Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening
people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the
Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.
order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and
laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who
said they believed it was a lapse in security.
'Cause nothing bad ever happens in Dallas, right?
This is an odd story -- not least because Obama received Secret Service protection earlier than any other presidential candidate ever has, almost nine months before the Iowa caucuses. Why are they stopping now?
We ordinary mortals can only try to imagine what it might feel like to
be both young and so greatly gifted at a complex art. And to be better
at it than any other living being, past or present. There are
plenty of geniuses and lots of famous people, but few are both. Is
anyone really capable of surviving such a double burden? . . .
For me, watching the Fischer shows after all this time contained
quite a few surprises. For example, I winced watching the first one
when I heard myself use the word “paranoid.” That awful word that in
the later, bad years became almost part of Bobby’s name. But back then
it passed unnoticed.
On the post-Spassky show it was Bobby himself who uttered the
p-word. I re-winced. He claimed that Harold C. Schonberg, then the
Times’ music and chess critic, “said I was paranoid.” Somehow the joker
in me came up with, “No he didn’t. You’re imagining it.”
Happily he got the joke — a beat before the audience did — and
laughed heartily. (People who who knew him were in disbelief that he
could actually laugh and be funny on the show.)
He didn’t know it, but I had spotted him earlier that day. We were
walking to my studio at the same time, but from opposite directions. He
towered over passersby who would stop in their tracks and gaze
worshipfully. From a distance, you could see the consonants in his name
on their lips: B, F. He seemed unaware of them, with his ever-present little transistor radio clapped to his ear like a teenager.
He had come to like soul music, he said.
Go read it, and savor it, especially the knockout closing.