As a growing young man I used to listen, every Sunday morning on BBC Radio 4, to Alistair Cooke’s “Letter from America”.
I remember on one occasion he described how he wrote the fifteen minute talks. He said something along the lines of: “Never tell them how it ends until it ends!”
That’s how I write my presentations: even my academic work if I can get away with it; even today: “Never tell them how it ends until it actually does …”
A second thing this growing young man took from Cooke’s attachment to the US was his profound affection and love for its people and institutions, both.
And I thought to myself: “If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.”
Now, more than ever, we need another Cooke in the kitchen of what should remain an oh so special relationship. I wonder if this will happen, though. I wonder if such humanity still exists.
And so I love the America of Cooke’s considered commentaries, even as such a US never ever loved me back.
And maybe now never will. Maybe it was – even then – a construct which honestly never existed.
Curious places and times I have lived. Curious places and times.