Stood in the boys’ room at a St. Catherine or St. Edmund dance, coolly showing how to smoke a cigarette, and I mean without half trying. Had a picture of a lovely St. Catherine’s girl we knew, he said; it was a blond Valkyrie maiden, unclothed, sitting at a picnic site, arms overhead, hands clasped behind her head. (His brother had taken it while a G.I. in Germany.)
Another report: he saved a St. Catherine of Siena and Fenwick alum (or student) from a drubbing by bully boys on one occasion, stopping them with a word. Years later, the wife was still grateful.
That was kid stuff. Much later he pretty much hosted or at least prominently attended a birthday party for a Fenwick classmate, maybe at the Como Inn, at which an equally lovely, though only partially unclothed, young woman rose from a cake. Ed’s surprise. I was not there, but got details from some who were. A classmate recalled driving home from the event, that is, he remembers arriving in Melrose Park. Luckily.
One keen irony about the papacy of Benedict XVI is that while the Vatican regime over which he presides has sometimes come off as ham-fisted in terms of public relations, the pope himself is almost universally acknowledged as a gifted communicator.
In the old days, a pope would say or do something controversial, and then his aides would smooth things over. More recently, its actually been the pope who gets the Vatican back on message after someone else has put his foot in his mouth. (This, by the way, should not be taken as a criticism of Benedicts official spokesperson, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, who does a heroic job under the circumstances.)
“If a government were trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of a population, what would it do? [It would
1. The use of indirect rather than direct taxes, so that the tax is hidden in the price of goods.
2. Inflation, by which the state reduces the value of everyone else’s currency.
3. Borrowing, so as to postpone the necessary taxation.
4. Gift and luxury taxes, where the tax accompanies the receipt or purchase of something special, lessening the annoyance of the tax. [Soak rich]
5. Temporary taxes, which somehow never get repealed when the emergency passes. . . . .