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The editors of the New England Law Review respectfully dedicate this issue to Professor George Dargo.
In Memoriam: Professor George Dargo
LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN∗ t a time when many academics are winding down, my colleague George Dargo, who passed away in January of this year, became enviably prolific. Before joining the New England Law faculty, back when he was a professor of history, George wrote a number of important books about legal history, including Roots of the Republic: A New Perspective on Early American Constitutionalism,1 Law in the New Republic: Private Law and the Public Estate,2 and, in between, Jefferson’s Louisiana: Politics and the Clash of Legal Traditions.3 Jefferson’s Louisiana has been called “undoubtedly one of the most important studies ever of the Louisiana Purchase and its impact on the politics and legal culture of Louisiana.”4 After he joined the New England Law faculty in 1983, George continued writing about legal history; his work in this time included A History of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit,5 and an article on the famous Sarah Roberts case, which appeared in 1997 in the journal of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Historical Society.6 For nearly a decade thereafter, George focused his energies on the classroom and earned a reputation as a superlative classroom teacher. He taught courses in constitutional law, administrative law, freedom of expression, and law and literature. During this time, his writing consisted primarily of sharp letters to the editor about events of the day.7
∗ Professor of Law, New England Law | Boston. 1 GEORGE DARGO, ROOTS OF THE REPUBLIC: A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON EARLY AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONALISM (1974). GEORGE DARGO, LAW IN THE NEW REPUBLIC: PRIVATE LAW AND THE PUBLIC ESTATE (1983). GEORGE DARGO, JEFFERSON’S LOUISIANA: POLITICS AND THE CLASH OF LEGAL TRADITIONS (1975). 4 John M. Cairns, George Dargo: Prominent Historian of Louisiana Law Dies, EDINBURGH LEGAL HISTORY BLOG (Jan. 9, 2012, 5:00 PM), http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/elhblog/ blogentry.aspx?blogentryref=8847.
GEORGE DARGO, A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT (1993). 6 George Dargo, The Sarah Roberts Case in Historical Perspective, 3 MASS. LEGAL HIST. J. SUP. JUD. CT. HIST. SOC'Y 37 (1997).
See, e.g., George Dargo, Tough Times for Teachers, BOS. GLOBE, May 6, 2010, at 18; George
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In 2006, I asked George if he would be interested in contributing an article to an issue of the New England Law Review devoted to faculty scholarship. In short order he produced an essay on the Book of Ruth, Deriving Law from the Biblical Narrative.8 It was a gem, and George must have enjoyed the experience of putting it together more than he thought he would because there followed a study—the first by a law professor—of Franz Kafka’s legal writing, Reclaiming Franz Kafka, Doctor of Jurisprudence9 and a return to the area of his doctoral expertise, the Louisiana Purchase, in The Digest of 1808: Historical Perspectives.10 And that was not all. With the help of his son, Steven, George turned his attention to Melville’s famous scrivener, Bartleby, in an interdisciplinary essay about the connections between law and architecture.11 He began revising Jefferson’s Louisiana; this new edition would become the centerpiece of a program devoted to his work at the American Association of Law Schools 2010 meeting in New Orleans.12 Finally, just weeks before his death, George finished Colony to Empire: Episodes in American History,13 published in 2012 by the Lawbook Exchange. Episodes collects George’s fugitive legal history pieces, with new introductions and supporting materials. Nor was George a selfish scholar. He always inquired about my projects and was instrumental in helping me to think through a piece on the Massachusetts Constitution. We spent even more time discussing our shared fondness for Melville: I read his take on Bartleby, he read mine on Billy Budd,14 and we spoke often of Ahab’s quest for the white whale. All of us should be so productive and generous, our writing so thoughtful and polished. We at New England have lost a great comrade and teacher; the world has lost a great scholar.
Dargo, Israelis Not Credible on Cluster Bombs, BOS. GLOBE, Jan. 1, 2008, at 12A; George Dargo, If Congress Must Follow the Rule of Law, So Must President, BOS. GLOBE, July 2, 2007, at 12A.
