Happy Birthday Art

I thought about Art Buchwald today as I looked at this quote tacked to my office wall.

“And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: “Look at this God-awful mess.” — Art Buchwald, 1970

“Hmm. It must be near his birthday.” I Googled it and yes, his birthday was last Friday, October 20th. (He would have been 92.)

Cover of "I'll Always Have Paris"

Cover of I’ll Always Have Paris

Art was one of my favorite humorists. He was well known for his biting political satire. I fell in love with Art when I read his autobiographical book, I’ll Always Have Paris. I read it in the throws of my own love affair with Paris. I liked that we shared that love, as many generations of Americans traveling to the City of Light undoubtedly did, and then brought home their own unique stories as well.

Today, I miss Art. He was a voice of sanity in an insane world. He loved to point out the absurdities and contradictions that are so prevalent in human nature and make us laugh about them. He was so poignantly funny, I think, because he also spent years studying his own pain.

So happy (belated) birthday Art. I’m honored to remember you today. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

 

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