Little by little they drift into the bare linoleum-floored cafeteria in the basement of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, some of them carrying fat newspapers and paper cups of coffee from the tiny drugstore on the corner. Although this is the church John F. Kennedy belonged to, today the church of Ted Kennedy and Joe Califano, there are no famous faces in the room on this particular morning somewhere between late winter and early spring. Most of the 150 people filling the folding chairs are average-looking well-dressed upper-middle-class Washingtonians, couples harried from depositing the kids in CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, the Catholic version of Sunday school) after the family mass.
Barbara Howell, Washington director of Brad for the World, a public interest lobby, has come to the adult lecture series to talk about the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the United States and what the federal government is or is not doing about it. One of the church's assistant pastors, the Rev. Francis Xavier Moan-a little leprechaun of a Jesuit who looks like everybody's idea of Father O'Malley-has invited her because the parish is preparing for a three-day seminar in April on "What Can Be Done to Feed the World's Population?" The panel for the seminar will be a prestigious and authoritative one: Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.), evangelical Protestant and one of the last Republican men-about-issues; Harry Walters, an adviser on food and agricultural strategies at the World Bank and former deputy executive director of the World Food Council in Rome; and Frances Moore Lappe, cofounder of the Institute for Food and Policy Development and author and lecturer on the issue of hunger. Only in Washington. You wouldn't find the same resources, or even the interest, at, say, the Church of the Holy Trinity in Dallas, Texas.
Howell's opening comment that "I'm very happy to be here-I've heard a lot about this parish" draws a laugh, but it isn't joyous laughter or self-mocking laughter. Not yet. Now it is slightly defensive, laughter with a nervous edge to it, aware of a certain irony. After all, it hasn't been that long since Jan. 4 when radical activist Mitch Snyder ended his 12-day "fast-to-the-death" aimed at forcing Holy Trinity to give part of its $400,000 renovation fund to feed the poor.
"One-third of the people in Washington," Howell says, "have incomes below the poverty level." Federal budget cuts may endanger the free-lunch program for school children or WIC assistance to women, infants and younger Children. She urges her audience to "lobby your representative in Congress, if you live outside the District and have one."
A stocky, intense man casually dressed in slacks and a blue polo shirt raises his hand. "I'm one of those members of Congress you're talking about," he says. Rep. David R. Obey, Holy Trinity parishioner and Democrat from Wisconsin, is a member of the Democratic Policy Steering Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. Bread for the World is, he thinks "a fine organization, doing a good job," but Howell has some of her facts wrong about which federal food programs are in the most trouble. "You can't lobby Congress effectively if you don't have your facts straight," he insists. "You make my job a whole lot harder."
As with almost every thing else in status-conscious Washington-government, law firms, clubs, the fourth estate-some things carry more status than other. Not exempt is the first estate. A good many Easterners didn't even know any Baptists until Jimmy Carter became president of the United States.
But if you're a Baptist who wants to belong to the current Establishment, you're likely to choose the First Baptist Church so you can be in the president's Sunday school class. The most prestigious synagogue has long been Washington Hebrew Congregation at massachusetts and Macomb. Episcopalians squabble over which has more cachet, St. John's or St. Alban's.
As for the Catholics, biggest is not necessarily best: it's not the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception or St. Matthew's Cathedral, but Holy Trinity Catholic Church that social climbers identify as the city's "glamor parish."
Glamorous is what the Kennedys were and anything they touched took on the patina of chic. Jack kennedy attended the graystone Federalist church at 36th and O Streets, established in 1790 as the first Catholic parish in the District, when he was a senator living in Georgetown and continued to worship there occasionally after he became president. That was the making of Holy Trinity's current reputation, or at least the public awareness of it.
The priests at Holy Trinity are close-mouthed on the subject of Prominent parishioners, who, they feel, deserve their privacy. "An besides," says the church's pastor, the Rev. James M. English, "those people make up a very, very small percentage of this parish." Nevertheless, "Edward M. Kennedy, McLean, Va., United States Senator from Mass.," as he was listed on the ballot, ran second in a field of 102 candidates for 15 seats on the parish council in 1969. No longer on the council, he still goes to mass there every three of four weeks. Ethel Kennedy recently came back from St. Luke's in McLean. The wife of Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) is a parishioner, and almost any Sunday morning will find HEW Secretary Joseph Califano at the family mass, a service popular with Rep. Obey and Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.). Rep. David Bonior (D-Mich.) may be there, too, or CBS newsman Roger Mudd. Until his death last summer, Paul Connolly, law partner of Edward Bennett Williams, Connolly & Califano), was cochairman, with his wife Mary, of the church's restoration fund.
