I note with pleasure that my old friend Bill Hogeland, my only college pal I’m still regularly in touch with, got to write the Times‘s op-ed piece on George Washington for Presidents’ Day. Bill, a brilliant novelist and playwright, has taken on a career as historian of American politics much as I’ve redefined myself as a historian of American music. Seems to be where the money and respect are.
The longest I’ve ever gone without seeing Bill is maybe six or seven years, once. But regardless, when we meet we immediately resume the thread of whatever conversation on aesthetics we were last having, as though the interruption had been momentary. As Kurt Vonnegut would say, he’s a member of my karass.