Thursday, May 31, 2007


[posted by Callimachus]

Reading about the slow sinking of Billy Graham tonight I was struck that, someday decades from now, my daughter, who was born in December, may look back and marvel that she and he shared the earth for some short space of time.

He seems to belong to such an earlier age than the one she will inhabit, which will be entirely in the 21st century. Who else will be on that list? Who else now living has his or her fame fixed in a year or decade long past, so that today's infants will astonish their own children someday by noting the overlap of lives? Here are a few that occur to me:

Ray Bradbury
Keely Smith
Lady Bird Johnson
Les Paul
Mickey Rooney

In my own life, the list of people who were very old and died shortly after I was born, and who I seemed to have no right to share a lifespan with, would include:

Mack Sennett
Carl Jung
Fritz Kreisler
Vita Sackville-West
G.M. Trevelyan
E. E. Cummings
Niels Bohr

Who are yours?