I try to limit my political comments on this food-oriented blog but Ted Kennedy's current state changes the equation.
There are few people who know me and greet me by my first name whether 5 or 20 years have gone by, outside my family, but Ted Kennedy is one of them and besides being a legend, he is one of a kind as a human being who cares for others. I met him at college when he walked onto a squash court where I was practicing and said "May I join you, John?" Wow!
Now, of course, I knew who he was, but at 19, I was supposed to be cool and oblivious to fame but I was big time impressed. Later, I learned that all the Kennedys had that magical ability to recall faces and names and who were your children and grand children and what they did.
In any case, I only saw Ted a few times afterwards - but all the occasions were incredibly incredible. I remember once skiing at Mad River Glen with goggles and full-dress garb when he pulled up and said softly "Hi John, how are you and.........?"
The last time we met, I was testifying before a Senate Committee he did not chair and only sat on, but he made time to come and greet me and hug me and welcome me.
There will be those who say that like Reagan, his support of Barak Obama was the result of brain damage. I hope like Joseph Welch, however, someone else will say "Have you no sense of decency, sir,...?"
I'm an unabashed liberal, ashamed of what happened at Chappaquiddick, but one of the many who has tears in his eyes as I think about what this sort of illness could do to our country in our current perilous state.
We need you Teddy, more than you need us - Hang in old friend!