1. I have no handshake link to Washington; Scott Fitzgerald had (though I suppose, through New York journalism, I must have a link to Fitzgerald).
2. This is mildly embarrassing. I’ve been replaying Castro’s appearence on the Jackson campaign plane, and now I cannot remember whether I shook his hand or not. I did think about it, and I believe I weighed brush with history (however monstrous) vs. personal hygiene. But I realize the moment is lost. Reflecting on my own nature–curiosity, unwillingness to make a scene, however slight–I suspect I would have shaken his hand.
When Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower of London, he planned to while away his time writing a history of the world. He heard a pistarckle outside his window, and asked about it. Some fight between laborers, he was told. What had happened? But no one could tell him that. He abandoned his history.