Famous (or perhaps infamous) deaths, that is.
(Of course, this all depends on how one defines fame or the starting point! And this is MY blog.)
I am sad to report on the passing of Patrick Macnee, most famously known as John Steed of the British TV series The Avengers. At age 93.
The series ran in three permutations – the original British-only version (co-starring Honor Blackman), the import (with the most-lusted-after Diana Rigg), and a third version with Tara Thorson (later of Absolutely Fabulous).
Of course, most of us loved the series co-starring Ms. Rigg. Leather cat suits and all.
And how dapper was Patrick Macnee with his Edwardian clothes, bowler hat and lethal umbrella?
I remember an interview after the series, wherein Mr. MacNee quipped he had been approached about yet another remake. He responded, “What would they call it, The Geriatric Avengers?”
Retired, Mr. MacNee spent much of his time in his Rancho Mirage, California home, wearing Aloha shirts and shorts. He claimed doing so allowed him his privacy, as no one recognized him without his bowler and umbrella!
You will be missed, good sir!
the reaper the mechanic, NPR
Except it wasn’t.
After I shot Bob’s (the former PI, gun store manager) Heckler & Koch 91, I knew I had to have one!
It took me over 10 years to acquire one. And it definitely wasn’t a G3 (the select-fire version). It wasn’t even really a Heckler & Koch 91 (the semiautomatic version).
She was a PTR91 (H&K parts, except a domestically-produced receiver, to comply with the spurious, unconstitutional and misnamed Assault Weapons Ban).
The good news is she shot similarly. Functioned exactly the same. And took same foreign parts. Expensive German-made H&K parts.
(Wait a minute – maybe this was the BAD news?)
I remember purchasing some different furniture and a sling for her at a gun show. At premium, President Clinton inspired prices! Fortunately, there were bazillions of cheap magazines.
The bad news was I could never afford the case lot prices for ammunition.
Which meant she was never shot very much.
AND, she was a PITA to clean and re-lube, for a neophyte like me.
Of course, she was stolen in the safe with the others. That’s what I get for deciding I liked rifles, too!
So, it’s another Father’s Day.
This is my twentieth without Molly around.
My own father lost a son (my twin brother – name unknown to me), and a daughter, through a previous divorce. He was not around to suffer the loss of Molly. If he had been, I could have asked him how he dealt with such ephemeral matters.
I guess I know, at least in part, how he dealt – he drank and he overate.
Traits familiar to me.
Fortunately, I’m not an alcoholic and am dealing with my food issues.
If only I knew how to deal with the issue of loss.
Guess I am, in reality. I’m still here. And I have the love of my friends and family.
And that, my friends, is everything.
Go and hug your children and tell them you love them! Because you never know.
Mr. Bugliosi was 80.
Personally, he and I held some differing, and alike opinions.
He sided with the Warren Commission, even participating in a television drama ‘prosecuting’ Lee Harvey Oswald. (Gerry Spence was the defense attorney).
But he desperately wanted to reopen the RFK murder investigation, as there were so many unanswered questions.
But, he did ‘get’ Manson and company.
I always wanted a Rolex™.
When I was newly married (and quite cash poor) I used to moon at the jeweler’s window in the Christown Mall, eying the Oyster Perpetual (in stainless or course, the lowest rung). I think they wanted $350 for it!
Might as well have been 10 million!
Of course, this lust was because of my following of the tales of James Bond. Since the 7th Grade. Both the films and the books. (Hint – the books are superior!)
When I became an adult, the lust continued. And I never cobbled together enough funds to acquire one.
(I toyed with buying a knock-off on the Internet once, but it was Chinese, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it!)
Then I read a story.
Some guy was flying first class, and happened to be seated next to a well-appointed businessman. They got to talking, and it turned out the business guy was the president of Rolex!
So, in the name of polite conversation, the other guy asked, “How’s the watch business?”
The response? “I’ve no idea – I’m in the luxury business!”
And, as a (somewhat) responsible adult, I always chuckled at the idea of a British intelligence agent either buying or being issued such an expensive timepiece. Certainly not to keep undercover?
Then, Stormbringer gave me the answer!
(You have to click on the watch to see it!)
I’m old enough to remember the Watts riots in L.A., Detroit. Rodney King? And a multitude of others. And something has always bothered me:
WHY do these folks feel the need to violently destroy THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS to make a point?
In days of yore, I participated in protests. I remember one at the State Capitol, wherein we stood in the Summer heat (all 250 or so of us) to protest The Clinton so-called ‘Assault Weapons Ban’, and our own State legislature considering similar legislation. This was in the 90’s – the temperature was around 100°.
And not one of us engaged in violence, criminal looting or destruction. We had been advised not to come armed, and we didn’t. We carried signs (and American flags), signed petitions, talked amongst ourselves and drank lots of water. And listened politely to speakers like Sheriff Mack. And watched media trucks circle us deciding whether or not we were worth a spot on the 10 o’clock news.
Apparently we weren’t.
Here’s one opinion as to why they foul their own nests:
The borderline-Jacobins at Slate, who believe spanking is child abuse, and personal responsibility is out of fashion, try to explain looting away as a social phenomenon: “Why would anyone burn down the only CVS in their neighborhood?”
The reason, I think, is likely the same reason that poor black Americans in cities across the country burned “their own” neighborhoods in the late 1960s:
They did not experience those places as their own. Then, like now, police brutality was a precipitating cause of the violence, but it was the long-term experience of the indignities of the ghetto that gave shape to the riots. Then, like now, commentators compared the rioters to animals who had run wild and needed discipline. Rioting, to these bystanders, was not proper political protest but the criminal actions of poor people who merely wanted to grab what they could for free. This narrative, which I heard throughout my childhood growing up in Baltimore in the 1980s, put the blame not on the depredations of the ghetto, but on the character of its residents. It completely misapprehends the political economy of our poorest neighborhoods.
