Monday August 10th, 2009

Updike the Swimmer

Paper Cuts posts a part of David Updike’s eulogy for his father last March. A piece:

Despite being first in his class he was not accepted at Princeton — admissions office take note — and so went to Harvard instead and flourished there, in class and on The Lampoon. But an unexpected obstacle remained to his graduation: all Harvard graduates must be able to swim, and he could not. Inhibited as a child by his own imperfect skin, he had shied away from public swimming pools, and never learned. And so he dutifully went to swimming classes and eventually managed two lengths of the pool — an achievement he seemed as proud of later as graduating summa cum laude. But for the rest of his life he swam with what I would describe as a rather studied dog paddle.