September 28, 2006

Imposter's obit

What do you say when you read your own obituary and people insist you are dead?

Mark Twain wrote "the report of my death was an exaggeration.'"

Paul Vance pulled out his royalty statements. 

Seems as if the earlier reports of his death were the result of another Paul Vance who died after claiming all his life that he was the author of the 1960s famous hit, It was  a Itsy Bitsy, Teenie, Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"

Real "Itsy Bitsy' songwriter still alive.

Do you know what it's like to have grandchildren calling you and say, `Grandpa, you're still alive?'" he said in a telephone interview from Coral Springs, Fla. "This is not a game. I am who I am and I'm proud of who I am. But these phones don't stop with people calling thinking I'm dead."

Rose Leroux, the widow of the man who died, said she was surprised by the disclosure, and "kind of devastated." She said she had no reason to doubt that her Paul Vance — who apparently had some sort of music career when he was younger — was the writer of the famous tune.

She said her husband told her that he never got any royalties because he sold the rights when he was young, around 19. She said that by the time they met almost 40 years ago, he was making his living as a salesman. He later became a painting contractor.
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The living Paul Vance estimated he has made several million dollars from the song, which was recorded by 16-year-old teen idol Brian Hyland, surged to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in August 1960 and has been pop culture staple ever since...."It's a money machine," Vance said.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:28 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Exhuming the Past

It may take 20 years, but families will not rest until they can learn what happened to their loved ones, recover their bodies and bury their dead themselves.

Exhuming the Past in a Painful Quest

Spurred by a surge of requests from victims' families this year, dozens of forensic anthropologists have been fanning out across the countryside to search for remains of the 200,000 people -- most of them Mayan Indian civilians -- who were killed or abducted during the 36-year conflict.

Many were massacred by military forces and dumped into mass graves. Others were buried hurriedly in unmarked, secret locations by relatives anxious to avoid rampaging troops.
.---
The remains of fewer than 5,000 victims have been returned to their families.

The anguish of those still searching was palpable among the two dozen Mayan Indians who attended a recent exhumation near this town in the central Guatemalan department of Quiche.

Most were subsistence farmers and manual laborers who could speak only their native Mayan language and could ill afford to take time off from work. Yet day after day they hiked to the grave site atop a mist-shrouded mountain -- the women bearing small children strapped to their backs with colorful blankets, the men shouldering shovels to help the forensic team dig for bodies.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:37 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 25, 2006

The Edison of Chicken

All that chicken chili, chicken sausage, chicken hotdogs, yes, even chicken nuggets ever eaten were all due to the work of one man, Robert C. Baker, food scientist , who died at 84.

I missed the New York Times obit here when it first came out.  Fortunately, the Obituaries Editor of the Times, Robert McDonald, answered readers' questions here and drew my attention  to Mr. Baker and his singular contribution to American dining with this quote.

"Robert C. Baker, an agricultural scientist who looked at chickens and envisioned chicken nuggets, not to mention chicken hotdogs, helping transform what is now a $29 billion poultry industry, died on Monday at his home in North Lansing, N.Y. He was 84.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:52 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 24, 2006

Politics in the cemetery

In Nottingham, England, a new cemetery is being built, the first in 85 years.

A multi-faith cemetery will have all its graves aligned with Mecca, despite Christian burials traditionally facing east......

In today's secular society you could be forgiven for not knowing which direction Christian graves face.

Ancient tradition shows they should look east in anticipation of the second coming of Jesus Christ.

But all headstones at the new £2.5m High Wood Cemetery in Bulwell will be plotted to face north-east, in line with Islamic faith.

Muslims believe the dead look over their shoulder towards Mecca, towards the south-east.

Despite there being separate sections at the cemetery in Low Wood Road for different faiths, the council wanted to give a tidy, linear appearance.

A Question of Faith...or Tidiness?  via LGF.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:02 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

Paul McCartney wrote his sadness out

Paul McCartney was so grief stricken when wife his first wife Linda died that he could not write or play music for two years.
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He was composing a classical album for a choir and orchestra when Linda died of breast cancer in April 1998. The work, Ecce Cor Meum, Latin for Behold My Heart, is finally released tomorrow.
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For a couple of years I couldn’t do anything, really. I was just grieving,” he says. “And when I eventually came back to it I started doing some particularly sad bits.