8 George Dargo, Deriving Law from the Biblical Narrative: The Book of Ruth, 40 NEW ENG. L. REV. 351 (2006).
George Dargo, Reclaiming Franz Kafka, Doctor of Jurisprudence, 45 BRANDEIS L.J. 495 (2007). George Dargo, The Digest of 1808: Historical Perspectives, 24 TUL. EUR. & CIV. L.F. 1 (2009). 11 George Dargo, Bartleby, the Scrivener: “A House Like Me,” 44 NEW ENG. L. REV. 819 (2010). 12 See GEORGE DARGO, JEFFERSON’S LOUISIANA: POLITICS AND THE CLASH OF LEGAL TRADITIONS (Lawbook Exchange 2009) (1975). 13 GEORGE DARGO, COLONY TO EMPIRE: EPISODES IN AMERICAN LEGAL HISTORY (2012). 14 Lawrence Friedman, Law, Force, and Resistance to Disorder in Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, 33 T. JEFFERSON L. REV. 61 (2010).
GEORGE DARGO : AN APPRECIATION
PHILIP K. HAMILTON*
eorge Dargo was an accomplished teacher and a recognized scholar. He published definitive histories of early Louisiana and of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as encyclopedia entries on legal and historical topics, and law review articles that invoked Kafka and Melville. He taught difficult courses to appreciative audiences. His many fans among his students created a Dargo Facebook page. But when I think of George Dargo, the first image that comes to mind is not of the scholar or the teacher, but of the person at the other end of a spirited conversation. That was the George Dargo I knew best. He was amazingly well informed, passionate about the things he cared about, and always questioning. And his questions usually weren’t the informationseeking kind; they were challenges to you to explain, to clarify. “What do you mean?” was a frequent question of his, often asked in response to a question of yours: “Do you think Sotomayor will be confirmed?” “What do you mean?” Sometimes, more disconcertingly, it would come right after your opening words to him: “How are you, George?” “What do you mean?” If you are put off by that kind of challenge, then you might have been put off by George, but that would certainly only have been temporary, because George was at heart a kind and caring person and quite sociable, and that was very soon apparent to anyone who met him. But of course he was a lot more than that too. George joined the New England Law faculty in 1982. In addition to the usual law degree and practice experience, he had a Ph.D. from Columbia and a previous career as a university history professor. Those credentials seemed pretty exalted to us, his colleagues, but George seldom mentioned them. Instead, he simply pitched in as one of the law school’s junior faculty and made himself one of us. George was a team player. He was called upon several times to assume extra teaching duties to help an ill colleague, and he always responded graciously. When the curriculum committee recommended restructuring the Constitutional Law course, his signature course, he supported the changes in spite of his misgivings about
Professor of Law, New England Law | Boston.
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narrowing the course’s coverage. He took new faculty members under his wing and made sure that they adjusted comfortably to the school’s culture. During my tenure as associate dean, I was repeatedly impressed by George’s ability to run a committee—and by his willingness to do the work required as a member of one. Of course, this is not to suggest that George Dargo was in any way a “yes man.” Everyone who knew him had to be impressed by his determined, sometimes prickly, penchant for staking out his own positions on issues. He spoke up often at faculty meetings: sometimes in support of a proposal, often to point out its objectionable aspects, but always from a clear set of principles. Although I knew and admired George from the time he joined the faculty, I knew him best during the last six years of his life when I occupied an office just two doors away from his. It was then that I would be drawn into those challenging conversations that I have mentioned. The conversations were sometimes about law, but usually about American history, politics, the Israeli-Palestinian situation, literature, religion, or one of George’s many other interests. George was an Orthodox Jew. He did not advertise it. He simply brought his own lunch and wasn’t available late on Friday afternoons. But his Judaism was an essential part of his being, and he was happy to talk about it if you asked. The faculty support staff were among George’s greatest fans, and when faculty luncheons were scheduled, they tried to make sure that the menu included foods that George could eat. As associate dean, I would always consult with George on which classes to record for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Passover. He told me that members of his synagogue would often consult him on the particulars of various practices and observances. He jokingly referred to himself as the “Babcock Street Rebbe” (a rebbe being an important religious leader or teacher and Babcock Street being George’s Brookline address). My wife was a secular teacher for many years in an Orthodox school, and that gave me an excuse to talk to George about his Judaism. His commitment to Orthodoxy was strong