I was not a fighter, not a scrappy guy, like JFK was. I was too much a passive type, as if there really was a thing called God's will looking down upon us. My father was a Theosophist, like a Buddhist who believed in Christian love's power. My attempts at dignity above the fray ring to me like a hick country boy knowing nothing of hustling and pitching and aggressive New Yorkers. To my embarrassment, James Dean was something of a model, and that was when I got sort of lazy as a student, even as I read Sorenson's Kennedy when looking for a way in life after college.
We do pay for our choices. We get stuck in ruts. And I did not do for the country but lay in shame somewhat, and my Irish wit, childless, I employ while tending bar, perhaps much as Kennedy's own grandfather had.
My friend Andrei, from the State Department, conversant in many languages, an aficionado of Bossa Nova and local musicians tells me a saying: "If you want a friend in Washington, DC, get a dog." And in a way, I suppose, in my duties, I'm somewhat like that dog. The professionals come, and I make my rounds, and when I don't get to a table--maybe they looked busy--they'll mention it, why no visit, why no tasting, why no personal friendly love. On one level, perhaps it is like Shakespeare, reserving for the mightiest, Lear, the company, when all's has fallen, of the lowly fool out on the howling heath.