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“Fred and I were very different, in the sense that he was always interested in the news and the world of politics, long before I was,” Mr. Hume reveals.

“I remember he had a room … in a boarding house one year. The floor was basically coated with newspapers. I said, ‘God, Fred, this is a mess.’ He said, ‘Yeah, it ain’t the Ritz.’ From then on, his room was known as the Ritz because it was so ridiculous.’ ”

Your choice

The Rev. Dennis W. Kleinmann, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Old Town Alexandria, writes in a recent church bulletin: “It only came to my attention after the fact, but I learned that someone had put ‘Catholics for McCain’ fliers on cars in our parking lots and on the street.

“It is the position of the Church that we may never promote a specific candidate for office. So, these fliers were not authorized by me or anyone else here at St. Mary’s. What we as priests have a duty to do is inform you of the principles involved when voting. Some principles are always and everywhere true, such as the right to life, which should be primary then in our decisions when we choose a candidate for which to vote.”

We will note what Father Kleinmann cannot. Democratic Sens.Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clintonare pro-choice, and Republican Sen. John McCain is pro-life.

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washington