January 19, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Goodbye Art Buchwald

I was probably the only teenager in my home town who read Art Buchwald's column. Most of the important aspects of the Watergate scandal I learned from him. After I moved to Washington, I kept up with the dizzying social intrigues behind the Reagan Revolution thanks to Art Buchwald. He had a goofy grin that concealed the severe hardships of growing up in a broken family. He was a World War II veteran, part of the Greatest Generation. He wrote in short, simple sentences in the guise of innocence that cloaked sophisticated wit. Some people initially took his deadpan satiric columns at face value, and were left utterly befuddled. Art Buchwald lived a charmed life, sharing his wit and spreading his sly wisdom about the way Washington really works. Nothing against P.J. O'Rourke or Dave Barry, but [very few humor] writers of today's cynical world match his depth of human pathos. Yesterday Art Buchwald died peacefully after spending almost a year in a hospice, and of course the Washington Post has all the details about his wonderful life of humor. I'll miss him very much.