EppsNet Archive: Obituaries

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 →

Fats Domino, 1928-2017

Ain’t that a shame . . . 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 →

Mary Tyler Moore, 1936-2017

I gave up watching TV about 20 years ago when I realized that for 10 years before that, I hadn’t seen anything I enjoyed watching, just people with strained expressions on their faces saying nonsensical things to each other. My fondest memory of television is the CBS Saturday night lineup that I watched as a kid: All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show, and I will always have fond memories of Mary Tyler Moore. RIP MTM Footnote: Those shows were followed on Saturday nights by The Carol Burnett Show, which I didn’t watch because Carol Burnett was not funny. Not to say women can’t be funny, but it seems like the women with the greatest comedic reputations — Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, for example — are never funny. To be fair, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway were not funny either. Read more →

Debbie Reynolds, 1932-2016

Did Debbie Reynolds Die of a Broken Heart? — The New York Times Debbie Reynolds died one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Correlation doesn’t imply causation blah blah blah but outliving a child must be an unbearable tragedy . . . RIP Debbie Reynolds Read more →

Carrie Fisher, 1956-2016

She died from complications of cardiac arrest. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, is 84 years old and still alive. If I believed in God, I would pray to him that I do not outlive my child . . . My main, and perhaps only, contribution in life is raising a son who surpasses me on every conceivable metric, so that when I’m gone and he’s still here, the world will be a better place. RIP Carrie Fisher Update: Debbie Reynolds died the following day. Read more →

John Glenn, 1921-2016

When I was a boy, we all wanted to be astronauts . . . RIP John Glenn Read more →

Frankie Ford, 1939-2015

I have a quote for you on that “One-Hit Wonder” thing. I’d like to go on record right here saying, whoever that disc jockey was that coined that phrase, well he’s a no-hit wonder! I mean, it can get rude. A DJ did that to me one time in his introduction. I turned to him and said, “Well, you’re a no-hit wonder. What have you ever done?” Some people have five records that sell a million each. Some sell none. I’ve had one that sold 30 million! And I’ve outlived that one record. I’ve been 38 years at this and it’s still going. — Frankie Ford RIP, Frankie Ford Read more →

Geoff Edwards, 1931-2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Geoff Edwards, the hip-looking 1970s and ’80s host of TV game shows including “Jackpot!” and two incarnations of “Treasure Hunt” died Wednesday, his agent said. He was 83. “Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I’ve worked with,” said fellow game show host Wink Martindale. The two were DJs at pop radio station KMPC in Los Angeles. — Game show host Geoff Edwards dies at 83 – MSN TV News Shocking, shocking news . . . Wink Martindale is still alive?! RIP Geoff Edwards Read more →

Jim Fregosi, 1942-2014

I grew up in Orange County as an Angels fan. They were a team of losers at that time, but I went to a lot of games with my dad and had a good time watching them play. Jim Fregosi was my favorite player, usually the only good player on a typical Angels roster. RIP Jim Fregosi. Read more →

He Stopped Loving Her Today

Country music legend George Jones dies at 81 — CNN.com Read more →

Gore Vidal, Lifelong Bachelor

The Economic Times here in Bangalore has a great obituary of Gore Vidal. It includes an anecdote in which Vidal skewers Saul Bellow and his multiple wives, followed by the sentence Never married himself, Gore . . . Probably, like Liberace, just never found the right girl. Read more →