Letter From What
This week our “Hey Abbott Award” goes to a dead man. Certainly, a first for these pages.
For more than 50 years BBC Radio 4 listeners based
their impressions of the
Mr. Cooke lived in a type of upscale building
unknown to almost all Americans. He
traveled in the high atmosphere circles that are also unknown to almost all Americans. He created an image of
His radio popularity was obtained by giving his
audiences and his bosses at the BBC what they thought “
Bluntly put, Mr. Cooke reported on one level,
whilst we Americans existed on another.
There was a trade off. The Brits
and other listeners got the Alistair Cooke snapshot of the
Putting this all aside, what has our displeasure
this week is that it is reported that he wanted his ashes scattered in
We would like to think that Mr. Cooke, if he had
truly made that request, was just pulling someone’s leg. On the other hand, if he was serious, it further
indicates his detachment from day to day
The law says you can’t spread ashes in
This outrageous act, if it really did occur, would
have made a fine piece for “Letter From America.” Mr. Cooke would have painted a picture of a
charming gathering in
The Sunday Times of Britain reports that Mr. Cooke’s widow Jane said, “The police might come here now. I suppose if they do, I’ll just have to hide under the bed.”
Jane knows that the police will not come because it is unthinkable that our Mayor Michael Bloomberg would let a prosecutor charge anyone connected to this event. After all, the ashes were those of a special person who lived on a special level and traveled in a special world unknown to the “real” New Yorkers (or Americans).
We can just imagine what George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have had to say about all of this.