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In Afteryears…
The “Wonderful Years”

When I retired from the United States Senate in January 1963 and returned to Connecticut shortly before my 68th birthday, I thought it would be just dandy to take things easy, play a lot of golf, and not get involved in doing things I did not like to do, such as driving all over the state to attend meetings night and day. But strangely enough, I was soon restless, and I wondered why I had ever thought I could ever get along without any real responsibilities. “One cannot live by bread alone,” or at least I have found it difficult, despite the fact of a wonderful family all around me, children, grandchildren, in-laws, sisters nearby, and a beautiful, devoted wife of 45 years.

Perhaps my problem is revealed in the philosophy of an old song: “How You Gonna Keep Him Down on the Farm, After He’s Seen Paris.”

The firm of Brown Brothers Harriman & Company has been very tolerant of me, demanding little, but using me in sort of a consultant capacity from time to time when my special experience can be useful. I am grateful for their indulgence, and take pride in my 41 years of association with a splendid group of partners. But the separation of 11 years (from 1952 to 1963) that ended at age 68 necessarily limits my ability to be helpful, and at the same time it has diminished my enthusiasm for business affairs. And it was a real enthusiasm for 25 years, wonderful years that included both Depression and prosperity with associates of marked integrity and ability.

We will henceforth spend about six months in Florida, returning to Connecticut in May for the following six months. We bought a small place at Hobe Sound, facing the golf course and having a swimming pool that is heated for the colder weather. This we need, for we both are victims of arthritis, an affliction that has plagued me with gradual increase for about eight years. This perhaps more than any other cause persuaded me to quit the Senate and public life. Now I miss its excitement, its pressures, and its privileges, particularly the privilege of service to my party and to the people of the State I have come to love.

But, as I write this in October of 1966, I believe I am getting more philosophical about my dilemma. Life has been too good to me to permit fretfulness in the closing years. After all, I have always believed in retirement at 65 or 68, so I really should never complain about a decision which was my own, as I approached my 68th birthday.

I cannot close without reflecting upon our approaching 50th. I am more than ever conscious of what Yale has meant to me since 1913. Wherever I found myself in war or peace, in business or politics, in sports or social life, always the fact of Yale seemed to be there. I make this acknowledgement with a grateful heart.  the end


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