Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, Jr. RIP

In 1970 my brother recommended a paperback entitled “The Jeweler’s Eye” by William F. Buckley, Jr. I enjoyed it enormously – particularly Buckley’s recounting of the debate with Gore Vidal during the 1968 election where he told Vidal that he’d “stay plastered” after he was through with him.

I tore out the little card to start a subscription to National Review, and I’ve held onto it all these 38 years. As a college student I was enamored of the loyal readers who wrote to Bill in his Notes & Asides column. I thought to myself, I can’t imagine a more loyal, long term readership, and now here I am. I was hoping that one day I might write to Bill to tell him I was one of those long time readers myself, maybe on the 40th anniversary of my subscription, but unfortunately, it is not to be.

I can tell you without hesitation that Bill Buckley, his public appearances and debates, his writings and his influences on other writers has had a major impact on my life, the life of my wife, children, brothers, sisters and friends. Before Buckley I was an atheistic liberal. After being bathed in the Baptismal waters of National Review, I became an Evangelical and a Conservative – not to mention that he improved my vocabulary, and established the core friendships I enjoy with like-minded folks.

May he rest in peace, and may his influence on conservatives and conservative thinking in America thrive and grow for decades to come.

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