With the Left Hand

In this excerpt from Sketches From A Life, George F. Kennan’s journals, he describes a diplomatic reception in Mexico City in 1950:

Washington’s Birthday reception– spilling out from the main hall onto the veranda, and thence into the garden. It all seemed achingly familiar. We stood there in the garden, clutching our drinks with the left hand to keep the right one dry and available for hand-shaking. Those who finished drinks looked desperately for some place to put the empty glasses…

It will probably not surprise you to learn that the left the diplomatic services soon after.

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