Thursday, February 28, 2008

Unburdened at last!

I have a secret: when I was still a young girl, I had a crush on William F. Buckley, Jr.

Back then there were plenty of comedians mimicking him, and after finally seeing the real thing live, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he was nothing like those parodies. He was simply intelligent and erudite in his speech. That was before I even knew what erudite meant: he epitomized the word.

Later, whenever he appeared on television or in the news, he still fascinated me, although life and its many other cares took me away to other interests. Buckley, of course, remained the same all his life.

Unlike many other celebrities, Buckley never became an exaggeration of his younger self, never a caricature. The comedians lost interest, but I didn't. Whenever he appeared on screen or in print, I paid attention. He never disappointed, not once.

He passed on Wednesday, February 27, 2008, quietly and with great dignity, while working. He died with his boots on, as they say.

Elegance, grace, and erudition, a good portion of each, anyway, has left the mainstream media, the Internet, and the world.

A good portion of my consciousness is in deep mourning.

William F. Buckley was 82.


Anonymous said...

There will never be another one like him!

Anonymous said...

My experience was similar.

The comedians kept mimicking him, and that got my curiosity up. I finally had an opportunity to see him talk on television.

Dad (and, I think, Mom) was there, noticing me intently scrutinizing the guy, his facial expressions, his mannerisms with his hands. Then I proclaimed "Why, he's charming!" I liked the guy.

I could tell something bothered Dad about that. Dad either had some political disagreement with Buckley's position, or he was not quite sure why his teenaged son was acting so very interested in a man on television.

To this day, I don't know why the comedians would flick their tongues in and out, or bulge their eyes, during their imitations. Mr. Buckley didn't do that.

- tom

pb said...

The mimics latch onto and exaggerate everything they can. Sometimes it's an embodiment of an otherwise physical or psychic trait.

That's how I saw it, anyway.

He was quite a character!