A Recollection

by James M. Beck Jr.

THE OPPORTUNITY of indulging in a few words of personal reminiscence about my father is one which I deeply appreciate. It is also a responsibility, for filial loyalty undoubtedly taxes one's ability to give an unbiased appraisal. But the qualities of his nature--his restlessness, his utilization of every moment of the working day for constructive effort, his fondness for travel, his generosities, his spontaneous friendliness to all people, and above all his zest for life--are so real and alive to me today that perhaps my recollections will be of value.

I thought as a boy, and I think now after fifty years, that he had one of the most interesting and idealistic minds of his era. His was a challenging mind, fiercely analytical, introspective, and profound. His power of expression and conversation had a magnetic quality. Many times I have heard him start to speak to someone in a room buzzing with conversation, and gradually the sounds in other quarters became subdued as attention turned in his direction. He was, in a highly materialistic age, essentially a man of learning and a scholar. His writings and speeches were widely quoted. His friends in England were the great intellectuals, Arthur Balfour, the Earl of Roseberry, Winston Churchill, Sir Edward Grey, and Austen Chamberlain. His

-19-

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