In other words: they riot because society has ignored them. Not only is that a specious argument, but it also highlights the fact that Baltimore hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1968. So which party is responsible for ignoring the downtrodden social class?
Told another way, Abraham Miller at National Review wrote:More @ Red State
Life doesn’t always go as we plan or desire. We certainly cannot control others in their personal plans or desires.
Especially, in matters of the heart.
Sometimes, we must let them go…
When love is good, it’s very, very good.
And when it goes away, it sucks.
Twenty six days before the accident
I’m so much better a man for having known her.
I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!
(Truly, I cannot believe it’s been Twenty Years!)
There are things that are good to remember; things bad to remember; and things important to remember.
The crummy part of all this is sometimes my brain is not too good at discerning which is which, or what goes with what.
My character (being flawed and neurotic as it is) has a tendency to default to the bad.
A shrink, I’m certain, would say it’s all about low self esteem, negative messages from childhood, etc. The reasons don’t matter.
Twenty years ago, today was the accident in which our daughter Molly was killed.
I was driving – this makes me ultimately responsible, as I was The Dad. The Protector. The fact the other driver ran the red light while speeding is of no consequence.
I carry a sidearm. I’ve done so for 41 years. Long before I even met Molly’s mother, I chose to do whatever I could to protect myself and my family and friends. It’s a roll I haven’t taken lightly.
And I took my assignment as Protector even more seriously when I became a father. It’s what father’s are supposed to do!
We were making a left turn from 44th Street, East onto Thomas Road. A little after 1 PM. Going to Monkey Wards after an earlier visit to Famous Footwear @ 20th St. and Camelback. Saturday’s with 12 year old daughters meant shopping! The signal didn’t have a left turn arrow back then. It was just like in the movies – in the midst of completing the turn, I sensed something was wrong. Based on the estimated speed of the other car, we were pushed across the intersection in about one-tenth of a second.
And many lives changed forever.
I’ve no memory regarding what happened next. Nothing to recall on the witness stand months later. I was told I regained consciousness enough to give my estranged wife’s phone number to the ambulance guy, when I was asked if there was anyone he could call.
I had early drugged hospital memories of being on board a ship(!) Not enough consciousness to ask why I was on a ship. Turned out, with one (now re-inflated) collapsed lung and the other half filled with fluid, County Hospital had me on a pneumatic bed which kept hissing and rolling, to keep fluids from settling in my damaged lungs. Ribs pushed into a lung. Broken collar bone. Broken arm. Tube up the nose, and IV morphine/ativan drip.
My sister, wife and friends were there, being supportive and keeping loving watch as much as they could. Not wanting to answer the obvious question: Where was Molly?
In my few awake moments, I remember asking about the funeral, desperately wanting to be well enough to attend.
My wife was told Sunday morning there had not been any brain activity, and had the courage to disconnect life support. Had our roles been reversed, I don’t think I would have had the bravery. I am forever grateful to her for this. A number of folks benefited from her decision.
The funeral was that following Tuesday. I was largely unconscious in ICU at County for another two weeks.
Ultimately, after being moved to Good Sam, being given Tylenol in lieu of the morphine/ativan drip (!) and weeks in the regular hospital and rehab, I was able to walk and breathe again.
I was deeply depressed and pretty much just counting the days.
Until I could pay my respects.
That came weeks later.
I’ll say it again, as long as I take breath – Tell your family and friends you love them, right now!
Because you may never get another chance.
AND be an organ donor.
I try to remember the good times. The IMPORTANT ONES. It’s what has kept me alive for the past twenty years.
My thanks to all of you, family and friends, for holding me up, until I could stand on my own.
(Commentary has been turned off – I know how you all feel. Thanks, again.)
I remember as a child, the whole fam damly (as it was sometimes described) being shuffled into the station wagon, and off to the movies! Usually, a drive in theater. They were ubiquitous, and readily available in the Arizona weather. Much of the time, they were an extension of the TV-as-babysitter, translation: put the boy in from of a moving picture and he’ll go out like a light!
Then later in my youth, being dropped off at a Saturday afternoon matinee, with a friend or two, and funds for goodies – what a way to get them out of the house and from under foot. The only rule was call when the movie let out (translation: make certain you had a dime left from that fiver!)
Being a self-described child of TV, when gadget-addict friend Bob P. (one of the many Bobs) announced he had a videotape player/recorder, I knew something was beginning to change. This Magnavox machine took VHS tapes, but no standard had yet to be decided upon, and tapes made upon it wouldn’t play on later standardized VHS machines! It also had vacuum tubes as part of it’s construction, weighed a ton, and cost about $1000 (in 1975 dollars)!
Thus began the slow decline as technology continued to develop, and people began renting Beta and VHS tapes, (remember Laserdiscs?) then DIVX, then DVD, and now can see many movies/TV shows via the Internet and BlueRay.
And the audience figured out that while the kids used to hang out in the back of the Vista Cruiser in their jammies, and the adults dressed up to go to the theater, it was just more convenient for all to stay in the living room in their jammies. (Or boxer shorts, in the case of my Dad.)
And you didn’t have to trudge across a gravel-laden parking lot in the dark to a grimy snack bar restroom, either.
And while the drive ins have mostly faded away, now the indoor theaters are as well. Few want to pay $15+ each for a seat, plus another $20 for drinks and snacks, when they can watch Netflix or Amazon at home in their skivvies.
Another childhood dream of a secret agent meeting place in an nearly empty theater is going away.
And teenaged fantasies of making out (or more) in Dad’s station wagon now have to be redirected.
(FTC – Magnavox, Amazon and Netflix have given me nothing!)