|Waiting for the table!|
WELL!!! Mr. FedEx just delivered a CASE OF SPANISH RED WINES. The sender is none other than my old St. Mary's Cathedral classmate Jimmy. Needless to say, when I arrived there after spending four years at the public school near our house, Jimmy was the smartest and most desirable pupil in Sister Hillary's classroom. What's more, he continued exuding his charm and brilliance all through high school and college. He married the beautiful Sandy, a foreign student (from Moorhead), and together they raised a bunch of lively kids. Jim wound up owning a manufacturing plant in Rhode Island and being a rock solid member of the Democratic Party. Jim got his interest in politics early, serving as a page for Senator William Langer, R-ND, whose career was instructive in many ways. Langer was a legend for good and not so good, depending on which side of the aisle his fellow legislators sat, but North Dakota's farmers loved him and voted for him anyway. "Colorful" seems too feeble to describe him, as evidenced in this article from the U.S. Senate Art and History:
North Dakota Republican William Langer had a colorful political career for decades before he entered the United States Senate. From 1916 to 1920, he served as the state's attorney general, fiercely enforcing Prohibition. During those years, he had led a posse against illegal liquor stores, commandeered telephone lines during a vice raid, censured 275 North Dakota schools for failing to display the American flag, been blamed for the suicide of a former attorney general, and escaped impeachment by one vote. His unorthodox methods, Langer conceded, "tended to make feelings rather bitter." A vigorous champion of the North Dakota farmers, Langer enjoyed immense popularity and in 1932 won the governorship. In 1934, following conviction on charges of political corruption, he was removed from office, but after a reversal on appeal and two new trials, he was exonerated and again elected governor. In 1940 Langer won a seat in the United States Senate.
I value Jim and Sandy's opinions of the current meshugaas in Washington. They are probably the most well-read people I know, devouring many newspapers and magazine articles on the state of the United States. They read it all, both the rabid stuff from the right wing rags and items from liberal sources. Jim has learned the value of "know your enemy."
I'm just tickled pink to get such a gift from such a generous, wonderful friend. Not too many years ago, Jim battled cancer that was predicted to wipe him out in a few short weeks or months. (Fortunately, one of his doctors in Boston, Dr. Atul Gawande, disagreed with the diagnosis AND prognosis.) But while Jim and Dr. Gawande were battling for his life, Jim made a list of what was most important to him. After Sandy, his children, and his birth family, he wrote "old friends." I'm certainly one of the luckiest of these, though hardly the oldest. Cough.
Many thanks, Jim! I can't believe all these lovely bottles of Rioja!