Such a cast of characters is not all that unusual at several Northwest Washington and Montgomery County churches, or in other areas where the movers and shakers in government and business tend to congregate. But Holy Trinity is different from most toney Washington churches. Just as often as it has been called a "glamour parish," it has been called "liberal and progressive," in part perhaps because it is a Jesuit-staffed parish, located around Jesuit-run Georgetown University, and the Jesuits have long been considered the intelligentsia of the church, its great scholars and teachers and preachers. That tradition may have a special appeal to Catholics who consider themselves intellectual and liberal in matters of religion, whatever their politics. Secondly, it is a Catholic church which, in a time when the church still officially requires Catholics to register in the parish in which they live, draws almost two-thirds of its 1,500 registered members from outside the area of western Georgetown, Burleith and Glover Park which comprises the parish, particularly from Northwest Washington, Montgomery County and Northern Virginia. And it is different, of course, because Mitch Snyder and the Community for Creative Non-Violence made it different, called it to attention.
Pastor and parishioners insist that the church is not wealthy, that it is already making a significant contribution to the poor of this city, yet the glamorous image, the image of Washington politicos and fatcats dropping by for Sunday mass in Georgetown, persists in some minds.
"People assume we have all these famous, wealthy parishioners who die and leave us huge legacies," says Father English. "It simply isn't so."
Although Holy Trinity speaks with the eloquence of men (some very powerful ones) and angels some still question its charity-or "love," in the Roman Catholic translation of the New Testament-that virtue without which, St. Paul said, all is "a gong booming or a cymbal clashing." Behind the charisma of its image, behind the headlines, what really goes on at Holy Trinity? Are ambitious young Catholics flocking there because they think they might find themselves sitting in a pew next to Ted Kennedy? Or do people find something there that is relevant to their lives, something of particular moral and spiritual value in the frenetic, fragmented city of Washington? Perhaps what goes on inside Holy Trinity is not unlike the sturggles faced by many American churches as they encounter the demands of a new world entering the 1980s.
To be a Jesuit, you have to study an average of 10 years, as long, or longer than you do to be a doctor. The Rev. Michael Doody, who is 32 but looks younger, is in hist first assignment after finishing at a Jesuit seminary in Massachusetts. He's tall and thin, with curly sandy hair and rosy cheeks that look as if they'd just been pinched. He looks, in fact, like a grown-up Pip, the hero in Dickens' Great Expectations . And ordering escargots at lunch in a Georgetown restaurant, he seems a little like Pip let loose in Miss Havisham's house.
His most valuable asset, he says, is his M.B.A. Not too many Jesuits study business administration. It's a degree he's sometimes sorry he has-Michael Doody pays the bills at Holy Trinity. "And I cry a lot," he says laughing. He certainly didn't laugh when he received the heating bill for snowbound February: it cost $6,000 to heat the church's six buildings. The high-ceilinged church with its tall, lacy stained-glass windows has been inefficiently heated because the ducts were installed where the ceiling and walls join, an error that will be corrected in the current renovation. According to Father English, the sanctuary has "the warmest chandeliers and the coldest pews in Christendom." Then there are the two dark, ugly, drafty brick buildings that flank the graceful columned church-one still serving as Holy Trinity grade school, the other converted to offices and meeting rooms after the high school was closed in 1974 because operating costs so far outran tuition revenues. Between the old high school building and the rectory is the theater, which houses a community theater group, Trinity Players: doubles as an auditorium for the school; and is presently being used for mass during renovation of the sanctuary. The most expensive building to heat is the convent, which was the original church, built around 1972 and, in Father English's description, "a crazy old building, always cold-the poor sisters are very patient" (the patient nuns are six Sister of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, four of whom teach in the parish school). Then there is the rectory, where six Jesuit priests live, a gray-and-white, early 19th-century detached townhouse.
