Saturday, May 11, 2013

RIP Alan Abelson

An old "friend" died two days ago, Alan Abelson, someone who enlightened and amused me each Saturday for the last 40 years or so from the pages of Barron's, specifically his Up and Down Wall Street column.  In this age of 24 x 7 financial reporting (or what passes as financial reporting), one could depend on Mr. Abelson to present the contrarian view, with an acerbic wit.  He made sense of a lot of nonsense, and I read his columns as I would a fine novel, valuing every word.  He was to financial reporting as H.L. Menken was to American culture. Saturdays will not be the same without him (and haven't been while he had been ill and unable to write). 

My son, Jonathan, was equally upset to hear this news, making an interesting observation. He thought that, judging by his writing, Mr. Abelson was about his own age, but "writing beyond his years in wisdom and insight." Indeed, he was that kind of writer, writing with the vigor of a much younger person, but with the authority of experience.  Now he too is one for the ages.