagan stopped inflation and delivered a great economy but it put me out of business.”
He didn’t blame Reagan and at the same time he said, “I felt like a failure and I hated how this failure hurt so many people involved with me on that project. I hate hurting people which is why politics – my Plan A would never have worked. Politicians don’t care about hurting people.”
Murray had continued to play piano to earn money when he was selling real estate so he hit the ivory keys seven days a week and Plan C for his life unfolded.
He was a classically trained pianist and played the piano since the age of 4. His music always brought joy and smiles to so many and to him.
He said, “I knew I would never be a world famous musician and I was content to be successful here in my hometown. I made a ton of friends. I had a great time. I was able to play the “favorite song” for thousands of people. I watched lovers dance to my music. I watched tears fall from the faces of people missing loved ones because of “that special song.” I was blessed. I wasn’t rich but we made a good living. My wife and I were a great team and she made me a better man. I lived a fabulous life and I have no regrets. My life worked out the way it was suppose to and I’m thankful to Jesus for the life I’ve lived.”
As Murray and I shared stories of the tea party days, we talked about the special song he wrote, “God Save the USA.” This song was sung at rally after rally and on President Trump’s stage in October 2015. Murray wrote the song because he wanted people to realize what the true need was for America today.
He said, “We play God Bless America and I love that song. But the truth is – He already has blessed America. We are at a point now where He needs to Save America. We have gone so far away from our founding fathers’ faith that shaped the framework of America through the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. America needs to be saved from those who hate her. Our government has made bad choices and the biggest one was turning our back on God over and over again. We are way beyond the blessing part. It’s the saving we need.”
As the time together was coming to a close, I asked Murray, “Are you afraid to die?”
His answer was, “No. I would be afraid if I didn’t know Jesus. I can’t understand how people can live their life without Him. I’m looking forward to seeing Him in heaven.”
I tried to take notes without tears and what he told me next caused a river of tears to fall.
We were at a tea party event setting up for a Presidential Candidate to join us at a rally. The candidate was stopping through Jacksonville and meeting with the tea party members. We had a lot of that happen during those days. Murray reminded me of the rain that was on the radar and our event was outside with expensive equipment that could be ruined by the rain. We were wringing our hands trying to decide if we should cancel the event. Dark clouds were all around and it wasn’t looking good. He said, “Billie, you asked everyone there to get in a circle and we all held hands. You started praying and you asked God to push away the clouds and keep the rain away. You said it as if you were having a conversation with God. Not some big prayers you hear in church. And then…the clouds slowly moved away, the sun came out and we had a rally. That moment changed my life. It was a huge moment. That simple prayer created a punctuation mark in my faith walk with God.”
I told Murray I had no idea that simple, conversational prayer had meant so much to him. He pointed his finger at me and said, “It changed my life.”
He went on to say, “I take responsibility for my life. I tried to live one of values and morals. I was a jerk in my earlier years and I made some bad choices. Many of those choices made me feel like a fraud but the last 20-25 years I have learned to love in a different way. Michele and her family changed my life because of their love and support. They are a loving and warm family and I was blessed to become a part of it.
It was time for me to leave and I asked him what else he would like to say so I could capture them for his followers. With his frail body but his strong countenance, he said…
- Find your purpose. I found mine. I made people smile through my music. It was Plan C but I finally found me.
- Marry a good woman who makes you a better man. I married my Michele.
- Never, ever deny your faith in God. Never.
- Educate yourself. Read books. Study history. Did you know Obama told us in his two books that he wanted to destroy America? He wants to instill Communism in America. He told us and we still elected him twice. Do your homework on candidates!
- We are a country of law and order. Anyone who wants to dismantle it – don’t vote for them. Get rid of them.
- Stay interested in politics. Keep an eye on politicians. They will go bad and it will affect your life.
- Politics has gotten worse. There is so much more at stake. Money fuels greed. Major league franchises are in bed with China because of money. Nike will not make a stand for America because of profits. If a company is about profits over patriotism – don’t support them.
- Whoever cares more about China than America – don’t vote for them. Biden is as crooked as any politician I have ever seen. He loves China!
- As for big tech – how dare they become a dictatorship when they have become rich off the goodness of America.
- Protect America from globalism. She will die if we don’t. If a candidate is advocating for globalism – don’t vote for them. All they want is power.
- Get anarchists out of the education system. Read the books and educational materials they are teaching your children. They are a mess and hate America. Why would you allow that?
- You can be anything you want to be in America. And because of that you need to appreciate America. The entire 20th century tells us that socialism and communism do not work. The left wing of politics tells you their socialism will – they are lying to you. It’s about power. Power over you.
- VOTE!! That’s the one thing you can do and it’s easy.
I do believe Murray would have made a damn good Senator from Florida! Just before I left Murray, he filled out his ballot and voted for Trump. He wanted to make sure his vote would be counted for the President he loved!
My friends, today October 3, 2020, less than 24 hours after I left Murray Goff’s bedside, he made his journey to heaven. He is now conversing with Jesus and playing the most beautiful piano you can imagine while the saints of heaven’s choir sing and welcome him home.
His family is devastated. His soul has left a hole in their lives. They will never be the same again but they are better because Murray was a part of their lives.
I am so grateful I had a few hours with Murray yesterday. I will cherish this moment in time forever and I thank God for allowing me to pen his thoughts and share them with you here.
I find this very interesting. Murray wanted to be a Senator but found out the ugly side of politics would not work for him. But…he never left politics and politics never left him. Throughout his life – politics impacted his career.
And it impacts ours.
Today the music died in Jacksonville when Jacksonville’s music man went to heaven. But thank God for all the videos we have to bring him back whenever we feel a need to dance with our lover or remember a loved one or better yet – to Save the USA.
In memory of Murray – here’s the song he wrote because of the passion he held for America and for all of us. Use it as a prayer for our dearly beloved America.
RIP Murray – I love you man! Tell Jesus hello and ask God to Save the USA.