Father Doody is concerned about money, concerned because there is so little of it and concerned because people outside think there is so much. Ushering a visitor into the rectory, he flourishes his hand like a butler introducing guests and says, "Come into our palatial quarters!" In the parlor and study on either side of the entrance hall, gold-plated crucifixes and pictures from the parish archives hang on the dingy cream-colored walls; the pale green carpet is almost threadbare and the few pieces of furniture scratched.
From a battered filing cabinet he produces the parish's annual financial report. The church's net worth is about $3.5 million, most in hand, buildings, furnishings and cash; the financial report shows no money-earning investments. Last year ending June 30 the parish, not including the school, took in about $260,000 and had expenses of about $200,000. Three of the priests are paid by the parish, three by the Society of Jesus; the three priests were paid $9,600 last year. Salaries for domestic services-custodians, housekeepers and cook-to-taled about $30,000, and secretarial and clerical help-one full-time and one part-time worker-cost another $10,900. The organist and choir received $11,700. Utilities, insurance and maintenance of the church plant accounted for $45,000; supplies amounted to about $26,000; the CCD program cost $14,000. Other expenses of about $52,000 included interest charges, fringe benefit payroll costs, donations, Archdiocese assessment and telephone costs. The school, however, took in $104,700 and spent $168,400. The parish's excess revenues-about $59,000-went toward making up the school's deficit, leaving the parish about $5,000 in the red.
The financial report does not include money from special collections or money that goes directly to one of the church's organizations, such as the two collections that directly benefit the Social Concerns Committee. Such collections and the fact the $400,000 was raised last year for the building fund in about three months suggest that there is money to be had at Holy Trinity when it is needed. It may not come in the Sunday collection box-on one Sunday in March the collection $3,500, and the parish council estimated that it needed to be $5,000 to meet operating expenses-but the overall picture suggests a church in reasonably sound financial shape. A few years ago the parish council voted to discontinue passing an offering plate at mass and to set up collection boxes in the church foyer, on the theory that "people would give more if pressured less." Has it worked? "It's remained fairly consistent," Father English reports, "always a little less than we need."
Father Doody receives a salary of $250 a month and his car, like those of the other priests, is owned by the Jesuits. Plucking the sleeve of his elegant three-piece blue pin-striped suit, Father Doody exclaims, "See this suit? I couldn't afford this suit on $250 a month. I have this suit because a young man in this parish died and his generous widow asked me if I could wear his clothes."
David Obey, his wife Joan and their two sons have been in Washington for 10 years, ever since Obey was elected to fill the congressional seat vacated by Melvin Laird when he was named Secretary of Defense in 1969. They've only been associated with Holy Trinity for two years, moving there from St. Agnes' Catholic Church in Arlington-"a very nice place but just no spark." Joan Obey heard about Holy Trinity from friends and wanted to do something "to get teen-age Craig out of his doldrums."
The Obeys' reasons for choosing Holy Trinity echo those heard again and again from parishioners. "We like it because it's been the only thing that turned the kids on," the congressman says. It is, he thinks, a "looser, freer" church than most, "more alive, more responsive to social concerns," although the labels "liberal" and "conservative" don't mean much in the context: "I know people there who are arch-conservative in their political philosophy-they don't think the government should do anything to help the poor, but they believe that as Christians they themselves have a great responsibility."
The sermons at Holy Trinity, Obey feels, are "always relevant-they deal with how people can help each other rather than on some fine point of Catholic doctrine." One of the things he appreciates is that "Jim English and the other priests recognize the complexities of life; they don't present things in black and white terms."
Obey says of the CCNV controversy that it's "ironic that this happened to Jim English because he's a damn sight more aware of his responsibilities than most. It's like Gandhi and the English-Gandhi knew he had a sucker on his hands because the English were so damn decent."
Obey does, on the other hand, sometimes get irritated at what he sees as a king of comfortableness and complacency among parishioners that may be the result of affluence. That's what annoyed him about the adult lecture series the day Barbara Howell spoke: "Sometimes there's this kind of vague, general wish to do good, but in a non-formed, non-specific way-that's what bugs me about some liberal groups, too."
