The Catholic Buckley’s Friend

National Review Online has published the short speech that Neal Freeman gave on short notice at the Portsmouth Institute‘s conference on William F. Buckley, Jr.:

I was introduced to the woman who would become my Catholic wife, of course, by Bill Buckley. It was part of his indefatigable campaign to enlist me in the legions of Rome. Every few years for a half-century he would inquire, “Mon vieux, are you still a stalwart Episcopalian?” I would reply that I was. He would then say in a pained tone, “Ohhhh, I see,” as if he had been reminded yet again that my ignorance was invincible.
If I am not licensed, then, to discuss the Catholic Buckley, let me say a few words about the universal and apostolic Buckley. To begin with, he was my best friend. I hasten to add that I was not his best friend. Over the years I had heard him describe twelve different men as his best friend. There were undoubtedly others who went uncounted. He had an enormous talent for the making and keeping of friendships, so much so that he made of his life a work of art.

That second paragraph is one of the audio clips that I posted of Mr. Freeman’s appearance, and reading the text, it’s impressive that he assembled his thoughts thus in just a couple of hours.
Incidentally, I’ve since discovered that at least part of Joseph Bottum’s compellling speech was adapted from an article in The Weekly Standard, and it’s fun to read it with the author’s voice and pacing in mind, as I described it.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.