My grandmother knew how to say what she damn well pleased, not that she ever would have said "damn." As a boy I asked her what the difference was between Democrats and Republicans. She said, "Democrats rent." Once, when I remarked on slum conditions as we drove through a bad part of town, my grandmother said, "No one's ever so poor he can't pick up his yard." And when I came home from college declaring that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were both fascist pigs and I was a Communist, she said—take heed, Bernie—"at least you're not a Democrat." Going through family photographs I realize that my grandmother cultivated old age. By the time she was 40 her affect was Margaret Dumont opposite Groucho Marx in ANight at the Opera—if Groucho had been the straight man. In 1966, when the Post Office issued its 6-cent FDR commemorative, my grandmother said, "My friends and I are having trouble using that new Roosevelt stamp." "Why?" I asked. "We keep spitting on the wrong side."