and was the result of an adult decision. But he also enjoyed reading the arguments of atheists, like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. When I asked him about that seeming contradiction, he explained that Judaism expresses faith through practice, rather than emphasizing creed as Christianity does. And George was a faithful practitioner. At his funeral, a former student told me that he had known George for years before entering law school without knowing that he was a law professor. For all those years, George had sat beside the student’s father in synagogue. But even in his synagogue, George was not a “yes man.” He was a passionate critic of the current Israeli Government, in particular its treatment of the Palestinians, and what he considered to be its obstruction
George Dargo : An Appreciation
of the peace process. At George’s funeral, his rabbi recounted having many debates with George on that issue. George was a member of J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobbying group. Those must have been interesting debates. George Dargo was a real Renaissance man. Besides his core courses in constitutional law and administrative law, he taught a very popular seminar in law and literature, and he was as interested in the literature as he was in the law. I disclosed in one of our conversations that I was reading a book by Robert Alter, the biblical scholar and literary critic. George told me that Alter had been in his college class at Columbia. A couple of days later, I got an excited call from George. He had just discovered Alter’s Iron Pen, a book about the influence of the King James Bible on the literary style of nineteenth and twentieth century American authors. I promised to take a look at it. The next day, he stopped by my office to ask me if I had bought the book. I told him I hadn’t yet had time to. A day later, I found George’s copy in my mailbox. There was no note, but the message was clear: he wanted me to read the book, and right away. And that was not the only one of George’s books that found its way into my mailbox. He was an enthusiastic sharer. That was true of his other enthusiasms too. George was an accomplished pianist, and if he discovered another classical musician on the faculty or staff of the law school, he would cajole the person into playing duets with him. He was also a serious tennis player and had played enough with the three or four other tennis players on the full-time faculty to rank them by skill level. He ranked himself in the middle. George loved baseball too. In the days of the annual student-faculty softball game, George pounded out hits, ran the bases, and chased down fly balls well into his sixties. He was also the only Brooklyn-born person of his generation I have ever known who was a Yankees fan. George Dargo was a person of many accomplishments, but, for me, his most memorable characteristic was his authenticity. He was comfortable being who he was, and he did not need to show it off. He taught me a lot. He was the kind of colleague whose company develops into friendship without your even being aware of it. I feel privileged to have known him.
The Life, Letters, and Times of George Dargo
DAVID M. SIEGEL* eorge’s omnivorous intellectual interests—beyond his five books on legal history—yielded articles ranging from one of the only treatments of Franz Kafka’s legal work, to a reimagining of a house for Melville’s Bartleby, to a study of law and the Book of Ruth. A beloved teacher, always ready to ask your opinion, George never lost his capacity for outrage at official stupidity, or the belief that focused and documented criticism was worthwhile—evidenced by his nearly four decades of published letters to The New York Times. On October 25, 1974, he condemned the “stridency” in President Ford’s campaign, deftly comparing it to Andrew Johnson’s 1866 efforts to purge congressional opponents, warning that Ford was “either ill-advised or is like Johnson, willfully creating the political climate which will make it virtually impossible for him to play his leadership role in a time of national crisis and drift.”1 History was far too important to leave to politicians, he bluntly explained on May 8, 1975, to those who offered the “‘home of the oppressed’ myth” justification for resettling Vietnamese refugees in the U.S.: “[t]he historical facts are unfortunately somewhat less unqualifiedly noble.”2 This refugee relief was simply “a historical obligation we owe, a small down payment on the enormous moral debt we have incurred in the course of our long, misguided policy in Vietnam.”3 This declaration of indignation was no isolated missive. A March 7, 1981, critique of Reaganism, The Savaging of American Society, produced a vitriolic response from Margaret C. Burris (Mendham, N.J.) that “[e]ntitlement in Mr. Dargo’s context is an idea that must be put aside if we are to survive as a
* Professor of Law, New England Law | Boston. 1 George Dargo, Letter to the Editor, On ‘Purging’ Congress: The Lesson of 1886, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 31, 1974, at 40. 2 George Dargo, Letter to the Editor, On Receiving Vietnamese Refugees, N.Y. TIMES, May 8, 1975.
