This is an homage of sorts, a dual tribute, actually, to a unique journalist and the institution of tradition. In the early seventies, while working as an engineer in Dallas at Texas Instruments—the Vietnam War was still raging—I discovered the talent of the late, great Paul Crume, whose amazing editorial column, “Big D,” appeared in The Dallas Morning News, front page, every day, from 1948 to 1975. To Crume’s vast, Southwestern following, he was E.B. White in cowboy boots, a genius at wit and irony who kept millions of Texans laughing (and sighing) by sharing regular, hilarious anecdotes of irregular, mundane things.
Like no one else was able, Crume quipped about poker, boating mishaps, government chicanery, college football, Texas barbecue and, at least once in his life, about the nature of angels. When his readers weren’t laughing aloud while reading his columns we were likely blinking back tears. He was that good, every day, his gift for extracting insight from chaos having blossomed from his obvious and immense empathy for mankind (and the good sense to trust no one).
Less bragging and big vehicles, Israeli sabras are much like Texans. Crume would have loved them, I think, and one can only imagine the stories he might have told had he ever set foot in the Land.