There is a piece called Interlude. It still affects me. It is quite a sad thing. The chords are very sad and it is strange, really, how something with no words can affect you so deeply, can affect your emotions.
--
I gradually got back into it through that. I just sort of wrote my sadness out. I was able after a year or two to pick it up again and complete it.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:14 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 23, 2006

No more bad luck

Called the unluckiest man in Scotland, Michael Mosey, who once missed a court appearance when he tripped over a puppy and broke his leg, died when someone pulled the plug on his life support system accidentally on purpose.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:27 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 22, 2006

Emergency Exit

Professor Wolpert, author of Malignant Sadness - The Anatomy of Depression, is vehemently opposed to the idea that depression is a good reason to die. 

In the darkest days of my own depression, a pact with my wife was the only thing that prevented me from taking my own life. At my lowest points, I thought a lot about how I might kill myself.

He writes in the London Telegraph in response to news from Switzerland that Ludwig Minelli, a lawyer and founder of the Swiss clinic Dignitas, is seeking to overturn the Swiss law that allows them to assist in dying only those who are  terminally ill. 

Minelli
blamed religion for stigmatising suicide, attacking this “stupid ecclesiastical superstition” and said that he believed assisted suicide should be open to everyone.

“We should see in principle suicide as a marvellous possibility given to human beings because they have a conscience . . . If you accept the idea of personal autonomy, you can’t make conditions that only terminally ill people should have this right.

So much for caring for the sick or for being your brother's keeper.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:04 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

Emergency Exit

Professor Wolpert, author of Malignant Sadness - The Anatomy of Depression, is vehemently opposed to the idea that depression is a good reason to die. 

In the darkest days of my own depression, a pact with my wife was the only thing that prevented me from taking my own life. At my lowest points, I thought a lot about how I might kill myself.

He writes in the London Telegraph in response to news from Switzerland that Ludwig Minelli, a lawyer and founder of the Swiss clinic Dignitas, is seeking to overturn the Swiss law that allows them to assist in dying only those who are  terminally ill.

Minelli
blamed religion for stigmatising suicide, attacking this “stupid ecclesiastical superstition” and said that he believed assisted suicide should be open to everyone.

“We should see in principle suicide as a marvellous possibility given to human beings because they have a conscience . . . If you accept the idea of personal autonomy, you can’t make conditions that only terminally ill people should have this right.

So much for caring for the sick or for being your brother's keeper.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:04 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 16, 2006

When Santera Comes to Your Local Cemetery

Santera and voodoo practices in Florida are disturbing the locals.

Desecration of Grave Linked to Religious Ritual

A grieving widow who visited her husband's grave expected to find fresh sod and flowers, not a ritualistic slaughter of animals next to the headstone.
But atop the two-week-old grave was a dead chicken, a set of goat hoofs and four dead puppies.  Worst of all, the puppies were headless.
"I was horrified," said the woman, who asked not to be identified because she wanted to shield her family from the desecration.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:20 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

Murderer's Chutzpah

She stabbed her partner 37 times, beheaded him, then boiled his head in a pot, skinned his body and baked pieces of his buttocks to serve with vegetables and gravy to his adult children.

Then Katherine Knight threw herself on the mercy of the court, saying she didn't deserve a life sentence because it wasn't the worst category of murder.

Thankfully, the Court of Criminal Appeal for New South Wales didn't agree and she lost her appeal.

Life for woman who boiled head.

Justice Peter McClellan wrote,
This was an appalling crime, almost beyond contemplation in a civilised society.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:20 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 15, 2006

What You Don't Want Pickled

Grieving wife sliced off willy

A WIFE aged 65 chopped off her dead husband’s willy in hospital — so she could keep it in a pickling jar as a souvenir.  Uta Schneider used a butcher’s knife to hack off the “treasured” manhood. She wrapped it in foil and put it in a lunchbox — next to gherkins.

But she was spotted by a nurse and arrested in Stuttgart, Germany. She is accused of mutilation.

Uta was wed to Heinrich, 68, for 35 years.
She told police: “It was his best asset and gave me so much pleasure.
“I wanted to pickle it for eternity — he would have wanted it. We called it his joystick. I wanted it to remember him by.”

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:25 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Oriana Fallaci, R.I..P

In her time, she was the most famous journalist in the world, interviewing Henry Kissinger, Willy Brandt, the Ayatollah Khomeni and Yasser Arafat.

