Way Back in Fall 2004, Kit and I went to London for a meeting, and she said she wanted to go to Jersey afterward for a quick vacation to celebrate her birthday. Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands off the coast of France, a self-governing nation that’s a (British) Crown Dependency, yet not part of the United Kingdom. It’s what the U.S. state of New Jersey is named for.
When I mentioned in True that we were headed there, I got a note from a reader, Sarah Ferguson (not to be confused with Sarah, Duchess of York and the former wife of Prince Andrew, whose birth name is Sarah Ferguson). Even as the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is still pretty small — just over 46 sq mi (almost 120 sq km) — yet about 100,000 people live there.
Anyway, her note: “As a member of the local parliament interested in removing the over-regulation of local life, I should be delighted to meet with you when you are over. It’s nice to find a member of the third estate from the US who actually knows where Jersey is!” She also provided me with her office and mobile phone numbers.
(“The Press” is actually the U.S.’s unofficial “fourth estate” — the three being Executive, Legislative, and Judicial — given specific freedom in the First Amendment as a watchdog over government. That’s mere detail, but didn’t want anyone to be confused.)
We had dinner with Ms Ferguson and her friend from Jersey’s ancient Honorary Police, which was interesting dinner conversation because I didn’t previously know what that was. I sent her a note when we got back to the states, but didn’t hear back and haven’t communicated since.
Ferguson was later elected to the Jersey Senate, and declined to run for re-election this summer.
I bring this all up because as I was skimming through obits looking for someone interesting to write about this week, I happened across her name: she died September 14 at the age of 80. I thank her again for her hospitality, and a very interesting evening learning about the politics and customs of her adopted home. She’s yet another example of the interesting people among the Best Readers in the World: This is True readers.
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