They had a memorial today for my friend Art Buchwald, who died earlier this year, at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. I couldn’t be there, but it sounded like just the kind of event Art — Artie, as many called him — would have loved. There were loads of Kennedys, and Tom Brokaw, and Dan Barry, and of course his dearest friends Ben Bradlee and Mike Wallace.
I last spoke to Art around New Year’s. I When he was supposed to die a year ago, I wrote an article for The Times about having met him on Martha’s Vineyard the previous summer. But then he didn’t die, and we began to talk every two or three weeks. He’d inevitably have me howling. I last saw Art when I went to visit him in June of last year, at the hospice where he was still not dying, and instead held court for a Who’s Who of Washington insiders. I wrote an account of the visit, just for myself, and I share it with you all here. Here goes:
WASHINGTON, June 15, 2006 — Art Buchwald isn’t dying, as it turns out. “Do you think he scammed us?” asks my editor at the Times. I say I’m not sure, but I better go find out, and make an appointment to visit Art at the hospice in Washington DC….(continued)