Archive for the ‘Death notices’ Category

The best show I can do

August 2, 2020

From the New York Times on 7/3 (in print), in an obit for for “Freddy Cole, 88, Bluesy Performer Who Emerged From Nat’s Shadow” by Giovanni Russonello: this modest and touching statement from Cole about his goals late in life:

“What I worry about is sounding good. I go and play music and do the best show I can do.”

I think this would be an excellent maxim for me: go and write my stuff and do the best show I can do.

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David Stampe

June 26, 2020

A preliminary death notice for David Stampe, an old friend and hugely influential colleague in my work in linguistics. A first pass, deficient in many of the customary details about academic careers, reproducing the death notice on Facebook from David’s son John (with some amendments in square brackets):

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South Cackalacky

June 10, 2020

Today’s morning name: South Cackalacky, mildly derogatory slang for South Carolina (suggesting crudeness, rusticity, and remoteness: the boondocks). And Cackalacky, for the Carolinas taken together, with the same associations. (Sorry,  Charleston, Charlotte, and Research Triangle.)

Then, of course, such associations can be inverted, to connote local pride, down-hominess, and the like. As has happened in this case.

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Socka Hitsch

February 14, 2020

… otherwise known as Christian Zwicky, which is why I note the death of an old eccentric rural Swiss roadside sock vendor. The big picture:


(#1) On the Archyde news website on 2/12

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Roses now, or roses later

January 29, 2020

On Sunday at the Palo Alto shapenote singing, we came to #340 in the 1991 Denson Sacred Harp, Odem (Second), with the chorus “Give me the roses while I live”. Counterbalanced, as it turns out, on the preceding page by #339, When I Am Gone, with the second verse “Plant you a rose that shall bloom o’er my grave, / When I am gone”.

Roses now, or roses later.

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The C.L. Baker Award

July 24, 2019

On March 6th, the Linguistic Society of America announced the creation of the C.L. Baker Award (named in memory of Carl Leroy Baker, known as Lee), and on July 12th put out the call for nominations.

Lee, who died in 1997, was my first Ph.D., the first person to finish a Ph.D. under my direction, with the excellent 1968 dissertation Indirect Questions in English (at the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). Also a friend and a fine person (modest, gently humorous, earnestly principled, and humane).

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Presidents Day weekend in Berkeley

February 16, 2019

A bit of personal and intellectual history, having to do with the fact that there was a period of years when on the Friday before Presidents Day my husband-equivalent Jacques Transue and I would drive from Palo Alto to Berkeley for the annual meeting of the BLS, the Berkeley Linguistics Society, then held in Dwinelle Hall at UCB over the three-day weekend. (It has since moved its dates to less crowded times during winter quarter.)

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Sylvain Bromberger

December 31, 2018

In the annual NYT Magazine “The Lives They Lived” issue (yesterday in print, 12/27 on-line), “Sylvain Bromberger: He theorized about not knowing — and he lived with it too” by James Ryerson, with a story of a mysterious escape from the Nazis and a distinguished career in philosophy.

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Bobby Pyron

December 1, 2018

(There will be frank discussions of men’s bodies and accounts in street language of mansex, so probably not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Among the many reflections, exhortations, reminiscences, elegies, and tributes for World AIDS Day, today, one from Mike Thomas about three people who died of complications of AIDS who had been important in his life: among them a mutual friend, Howard Faye, who I wrote about in a 12/30/16 posting “Howard at 57”; and Bobby Pyron, someone I didn’t know personally but appreciated as the porn star Lee Ryder.

I’ve written twice about Ryder on AZBlogX — details below — and knew only a little about Pyron (his passion in life was flower arranging, and he was said to be self-composed, unassuming, and a really nice guy), but Mike pointed me to an obit for him (preserved on the AIDS Memorial Facebook page) that filled in many details.

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63 years of green beans, mushroom soup, and fried onions

October 29, 2018

On the bon appétit magazine site on 10/26/18, “A moment of silence” by Alex Beggs:


(#1) Green bean casserole (photo from bon appétit)

Rest in peace, dear Dorcas Reilly, inventor of the green bean casserole [who died on 9/15]. Let’s toast a can of cream of mushroom soup in honor of the woman whose vision not only saw how a soup could bind a pot of green beans, but topped the whole thing with crunchy fried onions. Reilly worked in the Campbell’s test kitchen and loved cooking so much that after a full day of developing recipes, she’d go home and cook some more — a lot of soup, according to her husband. While our recipe gets a little bougie with homemade [Cremini] mushroom béchamel, the French’s fried onions on top stay true to the 1955 original. According to Campbell’s, over 20 million homes will serve green bean casserole on Thanksgiving, which is an incredible culinary legacy to leave, if you ask me.

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