I disagree with Michelle Higgins. She is a whiner and a handwringer. Getting on a plane is emphatically NOT “roughly akin to entering the ninth circle of hell.” It’s a miracle. The late author and critic Alfred Kazin said his idea of happiness was settling into an airliner seat with a book, a notebook and a martini. Amen. Jet planes have taken me higher and faster and to places around the world only dreamed of by my grandparents—and usually for only a few hundred bucks. If you want to spend $400 to $3000 or more an hour to fly in obscene luxury, plenty of
I damn near did not get today’s column done. I started reading Jack Valenti’s memoir, “This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House and Hollywood” and it grabbed me by the throat and would not let go. Valenti, a World War II bomber pilot who flew 51 missions over Italy, died at age 85 on April 26, just six weeks before publication. In the following half-century after his discharge from the Army Air Corps, Jack Valenti bestrode the mighty worlds of Washington and Hollywood like a colossus, quite a feat for someone a mere five foot five inches tall.