Saturday, August 07, 2004

One-Handed Friend

I have been thinking about Harry Truman lately.

He told a press conference once that he was looking for a new aide / advisor---"A one-handed economist..."

Merriman Smith, the best reporter living at that time, asked: "What do you mean, Mister President..a one-handed economist???!!"

"Well," smiled the Man from Missouri, "all these fellows I have around me now are always saying: 'on one hand, soandsoandso and on the OTHER hand, blahblahblah...' I want a ONE handed economist!!!!"

I have, as a best friend, a physician named Maureen Kathleen McLaughlin-Grant M.D.

She is a one-handed confidant of more than 25 years--since she was a Registered Nurse.

She is one-handed when it comes to decisions and problem-solving. We do not indulge in "curbside" or "casual" medicine.

But she has one handed judgnemt, and I often think how Blessed her patients are if her personal forthrightness and non-ambiguity spill over into her professional service / practice.

As I am sure they do. Breath of fresh air...

We really need more one-handed doctors...and preachers...and TV commentators...and senators...and CIA chiefs. A one-handed BUREAUCRAT is impossible even as fantasy.

Here is my list of "One-Handed" greats:

George Washington, Nathan Hale, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Abe Lincoln, Andrew Carnegioe, Mister Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Judge Learned Hand, Thomas Edison, Theodore Roosevelt, C.S. Lewis, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Billy Graham, Senator "Scoop" Jackson, George Santayana, Reinhold Niebhur, Raymond Chandler, Walker Percy, General George Patton, Whittaker Chambers, Arthur Koestler, JRR Tolkein, Malcolm Muggeridge, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley and...Harry S. Truman.

Look around. Who will the great-grandchildren remember?

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