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Buchwald and Me

Buchwald.jpgThe picture was taken about 11 am on November 22, 1963 in the newsroom of The Parthenon, the student newspaper of Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.  The young man, barely recognizable to me today as a former version of myself, is interviewing Art Buchwald, his hero, for the paper.  A half hour later Buchwald was on his way to the airport for a flight back to Washington and an hour or so later John F. Kennedy was dead.  A couple of weeks after the tragic day, Buchwald wrote me a letter about the importance of not losing faith and going on despite the loss.   He knew the Kennedys well.  His loss was personal.  He had met me once.  He was one of the few people for whom the word great was not overly generous. 

Comments

Comment from lawrencedillon
Time: January 18, 2007, 4:22 pm

You never told us what a good-looking kid you were, Jerry.

Comment from zeno
Time: January 18, 2007, 5:39 pm

Thank you for this brief highly moving and personal tribute. Do you have plans to share that letter here at any time? Or perhaps you are hoping to have it published in the New York Times, Washington Post, or elsewhere? Thanks again for your unfashionable hero-worship and use of the word ‘great’ … and ‘faith’, however variously interpreted by those reading here.

Comment from Kyle Gann
Time: January 19, 2007, 10:34 am

I read Buchwald’s articles and books a lot as a teenager. I think his zany humor had some effect my own writing. I remember an amazing dialogue he wrote about interviewing an economist whose every statement contradicted the one he had just made, and yet it all made sense. Brilliant.

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: January 19, 2007, 11:16 am

Kyle wrote: I remember an amazing dialogue he wrote about interviewing an economist whose every statement contradicted the one he had just made, and yet it all made sense

Sounds more like reality than parody to me.

Comment from Kyle Gann
Time: January 19, 2007, 11:26 am

Well, that was kind of the point. But the slight exaggeration was inspired.

Comment from Christina Fong
Time: January 25, 2007, 3:07 pm

An interesting tribute and nice photograph Jerry…I always hear about how everyone remembers where and what they were doing the day JFK was assassinated. Being born after this, I always found it fascinating how people remember the absolutely mundane to the “once in a lifetime” situations.