The affluent, glamorous reputation had nothing to do with the Obeys' going to Holy Trinity. "I just recently met David Bonior and Fritz Hollings there," he says. "And Joe-I'm on the HEW-Labor subcommittee and I didn't even know the Califanos went to Holy Trinity until we were sitting in the same pew on Christmas Eve."
Sen. Dennis DeConcini offers comments much like Obey's. The DeConcinis, who live in McLean, found Holy Trinity soon after coming to Washington in January of 1977. They like the church because of "Father English's openness" and because "the sermons relate to family life, and we look to the church to reassure our children, to relate to whatever we're trying to teach at home." Moreover, the priests "relate the Bible to the pressure of today's society without advocating overthrowing any of the traditional doctrines of the church," something which DeConcini feels all priests aren't able to do these days.
At this point, no one knows Holy Trinity parish better than Mary Connolly, except the priests. Well, maybe not even the priests.
Last April when the parish decided to raise money to renovate the church, Father English invited Mary and Paul Connolly to lunch. Finally, the pastor blurted out the reason for his invitation: he wanted the Connollys to head the fund drive. "Paul said, 'Wonderful! We'll be glad to do it!" I thought, 'What are we getting ourselves into?'" Mary Connolly remembers.
After her husband died suddenly in July, she became the sole chairman. The first step was getting a complete census of the parish, then identifying the people most likely to give $10,000 or more so as "to start with a base of major gifts up front." More than 25 households quickly pledged $10,000, payable over three to five years.
"But that was just the beginning, the next part came much more slowly," Connolly says. "I was stunned to find the breakdown of the parish. First of all I was surprised to find so many Catholics in Burleith and Glover Park, and secondly to find that they're either retired, young marrieds or low income people. Then a large number of parishioners are in Arlington, most of whom are not wealthy, most of whom are at Holy Trinity in reaction against Bishop Welsh, the conservative bishop of the Arlington diocese. It's difficult to maintain one's temper when people say how rich we are at Holy Trinity."
After the big gifts, the remainder was made up in small pledges. "People gave what they could afford," Connolly points out, "some are giving $8 a month over a three-year period."
In the beginning, there was some resistance to the fund drive, but "once people understood why we needed the renovation, they responded the renovation, they responded beautifully." The church did not meet the liturgical requirements of Vatican II, and the building violated several safety regulations; it did not, for example, have a fire exit in the front of the church, behind the altar, and parts of the heavy cornice were coming loose and threatening to fall on the congregation below.
Recently the priests have begun to tease Connolly that because she's spent so much time in the rectory-she is still in charge of keeping up with pledge payments-they're going to give her a custom-made cassock. "The only thing lacking in this parish," Connolly says, "is that there isn't quite enough money to enable them to do everything they're capable of doing."
Most of the 25 people gathered on a Tuesday evening in the crowded, smoky room in what used to be Holy Trinity high school are women in their late 20s to early 50s. They look tired and frasseld, as though they might have rushed there straight from the office after a difficult day. Most of them in the last six months to two years have had difficult lives. They have come to this meeting of Separated, Divorced and Remarried Christians (ne Catholics-in an ecumenical spirit the group changed its name last year) because they are somewhere in the process of separation or divorce and need support. From the discussion it seems that none of them is about to embark on another marriage yet. Some of them, on the every-other Tuesday nights that the large group doesn't meet, gather in small discussion groups where they can talk more intimately about their problems.
A woman in a pink blouse sits knitting a sweater in the exact same shade. Another chain-smokes nervously and, since there are no ashtrays, stands the cigarettes upright on the desk where she's sitting, letting them burn themselves out at the filter. Early in the evening a sort of impromptu testimonial develops. "I'd just like to say," the knitter mumurs, "that this group helps me know I'm still a human being regardless of what I'm going through." The smoker agrees emphatically, adding, "But it also shows the Catholic clergy that there are those of us who just won't go away."
The clergy at Holy Trinity are very much aware of that fact, however-the smoker is not addressing them. But an organization that recognizes this particular group of Catholics is still fairly uncommon, and the people who come to it represent not the glamorous element of the parish but the unglamorous average. A middle-aged man in a rumpled blue suit says a little ruefully, "I didn't think much about my religion-I only went to church occasionally-until I had to confront an issue in my own life that I found I had deep religious feelings about."
