I have an Impromptus column today, with a variety of items, most of them related to the pandemic. There are a thousand issues within the pandemic, aren’t there? Medical, social, political, psychological, and so on. I hear many people around me say that vaccination is a “personal decision.” I understand that. I also hear people say that vaccination is a matter of public health, or the common good. I understand that, too.
Bummer when things aren’t black and white, isn’t it?
The other day, Arnold Schwarzenegger said something elementary: With citizenship come rights, of course. We got rights. But citizenship entails responsibilities, too. We owe things to one another. Bill Kristol tweeted that, in his judgment, “vaccination is not a ‘deeply personal decision.’ It is a routine public health requirement in a civilized society.”
All of this provides food for thought. In any event, I’m going to publish a little mail.
After writing about Donald Kagan, the late classical scholar, I heard from Neal B. Freeman, an NR luminary, and onetime right hand to WFB. He says,
The Freeman family was blessed to be instructed by Don over two generations. I found his course on ancient Greece to be the best I took. One of my kids felt the same way. (It is recorded that the kid got an A. The father did not.)
Hard to believe, Neal! A sharpie like you?
When JLB, Pitts, and I were helping a handful of students (led by the talented Lauren Noble) to stand up the Buckley Program at Yale, the university pushed obstacles in our way. Don, observing the situation from a distance, agreed to join our inaugural board. It was a post he needed as much as he needed a third thumb. The obstacles began to melt away.
Marvelous. By the way, “JLB” refers to James L. Buckley and “Pitts” refers to Priscilla Buckley — two of the ten Buckley children who included WFB.
Responding to some recent writing, a lady writes,
I will never tire of reading your Salzburg journals! I love music, Mozart, and Salzburg!
My husband and I visited Salzburg about 30 years ago. We stayed at the Sacher Hotel in a suite overlooking the Old City. I still have one of those “ancient” elongated photos of the Old City framed and displayed prominently.
Thanks for brightening another day!
The subject of another e-mail was “Salzburgers.” A man writes,
That’s what we called ourselves, students from the University of Portland (Oregon) who attended the overseas program in Salzburg: Salzburgers. I was there in ’83-’84. Absolutely LOVED seeing your pictures from the city. Can’t tell you what great memories they bring back.
Pictures trigger memories more than words, probably. I have some pictures in today’s Impromptus, too — from a place in Michigan, on Lake Michigan, called Grand Haven. Again, here. Have a great one.