12/12/2013 11:13 am ET Updated Feb 04, 2014

Thanks for What?

I heard an old and good friend and contemporary make the following toast at Thanksgiving.

I give thanks on this Holiday for many things BUT not our friends in DC.

I do not thank for the NOTHING that preceded the big bang, because without that the universe probably would not exist nor, of course, would we.

I thank my parents for their moment of passion, without which I would not be here to bother you, or I might be younger which would be OK.

I also thank my parents for bringing me up with time to think about how to grow up normally.

I thank Williams College for having 'regretted' my college application, which led to my going to Princeton. Who knows what the differences might have been?

I thank my oldest sister for marrying young and moving to St Louis and being lonely and luring me to visit with visions of June Alyson to meet my wife and partner of 57 years instead.

I thank my wife for all her help in getting me through college, law school and life ever after. Without her who can imagine what I might have become?

I thank the 'powers that be' that made possible three 'fantastic' [Aren't they always that?] children who have now produced among them 6 phenomenal grandchildren and now 3 supercalifragilisticexpialidocious great grandchildren. It is amazing what one moment of parental passion can produce in the form of population explosion.

With my left hand I ran the family business, which was a distraction from my career as a lawyer. On my own I would probably have grown much richer and surely more obnoxious.

I thank Averill Harriman for luring me into public service, which has actually and enormously enriched all my years since.

I thank my boat 'Where Am I' for finding my island in the Caribbean for our family which has become an amazing center of family activity and togetherness.

I thank the many friends and clients and business associates who came and went along the way of our life, without which life would have been a totally different and far less interesting and exciting an experience.

And, lastly I thank someone [but I still do not know whom?] for how it was possible that all of the wonders of such a life as above could have resulted from the original NOTHING!

I immediately wished I had the wit and good sense to have made something very like it for myself.