Here I am in Malibu. At my little home overlooking the ocean. It’s late at night. I have been paying bills all day and watching the Olympics. That’s my Olympic event: bill paying. Pitiful. But what inspiration those athletes are. They are just magnificent. The swimmers. The gymnasts. How do they make themselves twist around in the air? How is that possible?
I am super tired. This week, Alex and I went to Omaha to have dinner with Warren Buffett. I am not going to say much about what we discussed. I’ll just say that the architecture of downtown Omaha is like fifties Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, Maryland architecture and I love it. Omaha is an extremely charming city.
I’ll also say that Mr. Buffett did many things that charmed me, but the one of the most endearing was when he sprinkled his prime rib liberally with salt. I happen to love salt and my mother used to lose her mind over how much salt I ate. Now, neither Warren’s mother nor mine is here to stop it. Or criticize. So, pour on the salt.
Warren also told my wife and me about how he had gotten a terrible appendix problem when he was in third grade. The family doctor, who called Warren “Skipper,” visited at home and told Warren he would be all right. The doctor went home, played bridge, got into bed, but had second thoughts, got dressed, and came over and put Warren in the hospital, which probably saved Warren’s life.
Here comes the adorable piece. Warren said that the best part of it all was when he was convalescing for three weeks in the hospital his teacher made all of the kids in his class send him letters. That meant all the cute girls he liked wrote him letters. “They never showed any interest in me afterwards,” he said, which I very much doubt. He is extremely modest, though.
But the best part was when I asked Warren what Mrs. Buffett did all day. “She stays home and thinks of ways to make me happy,” he said. He smiled a big smile when he said it.
Anyway, now I’m back in L.A., out in Malibu. It is a balmy, warm evening. I am lying in bed with Julie Good Girl. I am reading an article about the Battle of Midway, which was the turning point of the Pacific War. It happened that we won in a huge way because of the incredible skill and bravery of a handful of naval aviators, almost all of whom died.
Using antiquated, pathetic planes and torpedoes that did not work, they were helped by God Almighty to find the Japanese fleet and sink all four of the Japanese aircraft carriers by dive bombing. That ended any chance the Empire of Nippon had of beating us.
Three of the aviators were shot down near Japanese warships. They were picked up, tortured, then thrown overboard weighted down by heavy drums. Of course, they drowned horribly, but their lives still illuminate the entire world.
I read about this and an amazingly smart article about what a wasteful showoff Erwin Rommel was in the Military History Quarterly, must reading. Absolute MUST reading. MHQ. Get it right now.
Now, I lie in bed and look at the stars. How blessed, blessed, blessed beyond words we are by the gift that God makes to us of the military men and women who fight for us and their spouses and children. God bless them for all eternity.
God bless especially the military wife and widow, the backbone of the nation. Without them, nothing but ashes.