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William Safire, 1929-2009

   By the time we met him, William Safire had already won a Pulitzer Prize, owned two of the best corners of real estate an opinion writer can aspire to, joined the panel of Meet the Press, published several books [including one that, I was happy to have the chance to tell him, didn't get nearly the attention it deserved], wrote speeches in the White House and coined a phrase or two that will be remembered as long as there are politicians and pundits. [He'd also kept me company over many a bagel and cup of coffee. He never paid, but he didn't eat much, either.]

   And still, he told my wife and me that he envied us.


   Rebecca, being the more intelligent of the pair, didn't want to talk politics at the pre-speech reception, about five years ago at the Salt Lake City Public Library. She wanted to talk literature. What books did he like? What would he recommend?

   He went for the classic. Moby Dick, he said. We had to admit, Zelig-like, that neither of us had read it.

   Well, then, he said, then you still have that to look forward to. I envy you.

   Well, Bill, we still haven't read it.  But I read a great deal of what you wrote over the years, and you will be missed.

   More from Bill Lucey, Dennis B. Roddy, The Daily Beast, Janet Daley, The Christian Science Monitor, The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


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