Newsweek will cease to produce a printed copy of the magazine in a couple of months. Although it has changed radically over the years, I remember when it was a serious and (at least seemingly) non-biased reporter of the news. But it was much more than that. It was a snapshot of our lives. I was an early, and probably precocious, subscriber as a teenager in the 1960s. Happily, a few of the magazines survived by hiding at the bottom of a trunk, stowaways on my travels from this place to that.
There was a glowing review of Flannery O'Connor's posthumous collection of short stories, Everything That Rises Must Converge (named after one of the short stories in the collection). I believe this article may have been my first introduction to O'Connor. I know we did not study her work in high school. Unbeknownst to me in 1965, I would one day make my home in the city of her birth, a city where she is revered and loved. I re-read this beautiful, compelling, dark, and disturbing short story this summer. Powerful story, powerful woman, powerful writer, powerful review. What more is there to say?
Henry Charles Dickens, 87 years old and the last surviving grandchild of Charles Dickens, and his wife Fanny hosted a Christmas feast for 16 members of the family; Frank Sinatra, as he turned 50, announced he expected to "swing for 50 more," (I wish it had been 100 more, Ol' Blue Eyes), Brigitte Bardot, in her usual brilliance, declared she wanted "to be myself. Lady Bird Johnson prepared to entertain Prime Minister Harold Wilson even as White House chef Rene Verdon gave notice he would be leaving his post. Hired to please the Continental palate of Jacqueline Kennedy, the French-born chef found LBJ's penchant for barbecue, spoon bread and fried chicken just...well...shall we say, too much to swallow.
I haven't subscribed to Newsweek for decades. But I feel a certain affection for it...for what it used to be. I can't help but feel a bit sad. Like when you know the goodbye is final. Like the day you graduate from college and pack up your dorm room, a dull ache starting in your chest and making a lump in your throat. Like driving away away for the last time...into your life and whatever it holds.