A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The tragic irony. . .

. . .when a person like William F. Buckley dies is that, in all the sadness that comes from knowing that one of my heroes has passed, I now have the wonderfully satisfying opportunity to learn so much more about him than I ever would have known if he were alive. And, of all the things I've learned about this singular presence in America's culture these past two days, the most gratifying is how truly beloved he was.

I watched Charlie Rose when I got home last night, which is something I don't always do, though I've never purposely avoided the show. It's just that I watch very little television these days, and don't keep up with broadcast schedules, so I simply never know what's going to be on when I hit the button. The final segment, when the retrospective was over and Mr. Rose said his last goodbye was one of the more moving television moments I've witnessed in years. The change in his voice at the end of his salute was an unmistakable expression of real loss that snatched away my breath as though I were Mr. Rose, himself.

But, through the expressions of loss by the vast circle of friends now paying tribute to his life, I can't help but feel a little joy at all the wonderful things I'm getting to read about this all-too-rare human being who always seemed more like a distant icon to me. It's one thing to know that Bill Buckley had a wonderful, sharp and incisive sense of humor, which is apparent to anyone who has seen through his work. It's something else, though, to find out just how much a person of good humor he was.

The impact he had on the lives of so many was self-evident through his work and all that stemmed from it. But, until he passed, I had no inkling as to how many lives and hearts he had touched in his time. It's not something you expect to hear of a man whose smile was once compared to a switchblade.

Heaven will welcome William F. Buckley in the same way the William F. Buckley welcomed the people who came into his world. These links, courtesy of The Corner, should give the reader some idea of just how welcoming a presence he was.

NOTE: Added some text that was unintentionally omitted in original posting.

free website counters