Remembering when I had a thing for Mrs. Madoff …


Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen reflects on his time at Far Rockaway High School with Bernie Madoff and the swindler’s future wife:

I was in the Class of 1958, two years behind Bernie, but in the same class as his wife, Ruth. She was my friend, or so our yearbook strongly suggests, although my memory of our friendship no longer speaks to me. I remember her only as really cute, an object of desire across a classroom or another. But in the yearbook she wrote a long inscription. It seems I teased her. It seems I kidded her. She forgave me all that and ended by writing that I would "meet Bernie at the prom — and I guarantee he will say hello."

Hello, Bernie. Goodbye, Bernie. …

When I tell people about my relationship with Bernie and Ruth, they sometimes gasp. When I show them the yearbook, they hold it as if it’s a poisonous snake. My yearbook is the closest most people will ever come to evil. Bernie is evil, which is what the judge said Monday in sentencing him to 150 years in jail. The yearbook has become like a Nazi artifact. It is compelling. It is repulsive. It is about evil.

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