EppsNet Archive: Obituaries

My Boyhood Sports Icons Are Dying: Jim Kiick

 

Jim Kiick was a running back, primarily with the Miami Dolphins, from 1968 to 1977. He played in three Super Bowls, winning two, and scored the decisive touchdown in Super Bowl VII, a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins that capped off an undefeated 17-0 swason. He is the Dolphins’ fourth all-time leading rusher. Kiick had been suffering from dementia and living in an assisted care center for several years prior to his death. RIP Jim Kiick Read more →

My Boyhood Sports Icons Are Dying: Wes Unseld

 

Wes Unseld was the second overall pick by the Baltimore Bullets in 1968. He was the only player other than Wilt Chamberlain to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in the same year. At 6-foot-7, he played center and averaged 14 rebounds a game for his career. He played in four NBA finals with the Bullets, winning one, in which he was voted MVP, in 1978. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988. RIP Wes Unseld Read more →

Little Richard, 1932-2020

 

[Trigger warning for language :o] It’s very easy for people to forget what rock and roll really is. Look man, I’m forty-seven years old, and I grew up in Wyoming, and I stole cars and drove five hundred miles to watch Little Richard, and I wanna tell you somethin’ — when I saw this nigger come out in a gold suit, fuckin’ hair flyin’, and leap up onstage and come down on his piano bangin’ and goin’ fuckin’ nuts in Salt Lake City, I went, “Hey man, I wanna be like him. This is what I want.” — David Briggs, quoted by Neil Young in Waging Heavy Peace RIP “Little Richard” Penniman Read more →

Kobe Bryant, 1978-2013

 

One never knows when the blow may fall, Mamba Mentality notwithstanding. He wakes up this morning and a few hours later he dies at the age of 41. It sounds like they may have been flying through fog and hit a hillside rather than hitting the ground. Is there enough time to grab your daughter’s hand and say “I love you” or is it all over too fast? Which would be better or worse? RIP Kobe Bryant, Gianna and all the other passengers Read more →

Steve Martin Caro, 1948-2020

 

He was the lead singer on one of my favorite 1960s songs . . . RIP Steve Martin Caro Read more →

W.S. Merwin, 1927-2019

 

I think there’s a kind of desperate hope built into poetry that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there’s still time. W.S. Merwin RIP W.S. Merwin Also . . . “Yesterday” by W.S. Merwin How Can You Ever Be Sure? Read more →

My Boyhood Sports Icons Are Dying: Frank Robinson

 

Frank Robinson played and managed for a number of teams, but I remember him best as part of the Baltimore Oriole teams managed by Earl Weaver, with Mark Belanger, Davey Johnson, Boog Powell, Don Buford, Paul Blair, Andy Etchebarren, Elrod Hendricks, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, Tom Phoebus, and fellow Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer. RIP Frank Robinson Read more →

Mary Oliver, 1935 – 2019

 

Mary Oliver was an American poet who won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She died today of lymphoma at the age of 83. The Poetry Foundation has a biography and a selection of poems, although I prefer the selection at the Peaceful Rivers site. Her work had a Whitmanesque love of life. I’ve included one of my favorites here: The Journey One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice — though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full… Read more →

Willie McCovey, 1938-2018

 

Willie McCovey: Giants legend dead at 80 — SFChronicle.com My boyhood sports idols are dying . . . RIP Willie McCovey Read more →

Anthony Bourdain, 1956-2018

 

I think of Anthony Bourdain as the guy who started the whole “bad-boy chef” industry, which has been, in my view, bad for society. Or maybe it was Gordon Ramsay. Is Gordon Ramsay still alive? RIP Anthony Bourdain Read more →

Philip Roth, 1933-2018

 

The final question assigned to the class was “What is life?” Merry’s answer was something her father and mother chuckled over together that night. According to Merry, while the other students labored busily away with their phony deep thoughts, she — after an hour of thinking at her desk — wrote a single, unplatitudinous declarative sentence: “Life is just a short period of time in which you are alive.” “You know,” said the Swede, “it’s smarter then it sounds. She’s a kid — how has she figured out that life is short? She is somethin’, our precocious daughter. This girl is going to Harvard.” But once again the teacher didn’t agree, and she wrote beside Merry’s answer, “Is that all?” Yes, the Swede thought now, that is all. Thank God, that is all; even that is unendurable. — American Pastoral RIP Philip Roth Read more →

Tom Wolfe, 1930-2018

 

Everything that bloggers have done for journalism — and I personally think they’ve done a lot — Wolfe did it first, he did it 30 years earlier, and he did it better. And I think we’re still catching up to him. — Lev Grossman Tom Wolfe had a rare combination of ideas, insight and a virtuosity with language. A lot of writers do well with at most one out of the three. You can read Tom Wolfe quotes all over the web but I include one of my favorites (from The Bonfire of the Vanities) here: Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later . . . that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of… Read more →

Connie Hawkins, 1942-2017

 

Connie Hawkins was my basketball role model growing up. I used to stretch my fingers around basketballs religiously so I could try to replicate his moves, most of which required the ability to palm the ball like a grapefruit (see photo). Also: Foul! The Connie Hawkins Story by David Wolf is one of the best sports books ever written. RIP Connie Hawkins Read more →

Tom Petty, 1950-2017

 

In December 2016, Tom Petty talked with Rolling Stone about his then-upcoming 2017 tour, which just ended last week at the Hollywood Bowl here in Los Angeles: I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. Sad, as President Trump would say. Big life events can kill you . . . RIP Tom Petty Read more →

Walter Becker, 1950-2017

 

It’s hard times befallen the Soul Survivors She thinks I’m crazy but I’m just growing old RIP Walter Becker Read more →

Denis Johnson, 1949-2017

 

Three rules to write by: Write naked. That means to write what you would never say. Write in blood. As if ink is so precious you can’t waste it. Write in exile, as if you are never going to get home again, and you have to call back every detail. RIP Denis Johnson Read more →

Lightning, 2003-2017

 

We got Lightning as a Xmas present for our boy in 2003. Things we learn from dogs: Unconditional love Nothing lasts forever Later in life, Lightning lost most of the use of his back legs. He had to drag them a little when he tried to walk. He couldn’t jump anymore and couldn’t go up or down the stairs but he never complained about that. He also lost his eyesight. Never complained about that either. He never got sad or frustrated when he occasionally walked into a wall or a piece of furniture. He had a good mental map of the house and didn’t need or want help to get around. Last year, the vet thought he might have a leaky heart valve but that turned out not to be the case. His heart was invincible all the way. The only thing he ever got sad about was toward the… Read more →

Chuck Barris, 1929-2017

 

Chuck Barris was well ahead of his time in recognizing how many Americans are willing to make an ass of themselves on television. The quote below is from the movie based on his book Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I don’t know if the quote is actually in the book but I include it here nonetheless . . . When you are young, your potential is infinite. You might do anything, really. You might be Einstein. You might be DiMaggio. Then you get to an age where what you might be gives way to what you have been. You weren’t Einstein. You weren’t anything. That’s a bad moment. RIP Chuck Barris Read more →

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