by Richard Epstein
By the time this richly deserved tribute is published, Eileen and I will be cruising down the Danube. I promise that you will not be in our thoughts every moment of the trip. But at least for one or two short moments, you take pride of place even as against the anchor tenant of the Epstein household for the last 46 years.
Mario: It has been a true pleasure and honor to know and work with you for so long. Admittedly, our initial contact back in 1964 at Regis High School was less than collaborative. As on some enchanted evening, you saw me in the back of the room, and I had no idea of who you were or how you would become my friend and collaborator years later.
So, struck up a friendship both personal and professional when you were a graduate student of economics and I a young professor who entered the lion’s den of the U of C law & economics workshop in or around 1972.
When I took over as the editor of the JLS in December 1981 (on I believe the 190th anniversary of Mozart’s death, you were one of my prize and most reliable contributors, with insightful articles that I refer to with profit even today.
There was then a gap in our cooperation until I came to NYU in earnest in 2007, and then you were Johnny (or Mario on the spot). From day one, the question was how to get more classical liberalism into the mix. And you were full of ideas. More program, more people. We got Koch to get us a fellowship which Gus Hurwitz turned down to do fast dancing at UPenn. Karen Bradshaw took up the cause and both she and Gus are our stalwart affiliates at ASU and Nebraska respectively.
When Ricky Revesz got some funds together to form CLI, there was no question in my mind that we would be like two oxen yoked together in a common cause. And so we have been for the last five years since the formation of CLI. In all that time, never a harsh or even unwise word has ever fallen from your lips. Your judgment and determination are both impeccable, and the tribute that I and others have added are so richly deserved.
I am a man of modest aspirations, and only hope that our next five years together are as fruitful and pleasant as the last five years.
Happy birthday from Mr. 75 to a newly aspiring Mr. 70.