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nation.”4 In a December 20, 1984 attack on George Ball’s criticism of Israeli policy in Lebanon, he noted that historical casuistry was lamentable, but Biblical—or even worse, Talmudic—casuistry was execrable: “Selective quotation, particularly by a very amateur Talmudist, should be done with great caution, a caution that Mr. Ball frequently abandons in matters concerning the Jewish State.”5 Official speciousness about law particularly galled George, and the Reagan Administration’s “study” of federalism drew a November 17, 1986 rebuke to its assertion that the U.S. Supreme Court had acquiesced in federalism’s demise. Succinctly (to anyone who has endured Civil Procedure) illustrating the facts and the doctrine of Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins,6 and the “study’s” failure to acknowledge the same, was “yet another example of [the Administration’s] tendentious use of historical facts to suit partisan political purposes.”7 George’s disgust at shortsightedness, especially that which disproportionately burdened the poor, was studiously non-partisan, as in a December 26, 2008 dispatch of Bill Clinton’s “much celebrated ‘welfare reform’”8 (in a rare accolade of a Gray Lady editorial), he noted the consequence of ending “Welfare as We Knew It.” “[T]oday poverty in America is not only on the increase, but also once again becoming ‘invisible’ thanks to the ‘welfare reform’ of the Clinton era.”9 Particular about words, George was no pedant but understood their consequences, for good and ill, so when Sarah Palin called the media’s link of angry speeches to the 2010 shooting in Tucson a “blood libel,” George marked it “a new low in American political rhetoric.”10 He explained on January 12, 2011, that the media should condemn “this for what it is: a blatant attempt to stir up hate, bigotry and mindless passion at a time
Margaret C. Burris, Letter to the Editor, You’re Not Entitled, N.Y. TIMES, Mar. 21, 1981, §1, at 22.
5 George Dargo, Letter to the Editor, A Diplomatic, Economic, and Military Approach to Terrorism; Message of Talmud, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 30, 1984, § A at 12, available at 1984 WLNR 476598. 6 304 U.S. 64 (1938). 7 George Dargo, Letter to the Editor, Choose True Federalism or a Tyranny of Clerks; Court’s Contribution, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 4, 1986, § A at 34, available at 1986 WLNR 778498.
George Dargo, Letter to the Editor, Mending the Safety Net in Hard Times, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 27, 2008 ,§ A at 24, available at 2008 WLNR 24795952 (responding to Welfare as We Knew It, N.Y. TIMES (Dec. 26, 2008), http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/26/opinion/26fri3.htm l?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print). Id. George Dargo, Letter to the Editor, After Tucson Emotions Run High, N.Y. TIMES, Jan. 12, 2011, § A at 28, available at 2011 WLNR 713596 (responding to Michael D. Shear, Palin Calls Criticism ‘Blood Libel’, N.Y. TIMES (Jan. 12, 2011), http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com /2011/01/12/ palin-calls-criticism-blood-libel/?hp).
The Life, Letters, and Times of George Dargo
when there is a need for balance, reason and self-reflection.”11 Narrowmindedness of the powerful was bad, but their sophistry was worse, he noted in a June 16, 2011, nine-word assessment of the Obama Administration’s assertion that operations in Libya were not “hostilities,” and thus did not trigger the War Powers Act. “There are no caveats in the War Powers Act.” That this was “certainly clear enough for a former lecturer in constitutional law (President Obama) or a former dean of the Yale Law School (Harold H. Koh, a State Department legal advisor)”12 was quintessential George, a dismissal wrapped in obeisance. That any individual’s handful of words, chosen with sufficient care and craft, could matter to the leader of the free world is of course nonsense—unless you were a student, or a colleague or a friend of a particular one of the 1654 New York state high school students awarded Regents Scholarships in 1953 (George Dargo, 387 Ocean Parkway, Kings County, May 15, 1953, p. 26). Then, it was obvious.
Id. George Dargo, Letter to the Editor, The President, Congress and War Powers, N.Y. TIMES, June 21, 2011, § A at 20, available at 2011 WLNR 12406238 (responding to Charlie Savage & Mark Landler, White House Defends Continuing U.S. Role in Libya Operation, N.Y. TIMES (June 15, 2011), http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/us/politics/16powers.html).
To George Dargo: “I Hope You Had the Time of Your Life”∗
ERIC A. LUSTIG**
Eric George dictated this email to me. It is the last time we spoke. It shows his use of humor. Not sure if a Seinfeld quote I need a tissue. BS Sender: DARGO, GEORGE Sent: 11/28/2011 7:45 AM Subject: Sent from your local rehab center. Message: It must have been the cookie. Here’s to the black and white cookie. I wanted to thank each and everyone of you for the terrific get well card that you sent. It was really quite amazing. Everyone who came to visit me was thoroughly amused when they read it. I read all your remarks and was pleased to see how much you have come to appreciate Administrative Law. Unfortunately, I will not be able to come back in time for the last class, but I do want to wish you well in all of your courses. I am sure you will find that the exam that we have planned for this course is fair and comprehensive.
