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Thursday, February 28, 2008

From An Obit-Column On William Buckley, Died at 82

Mona Charen writes in WaPo about her first encounter with Bill Buckley:

Like many a star-struck youngster, I maneuvered to meet him when I was in college. To my amazement, he agreed to be interviewed for my yearbook. Determined to ask questions that wouldn't betray my outsized admiration for him, I posed the vaguely feminist query, "In what ways would your life have been different if you had been born female?" His reply: "I'd have seduced John Kenneth Galbraith and spared the world much pain."

Okay, I can't resist another one.

To the great delight of his fans, Bill published reader letters to himself along with his replies in the "Notes and Asides" column. He called it "infield practice." A particularly nasty physician named Marshall Prickman penned an abusive letter insulting Bill for everything from his "stupidity" to his supposedly ugly face. Buckley published the letter, with this reply: "Dear Doc, Please call me Bill. May I address you by your nickname?"

Without wit could he have achieved so much?