Mary and His Eminence.
Lastnight, the wildest dreams! I dreamed my sister Katie, the left-winger, had gotten a hold of my blog passwords and was deleting my posts and adding her own. You should have seen me, tossing and turning. And it was ridiculous! Katie would never do such a thing. She does not even read my blog. She does not have a computer as far as I know. She lives in East Aurora.
Quite a relief it was to awaken and go to church. I have to say one thing, though: Today's Mass was the coughing-est, sneezing-est Mass I have been at in some time. I mean, I do not blame anyone for being there with a bad cold. I would not let a bad cold keep me home either. But dope up on some DayQuil, you know? Howard and I were just talking about that stuff and it works.
On the way out I bragged freely to Father Secondo about my upcoming conversation with Cardinal Egan. He said to tell the cardinal that "the grappa priest" says hello. Apparently Father Secondo makes great grappa and Cardinal Egan knows that. I am not sure what grappa is but it sounds like something I would like.
Then I flew home on the 190 so I would not be late. Sure enough, the cardinal called 15 minutes early. I am so glad I was home otherwise Howard would have had to answer the phone and I had not coached Howard in how to address a cardinal, which is "Your Eminence."
Cardinal Egan could not have been nicer. He had wonderful memories of Leonard Pennario. He met Pennario in Rome and then later in Chicago had dinner with Pennario and Pennario's girlfriend, whoever that was back then, and a few other friends. He had marvelous recollections of Pennario's personality.
He also seemed to have wonderful memories of Father Secondo's grappa. I remembered to ask!
His Eminence makes you comfortable when you are talking to him, and I did not even stumble over the words "Your Eminence," even though I had worried that I would. And even though Howard had a camera in my face so he could take my picture talking to the cardinal. We are both more impressed by Cardinal Egan than we would be by any movie star.
Once my mom and I were in New York City. This was a few years ago. I think it was when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra played Carnegie Hall. I think it was that time we were there. Anyway, we were walking down the street and it was cold and we were squabbling about where to eat. And all of a sudden a big beautiful car stopped near us. The chauffeur opened the back door and out stepped a cardinal, in his red robes. And as we watched, spellbound, a huge door in an ornate building opened as if by magic, and the cardinal swept inside.
My mom and I stood there, staring.
"Oh," my mom said.
That is the kind of thing you do not see in Buffalo. That is what you go to New York to see.
Now I wonder if it could have been Cardinal Egan. Could have been! You never know.
If it was he, I am glad our paths have crossed again.