It is remarkable how comments from years ago can linger. Some that I recall:
An old farmer who told me that if he were ever held up by a robber he would surely be killed because he would never be able to hand over something he had earned to someone who did not deserve it.
A man, active in his church, who, when told that another church member had been arrested for shop-lifting a package of cigars, was more upset with the use of cigars than with the shop-lifting.
A former member of the Hitler Youth who enthusiastically explained the virtues of the goose step.
An exiled Soviet dissident who served me tea in a broken china cup as he described the changes in Russia.
A retired journalist who remarked that life had taught him that today's s.o.b. is tomorrow's hero.
An old law professor who, before talking to me about a research project, revealed that he had finally read all of Trollope's novels.
An Air Force sergeant who questioned my sanity for going into the Army.
A Washington political operative who declared, in rather blunt terms, how much he liked John Kennedy and disliked Robert.
The movie make-up artist who spoke of working with one of the kindest men he ever met, a young actor named Ronald Reagan.