This is the phrase I always use about people who refuse to forget completely old grudges, inconvenient facts, ancient lapses and the like. I mean it in a good way. You don’t let the past own you, but you aprreciate the value of owning the past. Derb’s comment about his Dad calling the Windsors “those bloody Germans” is what brings this up. My dad, too, is an awe-inspiring holder of paper. Whenever a friend mentions, say, Herbert Matthews I’ll say, “Oh, Man does my dad hold paper on that guy.” A couple times a week he will send me an email about some long, long forgotten internecine battle between journalists and whomever, between Communists and everyone, about the Black Hand, whatever. My father-in-law is pretty good this way too. Born in Slovakia, he barely escaped the Communists and he can still talk about the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire the way some people talk about NAFTA today. He thinks the break up was stupid. I agree, broadly speaking.
This is one of the things I always appreciated about National Review. It has always been a magazine for paper holders.
Anyway, I’m not really going anywhere with this except that I love this sort of stuff. I shall forever more call the Windsors, “those bloody Germans.”