Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'd have thought I was too young for this

When I worked at the Dispatch, writing obituaries was one of my favorite things. People are so interesting. But aside from the few "glory obits" we ran -- the long staff-written pieces usually reserved for community leaders and accident victims -- there weren't many obits worth reading. Most of the paid ones (those in tiny type in the back of the local section) were written like mad libs: 

[Name] [euphemism for "died"] [date] [location]. [He/she] was born to [parents] [location] [date]. [Military service info, if any, plus small flag icon.] [List of survivors.] [Etc.]

Our favorite euphemism for "died" may have been "was carried to heaven by the Lord's angels." 

But HERE! Not only is the type of the obituaries bigger, but they are full of interesting details. A fellow in Wednesday's paper "enjoyed gardening, farming, spending time with his family and grandchildren, playing poker and dancing with his wife." I imagine his wife liked that! Then there was the woman who got her purple belt in karate at the age of 67 (I think). There was the man who, in addition to many other interests, developed a habit of driving to the local store, parking, watching people out the car window for hours and eating cheese curls. The employees of the store even dedicated his usual spot to him!

No one here is "carried to heaven by the Lord's angels," though -- or if they are, the obituaries don't mention it in as many words.

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