Milton Friedman's watch
After Milton died in 2006, I wrote a column about the time he and I sat side by side on a televised panel discussion about the economy (one of the more intimidating things I’ve ever done). I recalled how he was surprisingly down to earth, "friendly in a Jewish grandpa sort of way, like you half-expected him to reach into his coat pocket at any moment and produce a piece of candy."
I also observed that for a guy of his stature Friedman wore a really crappy watch, one of those cheap Casio jobs with a built-in calculator. I surmised that he was a man who didn’t care how things appeared, just that they worked.
The next day I received an e-mail from the Friedmans’ daughter letting me know how much her mom had been touched by my recollections. A few days later, an envelope arrived at my desk.
It contained a very nice note from Rose Friedman — and Milton Friedman’s watch.
A class act, those Friedmans. Oh, and the watch, which I had framed along with Rose’s note, is still working.
-- David Lazarus
Photo: Rose and Milton Friedman