Tag Archives: funeral

November Rambling: Candy, Poetry, and 50 Shades

An Opinion Piece On A Controversial Topic. “Pretty awesome meta.”

Gettysburg Address at 150.

Heidi Boghosian joins Bill Moyers for a conversation on what we all need to know about surveillance in America. “Spying on democracy,” indeed.

The defense should not be permitted to refer to the prosecutor… as “the Government.” It might sound… prejudicial.

Texas Man Sued for Defamation by Fracking Company that Contaminated his Water Supply.

“You could get better if you wanted to.” “You should just try harder.” “You’re being lazy.” “You need to be more motivated.” “You’re so needy.”

Methodist Pastor Has 30 Days to Renounce His Gay Children or Be Defrocked; it’s a matter of right and wrong.

Always Go to the Funeral.

Exclusive excerpt from Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix retrospective. Some lifetime ago, before Maus Continue reading November Rambling: Candy, Poetry, and 50 Shades

Blood, football, and a funeral

This keeps happening, so I shouldn’t be surprised, yet I often am anyway: I meet some older persons, generally at church, and get along with them well. Yet, when they die, and I read the obituaries and/or go to the funerals, I realize how little I really knew them.

Such was the case with Carolyn Garvin, a member of my church, whose funeral my wife attended this weekend. She was the nice old lady who always commented on how well the choir, of which I was a member, performed. She always was a very good conversational listener as well.

The things I DIDN’T know about her, though, were staggering. Continue reading Blood, football, and a funeral

Shades of the autumn of '04

I came home Friday night and realized I had forgotten my antibiotic pills at the office, which I was supposed to take every six hours. Worse, I couldn’t find my stinkin’ badge to get back into the building, even if I had returned to work. Reluctantly, I called a friend from work, and she picked me up, got me into the building, and helped me get my medicine.

Saturday, I went over to another friend’s house. I had been surprised to discover Continue reading Shades of the autumn of '04

Curiouser and curiouser: 20 questions

There’s this website Curious as a Cat, and it asks one to three questions each week. Here are some from 2006 and 2007 I deigned to answer.

1. What is the one experience in your life that has caused the most pain?
Physical pain. Tie between a broken rib and oral surgery. Emotional, surely an affair of the heart.

2. If you had to pick one thing, what would you say is the single thing that can destroy a soul?
Telling so many lies that you start thinking it’s the truth.

3. What one thing always speaks deeply to you, to your spirit, no matter your mood or what else is going on in your life?
Music, always. I hear it all the time. Sometimes it’s something I’ve heard recently, but more often it’s a tune suitable for the moment.

4. What is the least appropriate thing to pray for? Continue reading Curiouser and curiouser: 20 questions

Mary Durkot, R.I.P.

I attended my third funeral of 2012 last week. But let me back up a bit.

Mary Durkot was the mother of one of my oldest friends, as in my friend and I went to kindergarten together. This means I knew Mrs. Durkot – I never referred to her by her first name – for over a half century. She lived in Binghamton, NY, my hometown, all of her 92 years.

One of the last times I saw her was when my daughter was a baby. She took such pleasure in seeing her, as though Lydia were one of her own grandchildren.

On June 30, the day before she passed, all four of her children, along with several of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, spent the day with her, as my friend put it, “laughing and cracking wise.” This was pretty remarkable Continue reading Mary Durkot, R.I.P.

Nora Ephron, Andy Griffith, and the sense of loss

I was looking at the situation all wrong. When Nora Ephron died last week, I was thinking about her top movie moments rather than her life. I was evaluating her films: liked Sleepless in Seattle, but You’ve Got Mail, not so much. Enjoyed Heartburn. InJulie and Julia: Julia-yes, Julie-eh. Silkwood I enjoyed, but I wouldn’t even watch Bewitched.

Then I read John Blumenthal’s piece Continue reading Nora Ephron, Andy Griffith, and the sense of loss


I’m at my allergist’s office a week ago Monday morning, waiting the requisite 30 minutes after my injection, when I see this story on the TV news about a 21-month-old boy “found dead in a Troy apartment Saturday night. Officials say… Avery James Cahn was left unattended by his caretaker, who police found and brought in for questioning, but was later released.”

My wife and I attended the funeral last Thursday. Continue reading Avery

Trudy's funeral program

Since, once again, I’m writing about this before the fact, I thought I’d describe the thought process behind what (presumably) took place at the service yesterday.

The front of the bulletin, in addition to the usual information, contains this scripture: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19). I think Leslie picked this scripture and it was pretty accurate. I opted for the New International Version, because most of the other versions mention only “brothers”, or “bretheren”.


In lieu of a wake, there was scheduled to be a time for the family to receive friends at the church from 1 to 1:45 pm. During this time, my niece Alex was putting together a bunch of photos of Mom, both solo and in various family combinations. At the same time, there would be secular music playing: Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles and especially her favorite, Nat ‘King’ Cole. She had a bunch of Cole 78s when I was growing up.

Prelude-“Sweet, Sweet Spirit”
Though ths is a reference to the Holy Spirit, she did in fact have a sweet spirit.

Lighting the Candle – the granddaughters
My mother had three granddaughters: Leslie’s daughter, Rebecca Staubes, who is 32; Marcia’s daughter, Alexandria Green-House, who turned 20 at the end of December; and Lydia, my daughter, who will turn 7 next month. Assuming Becky can get a flight, this will be the first time that Rebecca and Lydia have met, though the older two and the younger two are very tight. And Lydia has seen Rebecca on Wipeout.

Invocation – Rev. Cannon

Hymn of Praise- – “Goin’ Up Yonder”
Initially, it was going to be “I’ll Fly Away”, a song I always associate with that great TV show of the early 1990s, starring Regina Taylor a pre-“law & Order” Sam Waterston, as well as the soundtrack to the movie O Brother Where Art Thou. The final selection, though, I don’t particularly know.

Scriptural Reading: Proverbs 31:10-31
The Wife of Noble Character, or the Virtuous Woman, which Leslie picked out, and which her daughter Rebecca will read. Continue reading Trudy's funeral program

Last dance music QUESTION

I have this Facebook friend, who not only is an actual terrestrial friend but who I see regularly. Anyway she sent around this list of disco songs from which she would like the music for her funeral.

Whereas I would like a nice dignified affair. But the last song ought to be done in chicken. Almost any tune can be done in chicken. Exhibit A: unfortunately, just a snippet of In The Mood by Henhouse Five Plus Too, which is the nom de cluck of singer Ray Stevens. I don’t know if I can overstate the significance this song has had on my life, ever since I heard it on some Warner Brothers Lost Leader Continue reading Last dance music QUESTION