Daily dinners with our fellow retirees can be tedious. The elderly (and that includes us) tend to repeat stories of their not always-interesting pasts. But sometimes I am amazed by what I hear.
Last week, we had dinner with a statuesque 89-year-old named Elizabeth. She knew about my long career at Harvard’s Kennedy School so for starters, she told me that she had just given a eulogy there for Francis Bator, an economist who had advised the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and was one of the School’s founding fathers. His office was down the hall from me. The memorial service was held in the School’s Penthouse where I had attended hundreds of events, including my own farewell party!
Elizabeth told us that she had got to know Bator while working for Walter Lippmann, newspaper columnist and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, but said little about herself.
Curious to learn more about this modest woman, I Googled her. Turns out that she was a producer for CBS News for years and the first newsperson on the scene after the 1972 Watergate break-in.
That evening, I couldn’t persuade her to write her story, but I’ll keep trying.