We always stayed in a wonderful old stone mansion, parts of which dated from the 15th C. It was there that we met and became friendly with an American couple, although they were considerably older than us. He was a maths Professor at New York University and she was an artist. We kept in touch with them, exchanging Christmas cards and letters for several years, and would meet them at the Cotswold mansion from time to time when they came over. We made an arrangement to meet them in 1990 to spend a few days together, but at the last moment they phoned to say would we mind if they brought another couple with them who were on their honeymoon.
We were surprised at our first meeting to learn that the honeymoon couple were 85 year old Senator Fulbright and his new wife, Harriet, who was the Executive Director of the Fulbright Association.
He was a very lively companion and kept up with all of the activities we did visiting places of interest in the area. He was also a great joker, particularly over his socks. He told us that he had a habit of going out with odd socks on in different colours. Because of this, his grandchildren had given him a mixture of black and white socks, so that he would always be wearing the same colour.
When they returned home, we had a letter from the wife of the other couple, thanking us for giving him such a fun time. She said she had never seen Bill so animated. He was normally very shy and hard for people to talk to. I do not know whether or not it was our company or his honeymoon!!!
This photo I took must be a collectors item. Senator William Fulbright holding up his trouser legs to show off his socks.
Professor Monroe Donsker & Mary Donsker with Harriet Fulright & Senator William Fulbright
courtesy Hephaestos via Wikipedia
Senator Fulbright was a Southern Democrat and a staunch multilateralist who supported the creating of the United Nations. He opposed McCarthyism and later became known for his opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. His efforts to establish an international exchange program eventually resulted in the creation of a fellowship program which bears his name.
Bill Clinton said "I admired him. I liked him. On the occasions when we disagreed, I loved arguing with him. I never loved getting in an argument with anybody as much in my entire life as I loved fighting with Bill Fulbright. I'm quite sure I always lost, and yet he managed to make me think I might have won."