December 2, 2018

"Ronan Tynan, the Irish tenor, had called earlier in the day to ask if he could drop by, and when he showed up, [he was asked] to sing to the president."

"Mr. Tynan sang two songs, the first 'Silent Night' and the second a Gaelic song. As he sang 'Silent Night,' [former secretary of state, James A. Baker III said], 'Believe it or not, the president was mouthing the words.' Mr. Baker held Mr. Bush’s hand and rubbed his feet for nearly a half-hour...."

From "'I Love You, Too': George Bush’s Final Days" (NYT).

34 comments:

rhhardin said...

Mencken said the tenor voice was a disease.

Fernandistein said...

Irish folk music is not as bad as it sounds.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Trump, like Mueller, wants people to sing.

EDH said...

His longtime friend and former secretary of state, James A. Baker III, arrived at his Houston home on Friday morning to check on him.

Mr. Bush suddenly grew alert, his eyes wide open.


Reminds me of the dying chimp, Mama.

A very special and beautiful moment!

This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die — until she received one last visit from an old friend.


Both Bush and Mama were diplomats, according to NPR.

How does Mama bring about detente? Through an example centered on a male named "W" who had recently risen to alpha position in the colony and was prone to rather violent rule, de Waal describes Mama's method of diplomacy:

"The most convincing demonstration of her reconciliatory role came on an occasion when the whole group had turned on "W"...This time, all of the apes, including Mama, had given chase screaming loudly and barking. In the end, the usually so impressive "W" sat high up in a tree, alone, panic-stricken and screaming. Every line of escape was cut off. Each time he wanted to come down, some of the others chased him back. After about a quarter of an hour, the situation changed. Mama slowly climbed into the tree, touched "W" and kissed him. Then she climbed down again with "W" following close at heel. Now that Mama was bringing him with her, nobody resisted anymore. "W", obviously still nervous, made it up with his opponents."


Okay, the name "W", I made that up.

Fernandistein said...

A blind guy walks into a bar and find his way to a barstool, orders a couple of drinks and then suddenly yells to the bartender, "Hey, you wanna hear an Irish joke?" The bar suddenly goes silent.

Then in a deep voice the man next to him says, "Before you tell that joke, you should know some things. The bartender is Irish, the bouncer is Irish and I’m a 6′ tall, 200 pound Irishman with a black belt in karate. Think about it seriously, mister. You still wanna tell that Irish joke?"

The blind guy says, "Nah, not if I’m gonna have to explain it three times."

Darrell said...

A half-hour foot rub?
I'm going to turn down the White House Chief of Staff if Trump offers it.
Melania and Ivanka? I can be there in three hours.

Etienne said...

The good news is that the Secret Police can now be moved to protect the Clinton family, and the taxpayers don't have to work overtime to pay Bush's $400k annual retirement which is direct from the treasury.

We can afford a shit-load of new concertina-wire fence around the shit-hole country to the south.

gspencer said...

Dying declaration,

"Thousand points of light. Still sticking with Dan Quayle. Tried to follow LBJ's example back there in 1981, but that Hinckley guy couldn't shoot straight."

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Believe it or not, the president was mouthing the words --- paralepsiz??!!

English, Irish or Latin words

tcrosse said...

Dying declaration,

Oh please God, not "Danny Boy".

Bob Boyd said...

"Ronan Tynan called, he wants to drop by."

"Oh my God!"

"What's wrong?"

"Oh, Ronan TYNAN. You scared the crap out of me for a second there."

Darrell said...

HW lost his will to live after he could no longer goose the young girls. We've seen it a million times before, haven't we?

Guildofcannonballs said...

The Irish are too busy eating 7 course meals (6 potatoes and a bottle of Jameson) to joke around.

HT that danged old Hawk from Iowa.

Sebastian said...

An Irish tenor for a Bush?

The American upper class is losing it.

rcocean said...

I plan on having the Mormon Tabernacle Choir show up at my death bed.

Unknown said...

I hope Tynan got paid, or otherwise got a book of business for being played like a pawn. The media is out in full drool mode today, touting whose family got a Kennebunkport invite, who got a Christmas card, etc. Makes you understand how they value political work and why they hate Trump for putting job performance first, not pc'ness.

tcrosse said...

Dennis Day was not available.

Unknown said...

Luckily, the old gentlemen days are over. Collectively, we are not that nice anymore. This marks the formal passing of early 20th century white prep school values. For better or worse, depending on your temperament and station.

mccullough said...

I remember Baker in an interview saying how much Bush had helped him when his wife died when he was 40. These guys had a great friendship.

Earnest Prole said...