∗ This line is part of the refrain from the Green Day song Good Riddance (Time of Your Life). See infra note 12 and accompanying text. This song was played at the end of the clip show immediately preceding the Seinfeld series finale. The Clip Show – Part 2, SEINFELD SCRIPTS, http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/The-Clip-Show-2.html (last visited Sept. 28, 2012); Seinfeld Scripts – Full Scripts of All 180 Episodes, SEINFELD SCRIPTS, http://seinfieldscripts.com/seinfieldscripts.html (last visited Sept. 28, 2012). The title is a bit maudlin and not at all reflective of the beautiful melody and reflective lyrics. ** Professor of Law, New England Law | Boston. The author thanks Barry Stearns for his contributions to this piece.
Best of luck. G. Dargo1
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n thinking about this article, I asked Barry Stearns, one of our research librarians, to try to find good examples of George’s use of humor in his teaching, and particularly from the classic TV sitcom, Seinfeld.2 The above email message certainly shows George’s humor in the reference to the “black and white cookie.”3 But more importantly, it shows his genuine affection, respect, and care for his students. Beyond the gruff bluster and jokes was a deep and abiding attachment for his students. He really cared. George and I were both huge fans of Seinfeld and our almost daily conversations flowed through references to (and included) lines from many of the episodes of this show. I hope readers will indulge me as I follow this same flow in this short tribute. Like the students in George’s Administrative Law class, I really expected him to return from his latest medical crisis as he had so many times before. And he would not just be back but with flourish and gusto and the familiar Costanzian refrain, “I’m back, baby!” I am pretty sure that I just made up that word (Costanzian), but that allows me to segue into a great Dargo story. We were chatting about how a fairly well-known columnist really had nothing new to say in his widely-acclaimed column. George pronounced that this author was “vomitatious.” Although I am the perennial last place finisher in our family Scrabble games, that word did not sound like any word with which I was familiar. I rose to the bait and challenged George. We went back and forth. I walked into his office armed with various dictionaries and the clear facts as I saw them. He responded with vague references to the internet,4 Google, and Wikipedia and an ever-
1 E-mail from Barry Stearns, Reference Librarian, Portia Law Library, to Eric Lustig, Professor of Law, New England Law | Boston (Jan. 30, 2012) (on file with author). 2 The Seinfeld TV show is a show that famously is “about nothing.” Of course it is about much more. It shows the humor in everyday situations as the four idiosyncratic main characters—Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Cosmo Kramer, and Elaine Benes—go through everyday life in New York City. See Jerry Seinfeld, SEINFELD SCRIPTS, www.seinfeldscripts.com/seinfeld-jerry.html (last visited Sept. 28, 2012).
In the Dinner Party episode, Jerry and Elaine are in a bakery buying a cake for a party. Jerry buys a black and white cookie and later becomes sick, which he blames on the black and the white in the cookie not getting along. See Dinner Party, SEINFELD SCRIPTS, http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheDinnerParty.html (last visited Sept. 28, 2012).
4 It turns out that the Urban Dictionary on the Internet does list “vomitatious” as a word. URBAN DICTIONARY, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Vomitatious (last visited Sept. 28, 2012). Given the other words listed and defined, I remain resolute that it still is not a word.
Time of Your Life
changing language. We went back and forth and finally he looked at me with a bit of a twinkle in his eye and a sly grin and said, “you know, I have a PhD.” It was classic Dargo. It was the perfect ending to a silly argument. And of course, he did not just have a PhD. It was one of the few times that he bragged about his truly impressive academic credentials and achievements. In general he was too modest to gloat about his various accolades. His PhD was from a top notch ivy league history program (Columbia); he was author of several books; he was a highly regarded teacher and scholar on our faculty; and he was truly enjoying a renaissance of his scholarship.5 I. Worlds Collide
Unlike George Costanza, who was in mortal fear of his worlds colliding,6 I think George Dargo actually relished such collisions. I think it really defined him. At George’s funeral service, his son Stephen spoke eloquently about this side of George. And it was worlds colliding on a wide variety of fronts. George was a fervent Yankees fan living in the heart of Red Sox Nation. He was a technological novice whose interest seemed to peak with the last version of the Sharp Wizard.7 Yet he enjoyed the fruits of computer research as well as emailing friends and colleagues around the world. He would humor me when I would encourage colleagues to adopt various technologies like classroom response devices (clickers). “Lustig, tell me about these clicker things.” And I would. He would smile, listen, and then politely decline, returning to his comfortable technology (the various stacks of index cards and his table radio). I think he had a very healthy perspective on technology. Perhaps the most serious collision involved his religious beliefs and his deeply held belief in human rights. He was a devout Jew who was troubled by Palestinian human rights issues, and he refused to keep it to himself. I don’t think it was in his nature. He would write one of his numerous letters
