Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Texan Who Conquered Russia

Van Cliburn, a Long Tall Texan, left us this week.

I was full of Texas pride as I reflected and read about Fort Worth's most famous citizen since Ben Hogan.

Foreign Policy is occasionally affected thru cultural exchanges. Oftentimes it is felt that understanding another nation’s culture helps to improve relations. Senator George McGovern sent the South Dakota State Basketball team to Cuba, President Nixon sent the U S Ping Pong champions to Red China, and Dennis Rodman was in North Korea basketballing with Baby Kim this week.

Sidebar - Speaking of This Week, Rodman was on the Sunday ABC news show with George Stephanopoulos (whom I respect). George asked a few probing if not tough questions to which Dennis made a fool of himself. It must have been a slow news week to give Dennis 8 minutes. I suppose Bob Woodward and Sequestration weren’t worthy of more time. And of course elevating experts like Rodman.  Rodman and Kim are a joke. Is Dennis Rodman the image of America we want to project?

Van Cliburn in contrast was a Cold Warrior that won the Russian people’s affection thru his talent and warm-hearted spirit. Time Magazine called Cliburn the Texan who conquered Russia.

Watch the video below of Cliburn and Gorbachav at the Reagan White House to understand the depths of  Cliburn's talent musically and diplomatically.

Van Cliburn rest in peace.

End bar – Cliburn’s association with another Long Tall Texan