I am part of a NYC lunch group that has met for lunch once a month for the past fifteen years and is still going strong. There are six of us, all in our mid-eighties. Some of us have been friends for 72 years; others, a mere 50 years. We are all liberal democrats and irreligious jews.
Three of us went to Harvard, two to Yale and one to Dartmouth. Our lunches are frequently at the Harvard Club or Yale Club, but we do branch out. A favorite haunt is Keens steakhouse on west 36th street.
Often, we have guests -- nice people wih interesting careers. Past guests have included Christine Quinn; Dennis Walcott; Mary Hanrahan, CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless; Stephen Segaller, Program Director at Channel 13; Alan Rosenfeld, head of the Columbia School of Public Health; Bill deBlasio; Danny Kronenfeld, former head of the Henry Street Settlement; Fred Papert, head of the 42nd
Street Development Corp and former head of the Municipal Arts Society... You get the picture.
Who are we? We are Harry, one of New York's sixteen regents. We are David, dean of City Year, an offshot of Americorp. We are Justin, a tireless fundraiser for Channel 13. We are Mickey, former Chairman of the Board of The New School. We are Bert, a major environmentalist, whose right side is partially paralyzed from a stroke, but who never misses a lunch. We are me, playwright and foundation head.
All of us had long and successful business careers. That is behind us, but, as you see from what we do now, we are busy beavers of the elderly kind.
These lunches are very pleasant and could be productive if anyone would listen to us.
We nixed the war in Iraq before it began. We pulled our troops out of Afganistan two years ago. We urged the car industry bailout. We eagerly supported Obama the first time and are in his corner again because we fear the evil Mittens. Our collective 500 years enable us to recognize a phony.
I once suggested we put out a blog -- the octogenarians. I was voted down. We are a humble bunch.
I suppose... no, I know, one of us will die, then another and another. Each loss will be keenly felt. Meanwhile, we seem to be in good health and nobody has any form of dementia. In fact, we are really, really sharp. We might not remember what we did last week, but we are quite prescient about tomorrow.
It's a good thing, this lunch group. If you have some good friends, try it.
Meanwhile, Paul Krugman, would you like to join ours?