WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2018
The one thing our own mother told us: As it turns out, mothers and grandmothers have said the darnedest things! We say this after encountering anecdotes from several contemporary candidates or semi-candidates.
Kamala Harris is one such person. She reports this bit of advice:
“My mother used to tell me, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things. Make sure you are not the last.’ ”
Her mother didn't say it just once. Her mother used to say that to her. She said it on a regular basis!
Our own sainted mother wasn't like that. We can think of almost nothing she ever said in the general area of wisdom or advice. One exception would be her prediction concerning PBS.
One day, in the mid-1950s, we were down at [NAME WITHHELD]'s house. He went on to be the only person to serve as president of the Harvard literary magazine, The Advocate, for two separate years.
Learned Hand never pulled it off. Neither did James Agee. Only NAME WITHHELD accomplished this feat—in his sophomore and junior years!
Almost surely, [NAME WITHHELD]'s mother deserves the credit for this.
Mrs. NAME WITHHELD was always generating ways for us neighborhood kids to improve ourselves intellectually. One day, she told us about the exciting new TV station which would soon be on the air.
She told us we'd be able to learn all sorts of things from this exciting new channel's educational programs. There wouldn't be any stupid shows of the type we were seeing elsewhere. Presumably, she was announcing the birth of WGBH, Boston's PBS station.
Mrs. NAME WITHHELD'S presentation filled us with childish ardor. We rushed home to tell our own mother about the exciting new channel.
We described the exciting educational shows the new channel would be offering. "Tuh," our sainted mother said. "Tuh! You won't like that!"
Our sainted mother was like that. In fairness, we can't say she was totally wrong on that one particular point.