For people around the world of my generation, 13th May 1981 was the day Pope John Paul II was shot while cruising the piazza in St Peter's. Those were more innocent times, when Popes and Presidents made themselves available to the public, and from time to time got shot for their temerity. As an historical footnote 13th May 1981 was also the day I landed in the US for the first time. I had $10,000 in my pocket (which got me the undivided attention of the very nice lady flight attendant when she handed me the appropriate Customs form) and A Plan. I was going to buy a Vespa. The plan got off to a good start at Immigration. The officer asked: "How long do you want?" Me: "How long can I have?" Him:" I asked first." Me (calculating desperately the odds) : "A year?" Him (eyeing me- we neither of us had heard of Al Quaeda): "6 months?" Me: "Cool!" I bought a Vespa at the dealer in Brooklyn, Kings motorcycles I think and paid $1500 dollars for a scooter with one mirror, floormat and rear rack. I left New York immediately after tasting an English muffin which was neither English nor a muffin. There began my education. Wasn't I young and innocent, and wasn't Congress clean and white?