Saturday, March 01, 2008

William F Buckley JR - RIP

When I was 14 years old, I picked up a magazine that had no business being in the waiting room of an Emergency department of a small city hospital in Northern New Brunswick, Canada. The magazine was National Review. Suddenly ideas and thoughts that had been discussed around the kitchen table with my dad came to life with a clarity and irreverent wit with which I had never possessed the ability to articulate.

And those words. Those beautiful words, that jumped and glistened like sun reflected off water on the most glorious summer day. They were the words of a man named William F Buckley Jr. He taught me how to write, and he helped shape the man I am today.

Of the many fond memories and reflections on a man of such importance and faith, few have moved me more than that of Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Wiffler, writing in National Review Online.

"My younger brother and I were stopped at a light at West 56th St and 7th Ave in Manhattan in 1991, when we both saw WFB crossing the street between our car and the one ahead of us.
Jaywalking, now that I think of it. I opened my driver's window and yelled "Mr. Buckley!" He turned, and I shouted "hello," and said "Good Afternoon, Sir! National Review subscriber!" He smiled and said thanks, giving a little wave. I pushed my luck, saying "Can we get your autograph?" His response was priceless. His smallish grin transformed into a huge one, he turned on his heels and came over to our car, responding "Certainly!" As he arrived at the car, he asked if I had received the latest issue. I said that I had, and it was at home. "Lots of good stuff in that one," he advised. He scribbled his signature, and said thanks for making him feel like a celebrity. We could not have been happier if we had met The Beatles. "



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