I think I had seen reference to the letter Patricia Ward Kelly, widow of Gene Kelly, sent to the New York Times, but hadn't gotten around to finding the letter and reading it once I got home from work. Thankfully, I was just reminded by this post at Crooks and Liars. Ms. Kelly's letter was prompted by this Maureen Dowd column, in which the columnist stated:
The dollar’s crumpling, the recession’s thundering, the Dow’s bungee-jumping and the world’s disapproving, yet George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly, tap dancing and singing in a one-man review called “The Most Happy Fella.”Anyway, as Nicole Belle remarked at Crooks and Liars, there "are some smackdowns that are just better than others."
When Gene was compared to the grace and agility of Jack Dempsey, Wayne Gretzky and Willie Mays, he was delighted. But to be linked with a clunker -- particularly one he would consider inept and demoralizing -- would have sent him reeling.Oh, snap.
Graduated with a degree in economics from Pitt, Gene was not only a gifted dancer, director and choreographer, he was also a most civilized man. He spoke multiple languages; wrote poetry; studied history; understood the projections of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes. He did the Sunday Times crossword in ink. Exceedingly articulate, Gene often conveyed more through movement than others manage with words.
Sadly, President Bush fails to communicate meaningfully with either. For George Bush to become Gene Kelly would require impossible leaps in creativity, erudition and humility.
Patricia Ward Kelly
Los Angeles, March 16, 2008
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