Monday, December 12, 2005


“Why,” a reader asks, “are you so focused on death?” Well…here is the answer. When you get to be my age (on the downhill side of the cusp), members of your generation are dying all around. You notice. You give thanks you are still on the right side of the grass. You wonder if people will say you have lived a good life, if you will be missed. What else you can accomplish before you check out.

This week we lost a great comedian, Richard Pryor. And a great politician (much revered in Oregon), Eugene McCarthy. Every year, TIME Magazine runs a section on the year’s losses and I am always stunned to see the names of those who have gone on. Likewise, the list of deceased classmates was much longer at this past summer’s Reunion.

It is hard to believe that the Sixties are so far gone, and the years have stretched out this far. When I was in high school in the fifties, we could hardly visualize life in the Roaring Twenties and the dress of that period became costumes for our talent shows. Applying the same principle, today’s high school students will be making fun of The 70’s (I think there is a TV show by that name). The 60’s have drifted into oblivion. Andy asked the students in his guitar class who John Lennon was and none of them knew.

I remember seeing the Beatles on the now-famous Ed Sullivan Show when I was pregnant with Scott who will turn 42 next March. His whole lifetime ago. I guess I am falling into the Old Lady Trap of memories and reminisces. But I do honor those who have gone before and made a difference, whether in music or politics or other endeavors. Who alive today will make a mark to be remembered? What musician or politician or influential figure? Let me know what you think.


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