Francine du Plessix Gray wrote Fallaci combines "the psychological insight of a great novelist and the irreverence of a bratty quiz kid."

Oriana

She wrote about herself in the preface to Interview with History
I do not feel myself to be, nor will I ever succeed in feeling like, a cold recorder of what I see and hear,  On every professional experience I leave shreds of my heart and soul; and I participate in what I see or hear as though the matter concerned me personally and were one on which I ought to take a stand (in fact I always take one, based on a specific moral choice).

A former Resistance Fighter and war correspondent, she lived for years in New York City but, approaching death, she returned to her beloved Italy where she died in Florence of breast cancer at age 76.

Report from the International Herald Tribune


she broke a decade-long, self-imposed silence with a long, brash essay published in Corriere della Sera, Italy's leading newspaper, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.  The essay was turned into a book, "The Rage and The Pride," which sold over 1 million copies in Italy and found a large audience elsewhere in Europe

In her next book, The Force of Reason, she wrote that Europe is "on the verge of becoming a dominion of Islam, and that the people of the West have surrendered themselves fecklessly to the "sons of Allah."    For that book, she was indicted and faced jail in Italy for the "vilification" of "any religion admitted by the state," in this case Islam.

From an interview in Opinion Journal by Tunku Varadarahan.

"When I was given the news," Ms. Fallaci says of her recent indictment, "I laughed. Bitterly, of course, but I laughed. No amusement, no surprise, because the trial is nothing else but a demonstration that everything I've written is true." An activist judge in Bergamo, in northern Italy, took it upon himself to admit a complaint against Ms. Fallaci that even the local prosecutors would not touch.
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Ms. Fallaci speaks in a passionate growl: "Europe is no longer Europe, it is 'Eurabia,' a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense. Servility to the invaders has poisoned democracy, with obvious consequences for the freedom of thought, and for the concept itself of liberty." Such words--"invaders," "invasion," "colony," "Eurabia"--are deeply, immensely, Politically Incorrect; and one is tempted to believe that it is her tone, her vocabulary, and not necessarily her substance or basic message, that has attracted the ire of the judge in Bergamo (and has made her so radioactive in the eyes of Europe's cultural elites).
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Ms. Fallaci speaks in a passionate growl: "Europe is no longer Europe, it is 'Eurabia,' a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense. Servility to the invaders has poisoned democracy, with obvious consequences for the freedom of thought, and for the concept itself of liberty." Such words--"invaders," "invasion," "colony," "Eurabia"--are deeply, immensely, Politically Incorrect; and one is tempted to believe that it is her tone, her vocabulary, and not necessarily her substance or basic message, that has attracted the ire of the judge in Bergamo (and has made her so radioactive in the eyes of Europe's cultural elites).

Asked whether there was any contemporary leader she admired, she replied,

"I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger."  Pope Benedict XVI was evidently a man in whom she reposed some trust. "I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion."

On political correctness which she calls the Modern Inquisition that keeps individuals in fear of expressing what they believe.


"If you are a Westerner and you say that your civilization is superior, the most developed that this planet has ever seen, you go to the stake. But if you are a son of Allah or one of their collaborationists and you say that Islam has always been a superior civilization, a ray of light...nobody touches you. Nobody sues you. Nobody condemns you."

She railed against Moslem aggression which threatened her beloved Europe as Lorenzo Vidino writes

Fallaci has her own interpretation of the massive Islamic immigration that is rapidly changing the face of European cities. She sees it as part of the expansionism that has characterized Islam since its birth. After reminding the reader how Islamic armies have aimed for centuries at the heart of Europe (a part of history that is not taught anymore in Europe, since it would offend the sensitivity of Muslim pupils), reaching France, Poland, and Vienna, she lays out her case, claiming that the current flood of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa is part of a carefully planned strategy. Fallaci uses the words of Muslim leaders to support this thesis.

The "sons of Allah," as Fallaci calls them, do not make a secret of their plans. A Catholic bishop recounted that, during an interfaith meeting in Turkey, a respected Muslim cleric told the crowd: "Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you. Thanks to our Islamic laws we will conquer you." But what really makes Fallaci's blood boil is the West's inability to even acknowledge this aggression
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Proud to honor itself, young and determined, America is perceived by Fallaci as the only hope for the West.

