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The Music Column

Henry Radetsky and Fritz Kreisler

Tossing around a word like music is problematical—and culture is even harder to deploy meaningfully.  Nevertheless, I am going to give both a try in a revealing juxtaposition that was brought to my attention by that world-traveling anthropologist Henry Radetsky, an academic colleague and a valued friend.  Henry is a cultured man I have learned from—he is a man of knowledge and resources.  He is the only man I have known who spent a year on the road, going around the world, —and had more money when the trip was over than he did when he started.  He is the only man I have known who hitchhiked across central Africa; the only man I know who crossed the Andes five times before getting across the Amazon basin from south to north by hook and by crook; the only man I know who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro; the only man who sent me a postcard written on the roof of a house of ill fame in Timbuktu (the only place in town where he could sleep); and the only man I know whose favorite country is Nepal, where at umpteen-thousand feet only potatoes are served, but always with a difference.  I must add that he is the only resident of San Francisco I know who has bitterly objected to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s advocacy of the right of the wealthy not to see the poor, among other policies of a similar nature.

All that is on one side.  On the other was Henry’s coaching me through...

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