The Peter, Paul and Mary song I dropped in the other thread, “All My Trials,” would have worked equally well for HW’s final hours.

Unknown said...

Yes they did, McCullough, and Baker was recounting personal stories on all the Sunday shoes today. Not too many people on were cruelly neutral in their analysis of either Bush's job performance though as it is too soon with the body not yet in the ground. Next weekend they will be on to another topic. Today's media does personal stories and horserace coverage best. You really have to hunt around for the news news. Or go straight to the sources, which Donald J. Trump understood and understands. Media entertainment stocks are up though so I do not expect this to change. Give the reader, errrr the viewer rather what they want to consume...

rcocean said...

You're getting almost nonstop 'Niceness' over Bush I because he was POTUS 26 years ago AND he was a moderate middle-of-the-road Republican, a globalist, free-trader, and an Elitist. Most people can barely remember what he did as President.

Plus, he was a good loser and he never publicly criticized Obama or Clinton.

He also raised Taxes, gave us Souter, hated Pat Buchanan, and called Reaganomics "Voodoo Economics", all the while being vaguely Conservative.

He had something for everyone.

rcocean said...

Some of the Leftists are trying to drum up some hatred by calling Bush a racist/bigot/homophobe but its all thin gruel

No one cares.

stevew said...

"he never publicly criticized Obama or Clinton."

That was the standard in HW's day, and pretty much observed by all until Obama was replaced. I could see Carter being the sour grapes type but can't recall if he did. Might have been too busy darting around negotiating with despots and thugs, or building houses.

RigelDog said...

Youse is a bunch of cruelly neutral folks for sure. I thought the article was a gentle and moving portrait of a deep friendship and a good death. Yes, I cried.

tcrosse said...

My Ronan Tynan story: Some years ago we were on a cruise, and Ronan Tynan was part of the entertainment for an Irish group on board. Evidently, after his performances Tynan jumped ship without telling the purser. So when the ship finally docked in San Diego the crew was turning the ship upside down (figuratively) trying to find him. Possibly he left an unpaid bar tab behind. At least he didn't fall over the side.

Mark Nielsen said...


Touching stories there. Good on the NYT. Also, wise of them not to include a comment section, as their intolerant audience would have shown no class.

rcocean said...

"I could see Carter being the sour grapes type but can't recall if he did. Might have been too busy darting around negotiating with despots and thugs, or building houses."

I vaguely remember Carter taking the occasional Potshot at Reagan, and criticizing Clinton for his Middle East policy - but that's it.

Hoover went after FDR. Truman went after Ike. But from LBJ to Bush II, that was standard - you kept your criticism of the current President private.

Eisenhower was the one who started it. He disagreed with JFK and LBJ over foreign policy but supported them in public. LBJ followed IKE. Nixon, of course, was disgraced - so he kept his mouth shut. So the pattern was set.

narciso said...

he had sent letters to everyone of the lead members of the security council, telling not to go along with w, he was pals with papa Arafat, who caused much of the damage that Lebanon suffered through the civil wars,

Unknown said...

Go read modo's latest in the times to see how hard news journalism failed us. Briefly, bush had an unconsummated crush on a young dowd and gave her persons access as she put in early morning sessions watching him golf. Later. Her assistant balked when dowd instructed the young journalist to buy a Christmas gift from her to the ex president and instead sent him something cheap. That assistant is now the WH reporter for wapo. Makes you better understand how minorities and ethnics with real journalism skills are locked out of the game and affirmative action is needed. Dowd recounts being told by drunk bush officials she was covering that they thought at first she would work like an ethnic working class reporter until she and her mom got some invites, kisses and notes from bush himself. You can see how honest journalism fell and why we attacked Iraq with few questions asked, and not Saudi Arabia, after Junior was annointed. Makes you better understand why Trump is so hated by these media types because the media gals don't turn his head and he refuses to play their games. With him, I think it will be better for the non white and ethnic reporters who want to do the job but were previously shut out for not being as traditionally attractive. Or reminding someone of their earlier Irish servant. Her story is telling.

Unknown said...

This is the Washington the rest of the country is voting against. And it helps explain the deeply embedded mediocrity that has led to the stagnation that cripples the rest of the country. Like the too big / connected to fail movement. #Trump2020 keep draining the swamp until they all retire or resign.

Unknown said...

Mark Nielsen, you think it wise for a paper to plug their ears and not listen to people reacting to their fawning narratives? That burned them before so why double down??

narciso said...

Except the Saudis didn't think w did them any favors in fact a fair number of the turmoil among the ranks of those that attacked coalition forces was the notion they were next.

Roger Meek said...

He's very great.
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