There is a movement afoot to change the thinking of the church on this issue, to make it possible for a divorced Catholic to remarry in the church without an annulment. Both Father Doody, the group's adviser, and the Rev. Randy Saxe, who started the group at Holy Trinity, studied in seminary under the Rev. James Young, a Paulist priest who is a guiding spirit in the movement and is now rector of St. Paul's College at Catholic University.
Father Doody believes that the questions asked of a person requesting an annulment are "a scandal-they just dredge up all that old pain and hurt and guilt and fear. If a marriage is dead, why not just say it's dead-it's ridiculous to say it wasn't valid in the first place."
Tonight's speaker is Emily Brown, director of the Divorce and Marital Stress Clinic in Rosslyn. She is tall and willowy, impeccably dressed-she looks as though she just came from Elizabeth Arden, living proof that you too can survive divorce and come out better for it.
She points out that it usually takes two years from the actual physical separation to achieve one's final goal: a "fairly stable, autonomous lifestyle, in which one is capable of being both intimate and independent." In Brown's version of things, one "usually begins dating again within 6 months after the separation."
After Brown has given the group a test to measure the different kinds of stress each of them has been under in the past year, a woman who looks to be about 50 speaks up: "You didn't mention the stress of losing your job and I felt like I'd lost my job when I got divorced."
When the group breaks up for wine and cheese, Eleanor Raven, a State Department officer who's been in and out of Holy Trinity for the past 20 years, talks about why she participates: "I've been divorced long enough not to feel like I need a support group just to survive. I want the church to recognize that I exist." The group was originally started "to provide spiritual support," Raven says, and she and a few other "old-timers" are afraid it might become "too social, a swinging-singles-type thing." That's why at the next three meetings Father Young will expain the church's position on divorce and remarriage. "But I would never, ever request an annulment," says Eleanor Raven fiercely. "It would show a complete lack of integrity-it would be so demeaning."
When Father Jim English opens the front door to the rectory, the effect is momentarily surprising. He's dressed for the 9:30 Sunday mass and the contrast of his dark good looks-the perfectly trimmed black hair, thick, arched brows and long straight nose, the full lower lip and slightly dimpled chin-against his snow white alb and gold chasuble makes one think he must be a movie actor playing a priest. When he opens the door the next afternoon, he's dressed in his street clothes-herringbone tweed jacket, soft gray sweater and slacks, equally well turned out.
He did, in fact, first come to live at Holy Trinity rectory to study drama at Catholic University 10 years ago. For a time he was principal of Washington's Gonzaga High School. "Definitely not the job for me!" he laughs and shrugs. "I love this job at Holy Trinity. I'm at heart a pastor and a priest-you get to deal with the whole human family."
He didn't know that for a long time, though, because Jesuits aren't trained to be pastors. "Maybe that sometimes makes me less efficient," he muses, "but on the other hand that lack of pastoral training can work to my benefit-it can make me more flexible."
Among the photographs of Jesuits who've served the parish, a drawing of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, hangs on the study wall, and Father English proudly points out its resemblance to the picture of the current father general of the order, the Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe. There's a lot to be said for tradition. It's one of the things, English believes, that gives Holy Trinity its "particular style."
"Because we're a Jesuit parish and located right next to great university like Georgetown, we have access to the resources of their faculty and a lot of Jesuits from out of town pass through here, too," he says proudly."We're always being exposed to new ideas, being forced to grow." It also allows Holy Trinity to have more priests on staff than other parishes of comparable size.
English has been known an innovator in the diocese, especially in the area of liturgy. When he began celebrating the family mass 10 years ago, making it a habit to walk down the church aisles, talking with the children, it was something new. Attendance has now grown from 200 to 600 or 700.
English has often invited actors, singers, mimes to perform at the church. Four years ago he made headlines in local papers by inviting performers from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to the Palm Sunday service, an event that didn't win any plaudits from the more conservative elements in the diocese, he says. Once he took the entire congregation, 600 that day down the street to take communion to an elderly shut-in.
A recent trend in the church is diffusion of power away from the stereotyped authoritative priest whose word is law. "The parish council is a remarkable group. No decision is made without them," English says enthusiastically. Doesn't it make his life more difficult? He laughs with surprise at the question: "Democracy is always harder!"
Is this man too good to be true?
