Magazine August 10, 2009, Issue

Your Friend Priscilla

Priscilla and Bill Buckley in 1983 (National Review Archives)
History Writ Small: Exploring Its Nooks & Crannies by Barge, Boat, and Balloon, by Priscilla L. Buckley (National Review Books)

Some time ago, a veteran pianist taught me a saying: “You play who you are.” I have found this saying quite true, with qualifications, of course. Priscilla Buckley writes who she is. That is, her writing is graceful, lovely, intelligent, learned, amusing, assured, civilized — you get the picture. Nice picture. I might also say that her writing is lapidary. Her brother Bill liked to use that word.

One night at dinner, I heard her say, “I’m three,” whereupon Bill said, “I’m six.” Someone had asked Priscilla where she stood in their family of ten children. I had the impression they

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Of course Obama hasn’t read the health-care bill — he’s probably still working his way through the stimulus.

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