Childless, she wrote Letter to a Child Never Born,  which one reviewer considered to be "one of the finest feminist writings about pregnancy, abortion, and emotional torture."

The great love of her life was the martyred poet and Greek resistance leader Alekos Panagoulis about whom she wrote a novel, A Man, which was hailed in Europe as a masterpiece, garnering many prizes.

UPDATE:  The best quote I've read: "The darkness came and yet the darkness claimed her not" from the Belmont Club.    The full paragraph
.......a warrior in the fullness of her strength. At the time of her death Oriana Fallaci was facing a suit in Italy for daring to suggest that her country and culture were under threat from radical Islam. In her youth she did not bow to Hitler; and in her old age she hurled defiance at yet another tyranny. The darkness came and yet the darkness claimed her not.

UPDATE 2  Her friend, Michael Leeden writes
Hell of a lady....Hell of a writer...Hell of a woman.  I only knew her when she was older, and marked with the deep lines of her long fight against the “alien,” but she was still a vivacious and flirtatious gal who delighted in the flow of her powerful pheremones and very much enjoyed being around men who appreciated her considerable charms. Just look at some of those photos from her younger days. Wow.

a freedom fighter to the core.. She was one of the all-time great nonconformists, she fought tyranny wherever she saw it and she challenged evil, especially in the hands of hypocrites, as soon as she detected its rotten odor. She had a rare mixture of that amazing feminine sixth sense for phonies, and a ruthless objectivity that forced her to recognize positive qualities in even the most evil people, as when she spotted a kind of elegance and brilliance in the Ayatollah Khomeini.
---
Orianna’s cause was the pursuit of truth, whatever the political and social consequences. Once considered a fashionable leftists, she positively reveled in her ostracism in later years by her old admirers. She immersed herself in the words of her critics much more than in those of her allies, because she wanted to be able to demolish the criticism.

FROM her last interview, published in The New Yorker
You’ve got to get old, because you have nothing to lose,” she said over lunch that afternoon. “You have this respectability that is given to you, more or less. But you don’t give a damn. It is the ne plus ultra of freedom. And things that I didn’t used to say before—you know, there is in each of us a form of timidity, of cautiousness—now I open my big mouth. I say, ‘What are you going to do to me? You go fuck yourself—I say what I want.’ ”

From another friend, Robert Spencer

She was one of the most fearless and courageous defenders Western civilization had in these latter days, and the West rewarded her by hounding, persecuting and vilifying her.

I invite you, then, on this day of sadness and loss, to pay tribute to Oriana. There is no way we can make up for what we have lost in her. But the best way we can pay tribute to Oriana is by becoming Oriana. Let there be a hundred new Orianas today, a thousand new passionate and articulate and absolutely unbowed defenders of Western culture and civilization, with a fine contempt for all the many weapons of physical and psychological intimidation that the jihadists and their non-Muslim allies and tools in the Western media and government establishments use to try to silence and discredit us.

I admired this woman so much for her fierce courage, impassioned writing, total integrity and the bright light she gave.  I will miss her voice for years to come, in the same way I have missed Michael Kelly these past few years.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:43 PM | Permalink

Photographer alleges unearthing of bodies

Photojournalist Brian Denton whose work has appeared in the New York Times, alleges that some wire photographers were directing the unearthing of bodies in graves in order to compose more powerful and compelling photographs in what he later called "not an isolated incident".

i have been working in lebanon since all this started, and seeing the behavior of many of the lebanese wire service photographers has been a bit unsettling. while hajj has garnered a lot of attention for his doctoring of images digitally, whether guilty or not, i have been witness to the daily practice of directed shots, one case where a group of wire photogs were choreographing the unearthing of bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put in graves so that they can photograph them in peoples arms. these photographers have come away with powerful shots, that required no manipulation digitally, but instead, manipulation on a human level, and this itself is a bigger ethical problem.

The link to the original Denton posting no longer works as the Lightstalkers forum has removed the page.  Charles Johnson has captured the original post and has many updates here.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:07 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

Ann Richards

Funny, feisty and tart,  Ann Richards, former governor of Texas,  died at her home in Austin of esohageal cancer, age 73.