5 Laurie D. Willis, George Dargo; Was Virtuoso as New England Law Professor, BOS. GLOBE, Feb. 13, 2012, available at 2012 WLNR 3058749; Lawrence Friedman, In Memory of Professor George Dargo, New Eng. L. Rev. On Remand (Jan. 10, 2012) http://newenglrev.com/2012/01/10/ in-memory-of-professor-george-dargo/. 6 In the Pool Guy episode, George’s fiancée Susan is invited to attend a show by Elaine. George is upset by the possibility of his various worlds colliding famously exclaiming, “A George, divided against itself, Cannot Stand.” The Pool Guy, SEINFELD SCRIPTS, http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/ThePoolGuy.html (last visited Oct. 9, 2012). 7 For those unfamiliar with the Wizard, it was the first generation of electronic data organizers. Sharp Wizard, WIKIPEDIA, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_Wizard (last modified July 23, 2012). It was also the subject of a Seinfeld episode. See The Wizard, SEINFELD SCRIPTS, http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheWizard.html (last visited Oct. 8, 2012); Episode Guide Season 9, SEINFIELD SCRIPTS, http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/seinfeld-season-9.html (last visited Oct. 4, 2012) (describing the Wizard episode).
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to the editor. When one would be accepted for publication he would say something like, “Lustig, they are going to give it to me at shul this week. But I don’t care.” Of course, when George’s Rabbi spoke at his service, it was clear that he understood and respected George’s colliding worlds. II. Summer of George8
George went into summer mode as well as anyone. He would hit his scholarly work hard but would do so with an enviable degree of casualness. Barry Stearns shared the following description, which is so evocative of those days that I can still picture George in that exact outfit, complaining about the weather.
My keenest memory of George is Dargo in full summer mode with the perfect canvas bag on his shoulder and Fidel cap perched on his head. He always stopped in the library, complained about the heat, checked on his inter library loans (which often were sheet music) and called our attention to his latest letter to the editor in the Globe or NYT. He loved libraries, he was a scholar, he did his dissertation the old fashioned way. Travelling to libraries across the country where the historical documents on Louisiana were located. He never got that bug out of his system—he loved old maps and used them the way a lawyer uses old chestnut cases to prove his points. But he learned to appreciate our ability to find the same material on the Internet when he returned to update and republish Jefferson’s Louisiana a few years ago.9
Another summer has passed—the first one without George. I missed bumping into him as I arrived to prepare for my summer tax class. I missed hearing about his summer abroad teaching, and hearing about the wonderful time spent with his grandchildren (as his daughter Jessica lovingly told us about at his service). I even missed hearing him complain about his various medical appointments. Yet there were constant reminders of George. His wife, Lois, finished cleaning out his office. The boxes were piled. Eventually another colleague took over the office. The fall presidential elections have just concluded. We had great conversations about politics. We were both on the left. George was an unabashed liberal; I am more centrist. We had many spirited conversations, and while we often disagreed, we definitely agreed that a certain columnist was vomitatious!
8 The Summer of George, SEINFELD SCRIPTS, http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/ TheSummerofGeorge.html (last visited Oct. 8, 2012). In this episode, George intends to take the summer off using his severance package from the New York Yankees. Id. As it happens in most episodes, things go badly, and George ends up in the hospital and rehabilitation. Id. 9 E-mail from Barry Stearns, Reference Librarian, Portia Law Library, to Eric Lustig, Professor of Law (Apr. 25, 2012) (on file with author).
Time of Your Life
I have been carrying this unfinished piece around for months. I have picked it up and put it down dozens of times mostly because it just made me sad. Although I am only finishing it because of a deadline, I’m ready to let go—it really is time. It was not just the Summer of George; it was the Life of George. And he “had it all”—husband, father, grandfather, man of faith, teacher, scholar, social and political commentator, musician, curmudgeon, colleague, and friend. III. Finale
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road, Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial, For what it’s worth it was worth all the while It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life. ***10
Goodbye my friend. I hope you had the time of your life.
Green Day, Good Riddance (“Time of Your Life”), GREEN DAY LYRICS, http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/greenday/ goodriddancetimeofyourlife.html (last visited Oct. 4th, 2012).