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My best friend in high school was Edward Lipman, the son of the pianist Jeaneane Dowis Lipman and her husband, Sam, who had once been a piano prodigy himself but was by that point better known as an acerbic cultural critic, the director of the Waterloo Music Festival, and the founding publisher of Th...

My best friend in high school was Edward Lipman, the son of the pianist Jeaneane Dowis Lipman and her husband, Sam, who had once been a piano prodigy himself but was by that point better known as an acerbic cultural critic, the director of the Waterloo Music Festival, and the founding publisher of The New Criterion. Edward and I, each of us an only child with a parent who was also an only child, lived ten blocks apart on Riverside Drive, and we spent uncountable hours talking about books, listening to music, and doing our homework in the Lipmans’ apartment, which was dominated by two Steinway grands nestled together in an airy living room. There was also a third piano in Sam’s record- and CD-lined study.

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