What most non-Texans remember about her is the keynote speech she gave at the 1988 Democratic convention, "Poor George," she said of Bush 41, "He can't help it.  He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

NYT obituary

Washington Post obituary
Said Anna Quindlen after the speech,

"She was nobody's fool,  She made them listen and she made them listen good, with precisely those qualities that we often try to iron out of politicians in general and female politicians in particular: a sense of fun, irreverence and general cussedness."

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Smart and sassy, with a homespun charm that often disarmed her political foes, she was making a name for herself across Texas, but her personal life was in shambles. Her political involvement put a strain on her marriage, which ended in divorce, and she began drinking heavily. Her friends eventually forced her into rehabilitation, and she credited their intervention with saving her life and her political career.
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In 1982, in a Democratic sweep of top offices, she was elected state treasurer. Receiving the most votes of any statewide candidate, she became the first woman elected to statewide office in Texas in 50 years.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:17 AM | Permalink

September 14, 2006

Electric man electrocuted - Shocking end

He appeared on national television to demonstrate his ability to resist electric shocks.  They called him "Hung Electric" until he was electrocuted while repairing a generator without cutting off the power supply.

Electric Man electrocuted.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:33 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 13, 2006

Death Letters

Death Letters

Tucked in a plain white envelope, it's much more: a Marine's final message to those he loved.

"Well if (you're) reading this I guess this deployment was a one way trip."

Those chilling words open a "death letter" from a fallen Marine, one of two San Antonians killed together in Haditha, Iraq.
At first glance, it looks like an ordinary piece of mail.
Tucked in a plain white envelope, it's much more: a Marine's final message to those he loved.

"Well if (you're) reading this I guess this deployment was a one way trip."

Those chilling words open a "death letter" from a fallen Marine, one of two San Antonians killed together in Haditha, Iraq.

No one seems to know exactly when during his two-month tour that Lance Graham, a lance corporal, supply clerk and gunner, took out a black ink pen and some steno paper, gathered his thoughts on mortality and wrote the three-page letter.

But Graham's father, Joseph Graham, remembers when the letter arrived. Two Marines delivered it and offered to read it aloud.

The elder Graham opted to read it with his own eyes, at his dining table.

His son, who had died May 7, 2005, in an insurgent ambush, had, without knowing when or whether he would meet his death in Iraq, written a loving farewell to friends and family members — and a moving tribute to those who serve.

"I just have a few things to ask. Please don't be mad at the Marine Corps. It was my choice to join and come here."

Letters such as Graham's have a long tradition in the military, one that continues even into an age when instant messaging and e-mail have rendered letter-writing a lost art. Some troops write death letters after a bad dream, battle or attack. Then they fold them up and tuck them into wallets, pockets or backpacks. Or hand them to other troops in other units for safekeeping.

Some send them on home with a caveat they're only to be read if the author is killed.

Ultimately, most death letters are destroyed. Graham's fate, however, ensured his would be a sincere, living testament of his loyalty to his family, his nation and his branch of service.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:13 AM | Permalink

September 11, 2006

Denise Gregory

It is a universal truth that memories fade over time.   

Denise Gregory was only 39, an employee of Carr Futures working as a foreign exchange clerk on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center when the first plane struck.

Her name is on the honor roll of those killed but that is all.  There are no obituaries, no tributes, no portrait of grief in the New York Times.

There is only a photo.

  Denise Gregory

Who remembers Denise Gregory?    Where are her friends and family? 

Her employer Carr Futures is now Calyon Financial, headquartered in Chicago.    I contacted Calyon Financial,  a global brokerage firm with offices around the world,  several times to find out about Denise, but all my calls went unanswered.  Even when I left messages saying I was planning to make a tribute to Denise on September 11, no one would return my call.    Corporations have short memories. 

And so the forgetting begins.    All that's left is the photo and her name.

Did Denise have someone to call and say I love you before she died?  The entire office survived the plane crash but no one made it out of the building.  Did she have someone's hand to hold?  She must have known that death was certain.  Was she afraid?  Did she have faith?  I hope so.  Was she brave?  Was she loved by someone who misses her still?  We will never know.

All that we know is that Denise Gregory was an ordinary American woman, going about her business  when the forces of darkness and hatred in the hearts of terrorists from Saudi Arabia, acting under the  direction of Osama Bin Laden, blew her to smithereens. 

People say they will never forget.  They always do.  Only writing survives to give hints about a person killed.  That and the memories of the people who loved her.  Where are they?