Probably not. Mention Mitch Snyder and the CCNV and he raises his chin warily, his dark eyes cool and flinty. There's a certain reserve, a certain reserve, a certain authority that suggests you wouldn't want to push him too far. He doesn't want to talk about it and his voice takes on a hard edge, "I think quite enough has been said. I just regret that it took so much time and effort that could have been spent on something positive."
It's been a very long day, like most days an endless stream of demands-daily masses, administrative duties, committee meetings, people asking advice, seeking counseling. "Some days," Jim English quips, "to be a priest at Holy Trinity means to be in a committee meeting."
Father Moan sticks his head in the door. "The other day the National Enquirer actually called to ask our views on divorce and remarriage," he laughs with wicked delight. "Imagine my name in that !"
One last question can't be resisted. What does any of this have to do with the simple message of the Gospel? "Well, that's what we're here for first of all, to preach the Gospel," he says slowly. "Secondly, to celebrate the sacraments, and third, to bring a sense of community, to serve some of the functions of the family."
It's almost dark now and the narrow streets of Georgetown are, as always, lined with cars. "You know the real miracle of Holy Trinity? All these things go on here," he chuckles, "and there's never any place to park!"
The modern world may be taxing to the church's "liberalism." One recent Sunday, for example, the teacher of the 11th and 12th grade CCD class hesitated to suggest that the teenagers attend the adult lecture series in his absence because the scheduled topic was "Homosexuality and the Church." He was "apprehensive," he told parents in a mimeographed note, because he had seen the reading list recommended by the lecturer and suspected that she was going "to advance views respecting the legitimacy of homosexual acts," views "well outside the mainstream of Catholic theology."
Ironically, its reputation as a progressive parish is probably one reason Holy Trinity became the target of Mitch Snyder and the CCNV, just as the liberal Johnson Administration was more susceptible to pressure from the civil rights and anti-war movements than the Nixon Administration was. Jim English had praised CCNV from the pulpit and parishioners had done volunteer work for CCNV.
The accusations of the CCNV that Holy Trinity was out to "maim and torture" the needy, and the changing nature of their demands seemed to make little sense, yet what of the church's ultimate refusal to make some final compromise, even when it seemed that Snyder's death would be the result? "Nothing we could have done would have satisfied them," Mary Connolly said. "We didn't want to look like a rich, uncaring church. We made suggestions for compromise all along-we had people experienced in dealing with this kind of confrontation"-the "confrontation lawyers," she called them -"advising us that this was the best way to handle it." Was the church's response one of Christian charity and patience, as they assert, or was it, as one former parishioner believes, "the response of a corporation"?
Following Snyder's fast, Paul McElligott, a Washington lawyer who chairs the parish's Social Concerns Committee has been looking for ways to expand the work of the committee, which last year gave about $4,400 in cash, plus, McElligott says, "$50,000 worth of clothing and furniture and other goods" to such organizations as Father Horace McKenna's St. Vincent dePaul mission, the House of Ruth and So Others Might Eat. He estimates that donations will be at least triple that sum this year. "The important thing about our work is that it is ongoing. We could've given Mitch $80,000, or even $400,000, and said, okay, for the next 20 years we won't do anything else. In the long run we'll be doing a lot more this way."
For many, the scars of Mitch Snyder's fast remain. The danger seems to be that a feeling of community could become a feeling of "us against them," a desire to "form the wagons in a circle." As one parishioner told a reporter who asked why he chose to go to Holy Trinity instead of a church closer to his home, "It's just a marvelous place, but I don't suppose that means anything to you ." CAPTION: Picture 1, Holy Trinity Church, Washington's Glamor Parish Meets the Modern World, By Susan Wood; Picture 2, As he approached the 40th day of his water-only fast at Holy Trinity last September, activist Mitch Snyder retreated with three fasting colleagues to the garden of the parish convent to find a little privacy and a shield from the sun. By Gerald Martineau; Picture 3, no caption, By Allen Carroll; Picture 4, The Rev. James English, Holy Trinity's Jesuit pastor, confesses that his academic-minded order gave him little training to shepherd a congregation. "Maybe that sometimes makes me less efficient," he adds, "but on the other hand it can work to my benefit-it can make me more flexible." By Bill Snead