Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bee Keeper

Above Photograph of American philosopher John Dewey. The following is a passage from the autobiography of Sidney Hook, Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century. New York: Harper and Row, 1987, p. 92—

When I was still a student at Columbia, he [John Dewey] invited me to his home for Sunday dinner. His daughters, son, and daughter-in-law were there, and it seemed to me a rather formal affair. It was my first visit, and I was naturally nervous. When I rang the bell, he himself came to the door. The first thing he did when I had shed my hat and overcoat was to point out the bathroom. I had no experience with dinners as elaborate as this seemed to me and don't remember whether I talked too much or too little. I wasn't sure what all the knives and forks were for, and my lack of ease must have been quite apparent. At the end of the meal, when the nuts were passed around, I took only one lest I be considered greedy. "Sidney," remarked Dewey, "you remind me of the man who kept a bee."