RIP Mary Ford (July 7, 1924 – September 30, 1977)September 30, 2016 by Les Paul Foundation
“The thing I want everyone to know is that it wasn’t career or ambition or the desire for money and fame that carried us so far and kept us going as long as we did. It was love.
We loved each other from day one, and not because either of us wanted it to happen. It just was. It was there, and it took us in together. So if you want to talk about Romeo and Juliet, or Frankie and Johnnie, okay, you can put Les and Mary right up there with them. We had our high times, and we had our rough times. And yeah, our marriage broke down and Mary moved out and we finally got divorced in 1964. But we never stopped loving each other. We got divorced legally, but that’s all. In fact, after the divorce was finally settled and the pressure was off, we became very close again.
After we had gotten over all the legal fighting, Mary remarried and was living in California and we would talk on the phone almost every day, sometimes for hours. Nobody will believe it, but we once talked for 30 hours. Yes, 30 hours. We would lay down the phone to get something to eat or go to the bathroom, and then keep going. It was excessive, but we did it because our bond was so strong. She knew me like nobody else, and I knew her…
She called me on a Friday in the fall of 1977, and said ‘My vision is blurred.’ She had a serious drinking problem and had developed diabetes, and I said, ‘From what little I know about it, you better give your doctor a yell and find out about it because the eyes are closely related to the symptoms of diabetes.’ And she said she would do that after the weekend, on Monday.
We talked for probably eight hours that day, mostly about all the great times we had, remembering funny things that happened that only we knew. We even talked about getting our act back together, but I don’t think either of us thought we really would. We just both enjoyed knowing the other would consider it and still want to do it. This was on a Friday, and they found her the following Sunday in a diabetic coma, and that was it. Mary passed away on September 30, 1977.”
– Les Paul, excerpt from Les Paul: In His Own Words