Friday, April 18, 2014

Reid Buckley, RIP

Reid Buckley died earlier this week. I suppose you can read tributes to him on the National Review blog and other places. He lived in Camden, SC which is 20+ miles down the road from us.

I had 3 encounters with Mr. Buckley. A great friend had given me his book "An American Family". After reading it, I was compelled to write Reid Buckley a short note. He wrote back, very graciously.

Some months later (probably recounted in this blogs archives) at our feed store in Bethune I met Reid Buckley. It could only be him. I stepped out of character (being naturally shy) and asked. (It was.) I introduced myself and my daughter and noted I had read his book. He immediately remembered my letter and we talked for just a few minutes.

It must have been a year or may be two later that I again encountered Reid Buckley at the same feed store. I greeted him and he responded "Have you done anything good today?" We chatted a bit. He clearly remembered me.

In looking at my archives here, I find a piece I quoted from him, close to my heart, which I reproduce below. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace! Amen.

When last did you hear a conservative spokesman deplore yet another six-lane highway, yet another fast-food alley, yet another graceless subdivision, yet another Super Wal-Mart or Lowe’s that sucks the life out of small village businesses, yet one more onslaught against neighborhood and nature that is masked under the name of progress? Unless it is a bridge in Alaska from nowhere to nowhere, you will not hear the deepest red-dyed congressman denounce the progressive uglification of our natural inheritance, as though beauty is of no concern. Have you flown recently from Newport News to Boston at 25,000 feet on a clear day and gazed down upon the horror of American civilization? What man hath wrought! What we have done to this beautiful land? Dear God, forgive us! But when last did you hear a conservative oppose a new mall because it is ugly, an affront to the eye, accustoming thousands of human beings to dehumanizing blows against the aesthetic sense until it is benumbed? The good, the true, and the beautiful are inseparably joined. One cannot damage one without doing harm to the others. Those who fail to comprehend this are morally in error on the dialectical front, though they may be personally virtuous.

.... Where are our Friedrich Hayeks of The Road to Serfdom, our Eric Voegelins of The New Science of Politics, our Russell Kirks of The Conservative Mind? Where is our philosopher? Meantime, on the practical front, what can conservatives do? The very first thing is to dissociate from the Republican Party, which has become an albatross around the neck of integrity.

1 comment:

TS said...

A fine tribute! Makes me want to revisit his novel "Servants and Their Masters" which rests on my shelf only partially read. By the way, there wasn't an obit attached to your email - did you forget or is there a link to it?