Christopher Buckley's Eulogy for His Father:

Joe Malchow has the text of Christopher Buckley's eulogy delivered at last week's memorial service at St. Patick's Cathedral:

He was — inarguably — a great man. This is, from a son's perspective, a mixed blessing, because it means having to share him with the wide world. It was often a very mixed blessing when you were out sailing with him. Great men always have too much canvas up. And great men set out from port in conditions that keep lesser men — such as myself — safe and snug on shore.

Read the whole thing here.

I had the experience of meeting William F. Buckley only once, when I sat next to him at a dinner near the end of his life. Every word you have read about him was absolutely true. Although in obviously poor health, he was gracious, witty, kind, and self-deprecating. We talked about Blackford Oakes (and the end to the final Blackford Oakes novel, which I won't spoil here). I don't recall how we got on the topic of Ayn Rand, but the dinner was held in view of Ayn Rand's apartment in New York City and he regaled me with stories about her. Just a marvelous, marvelous man. I wish I had met him more than once, but I thank divine providence that at least I had that opportunity.

There must be some 'classic quote' that goes something like "Lord, please don't send me a famous father."

I know that Robert Lincoln expressed this sentiment later in life. He thought it was difficult to have a dad who belonged to everyone, and not just his son. A. Lincoln had also been riding the couurt circuit when Robert was a boy, so that also contributed to his sense of loss.

My sons have no worries in that area.

I have read interviews with Christopher Buckley in the past, and I will look forward to reading the linked piece later today. He has expressed . . . what? . . . "frustration," or maybe "regret" about the chosen lifestyles of his mom and dad. They were "too busy being famous" to raise him, or something along those lines.

But where would so many of us be now, if Christopher had not shared his dad with us then? If I ever meet Christopher Buckley, I will thank him.
4.16.2008 4:25pm
Dave N (mail):
Christopher Buckley gave quite an appropriate eulogy for his father, who truly was a Renaissance Man.

Well said, Mr. Buckley.
4.16.2008 5:43pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Christopher Buckley's article in the WFB memorial issue of NRO was a great piece, as were all the tributes written.

I was invited to WFB's place in Manhattan twice for fund raisers, due to the hundred bucks I kick in to the magazine now and then. Fearing being found out an intellectual midget, I didn't go; now, I wish I had and let the chips fall.

I did talk with him briefly on the sets of "Late Line", and "Spin City" when he appeared in cameos on those shows.

Not the same as dinner with the Buckleys:)
4.16.2008 6:45pm
I have little doubt he entertained you with stories of Ayn Rand. The problem with Mr. Buckley was that he was a fiction writer who confused the imaginary with the real.
4.17.2008 12:07am