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David Halberstam reported from courtside and from Vietnam, and he wrote long books that will stand for decades or more as a testament to whatever. When he needed them the most, words did not fail him. Not, at least, according to the story told by New York Times denizens, recounted by Timothy Crouse in 1972 and then recounted again by Calvin Trillin in 1993. When obnoxious, pre-rotund Johnny Apple made some stupid comment to the recently-returned-from-war Halberstam, he found poetry in three great words, which we should all use whenever the mood strikes us, as a glorious homage to a great man. Less than a half-year after Apple’s death, today’s ludicrous news brings the astoundingly stupid death of David Halberstam, in a car accident of all goddam things, in Menlo Park of all goddam places.
Somewhere, wherever these types of people end up going after this part, there’s a fat dead Johnny Apple saying something stupid to a new arrival, and the only comfort I can take right now is that I know what that new arrival is going to say to him.

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