Only a photo and her name remains.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:40 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

Denise Gregory

It is a universal truth that memories fade over time. 

Denise Gregory was only 39, an employee of Carr Futures working as a foreign exchange clerk on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center when the first plane struck.

Her name is on the honor roll of those killed but that is all.  There are no obituaries, no tributes, no portrait of grief in the New York Times.

There is only a photo.

  Denise Gregory

Who remembers Denise Gregory?    Where are her friends and family?

Her employer Carr Futures is now Calyon Financial, headquartered in Chicago.    I contacted Calyon Financial,  a global brokerage firm with offices around the world,  several times to find out about Denise, but all my calls went unanswered.  Even when I left messages saying I was planning to make a tribute to Denise on September 11, no one would return my call.    Corporations have short memories. 

And so the forgetting begins.    All that's left is the photo and her name.

Did Denise have someone to call and say I love you before she died?  The entire office survived the plane crash but no one made it out of the building.  Did she have someone's hand to hold?  She must have known that death was certain.  Was she afraid?  Did she have faith?  I hope so.  Was she brave?  Was she loved by someone who misses her still?  We will never know.

All that we know is that Denise Gregory was an ordinary American woman, going about her business  when the forces of darkness and hatred in the hearts of terrorists from Saudi Arabia, acting under the  direction of Osama Bin Laden, blew her to smithereens. 

People say they will never forget.  They always do.  Only writing survives to give hints about a person killed.  That and the memories of the people who loved her.  Where are they?

Only a photo and her name remains. 

Other tributes of the 2996 killed that terrible day can be found at 2996.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:40 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 9, 2006

Quick Roundup

A quick roundup of some stories I missed while on vacation.

Headline of the day.  Man's body found in Des Moines cemetery

Whaaat?  Dublin hospital probes how extra heart, lungs ended up in dead man

He lived on a diet of sausage and waffles and died when he was 112.

New Orleans Radio Host Arrested for murder of his wife.  He constructed an alibi but forgot he left behind in his trailer a checklist of things to get for the murder.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:05 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Noah everyday

He took a picture of himself everyday for 6 years.  Noah, everyday

Apartments, backgrounds, clothes change and his hair has its own mind.  Remarkably, Noah maintains the same expression, the same eyes.

Timelines are always an interesting part of your Legacy Archives.

Mena Trott, co-founder of Six Apart takes a photo of herself everyday o show her Mom, to  remember what that day was about and to slow life down,

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:05 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

When a Government Destroys Records

It's a sad day when a western government destroys important historical records. 

Another reason to preserve and maintain your family records and stories in your own Personal Legacy Archives.

Belgian Authorities Destroy Holocaust Records.

The Belgian authorities have destroyed archives and records relating to the persecution and deportation of Jews in Belgium in the 1930s and 1940s. Some of this happened as recently as the late 1990s. This was revealed during hearings in the Belgian Senate last Spring.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:14 PM | Permalink

The Qualities of His Father's Being

Joshua Micah Marshall remembers his father who died suddenly of a heart attack in a touching tribute to the qualities of his father's being. 

In the two weeks since my dad died I’ve struggled to know how to describe him to those who didn’t know him. I can see him in my mind’s eye. I can feel who he was. I remember the texture of his skin and all his unique gestures. I felt his hand on my shoulder the day after he died. But like a fish who can’t describe the sea, because he was so central to my experience, I find it difficult to know how to explain who he was, how to decide which details to pick out of the panorama of my life with him. The qualities I remember are his curiosity and his integrity, his gentleness of spirit. The sounds and memories are of his laughter and wit, his lack of cant or pretense, the way he called me "my boy". But these recollections each stemmed from those first three qualities.
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His modesty was the root of his gentleness and empathy and, in a way I’m not sure I realized before he died, his curiosity. But it could also break my heart because sometimes I would look at it from another angle and see his insecurities and doubts.
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He never had any real wealth and never held a position of power. But at every stage of his life he was surrounded by this web of devoted friends who gravitated to him, like something that grew up around him wherever he went.
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In all the years I knew my father I don’t think there was any time I knew him happier or more content than in the final years of his life.  Two days after he died I wrote him a long letter that was with him when he was cremated. I told him how much I missed him and how much I loved him. I asked him to tell my mother I love her. And I told him I’d see them both again

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:11 PM | Permalink | TrackBack