Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016


I am the captain of Team Dark Meat
As usual, I am spending today deeply grateful for my many blessings, not the least of which is still being alive in the first place.

The list also includes friendships, music, books, movies and TV shows, sports, nature, and living in the United States of America, still the greatest country in human history despite its faults.

This blog is partly a daily occasion to celebrate the countless things for which I have cause to give thanks...

Did I mention turkey (dark meat only, please), mashed potatoes and gravy, Harvard beets, deviled eggs, baked beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie?

"For Thanksgiving I like to add sage and some bay leaf to the anthill before feasting."

Always the traditionalist...

Happy Birthday!

November 24, 1925 - February 27, 2008
On November 24, 1925 my hero William Frank Buckley, Jr. was born in New York City.

He went on to lead a remarkable life as an author, speaker, and public intellectual. Any attempt to summarize his accomplishments would sound like wild exaggeration to someone who didn't live through the Buckley Era.

He was, as he might himself put it, sui generis.

In 1988, just after he had turned 63 (my current age), Bill gave a speech about gratitude and giving thanks, which I reread this morning.

It is particularly apropos whenever his birthday falls on Thanksgiving, as it does this year, because I shall always be deeply thankful for everything he taught me about how to think, how to debate, how to write, how to deal with idiots, how to enjoy life to the fullest, and how to embrace my faith.

Bill wasn't perfect, of course. He preferred Bach to Beethoven, and he and his wife Pat liked to have pheasant for Thanksgiving. On balance, though, I am grateful for his presence in my life for the past half century. My hero of heroes...


Am I the sort of person who obsesses about reaching meaningless milestones on my car's odometer?

Why yes, yes I am...

Turkey Bomb

From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Among my hero Bill Buckley's many enthusiasms were the harpsichord and the music of J.S. Bach, both of which he wrote about with some frequency.

His publicly-expressed fondness for both led to his being invited to perform a Bach keyboard concerto of his own choosing with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. And so he did, on October 17, 1989, at age 63 (the same age I am now). His typically wry account of how he came to do so appeared in the New York Times on October 1, 1989, just a couple of weeks before the performance.

In 1999 French harpsichordist Christophe Rousset recorded all of Bach's concertos for the instrument with Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music,
a project regarded by many as the definitive versions of those works.

Harpsichord music being a rather specialized taste, the album has been out of print for many years, but part of the glory of the internet is that you can still track down such music with a bit of effort. One more thing for which to be thankful!

Today's send-off is Rousset's performance of the piece Bill chose back in 1988,
the Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056, in its entirety. Enjoy...

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