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The Tale of Two

From the NY Daily News comes a story titled New Jersey man’s wife and girlfriend memorialize him in dueling obituaries.IMG_0247


First, it’s fascinating that the newspaper allowed both of these obituaries to be posted. I guess the editor didn’t want to get in the middle of a duel between his “loving wife” and his “long time girlfriend”.

Not surprisingly, neither mentioned the other. The first obituary says he died “at home surrounded by his family”. The second  just says he died at home, and refers to him with the nickname of “Leroy Blast Black”. If you look closely, you can also see that the word longtime is misspelled in the second. Just details.

And when the reporter contacted the newspaper to find out why they posted both obituaries, their answer kept it simple. Because “the wife wanted it one way, and the girlfriend wanted it another way”.

I guess there is nothing illegal about that. I just wonder how comfortable everyone will be at the viewing and funeral. Will the seating be similar to a wedding with friends on one side… and friends on the other.

And, this is more like cartoon o’ day instead of pic o’…


A Job Well Done

     Yesterday morning I was drinking my coffee and getting ready to jump on an exercise machine. At the same time, I was scrolling through my emails and noticed the NY Times had arrived in my in-box. I guess I was looking for distraction and delay from my workout.

      I scrolled down the stories and saw this headline in the obituaries : Jerry Parr, Secret Service Agent Who Helped Save Reagan, Dies at 85.

     Parr was just a few feet away from President Reagan when John W. Hinckley Jr.  opened fire.

                                 (From the Associated Press)


This is this part of the obituary that was lifted out of his memoir, that says his courageous thoughts and motivation when he heard the gunshots:

When he was about probably six or seven feet from the car, I heard these shots,” Mr. Parr said in a 2013 interview promoting the memoir he wrote with his wife. “I sort of knew what they were, and I’d been waiting for them all of my career, in a way. That’s what every agent waits for, is that.”

After the shots rang out, Parr grabbed President Reagan and shoved him into a waiting limousine. Parr then shouted at the driver, “Take off!”. At that point, Parr thought that they were clear of the scene and no harm had been done, until he turned to see the President spitting up blood. That’s when he told the President, ” We’re taking you to the hospital”.

Here’s the kicker to that, as listed in the obituary. His fascination with the Secret Service began when he was nine. His father took him to see a movie Code of the Secret Service. The movie starred Ronald Reagan as Agent Brass Bancroft.

When Parr’s wife was interviewed, she summarized by saying that “He felt very satisfied with his work. He felt like it was a great privilege”. A good thought for all of us!

And for pic o’ day, this just makes me laugh:


“Pleased With The Outcome”

2 Timothy 4:7 Gives us Paul’s view of his life when he said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”. Paul saw his life as complete.

I usually glance through the obituary sections of a few newspapers each day. Sometimes you can learn a lot about a person  in a few paragraphs. Yesterday, I felt that way about James B. Lusk,  Jr., because he had written his own obituary. It reminded me of Paul’s words in 2 Timothy.

Mr Lusk started by writing, “If you are reading this, I, Jim Lusk, have flown from this earth for the final time on Feb. 13, 2014. These paragraphs will serve the custom of announcing my death and comment on my family and my life.”

The next paragraphs included a discussion of his life and family. He then ended his obituary with, ” There should be no sorrow at my leaving for I have led my life to the best of my ability and am pleased with the outcome.”

When I read those words, it made me think. It also challenged me. Many times in my representation, I am required to introduce a life expectancy table for the jury to consider in determining damages. A measure of life.  Both Paul and Mr Lusk took a measure of their life and found it with an ending of satisfaction.

DID YOU KNOW that Roman civilization invented the arch… McDonald’s made them golden.

And for pic o’ day we have a dog who is looking for satisfaction in life:

Dog satisfaction


The Obituary Editorial

It has been called an obituary of hate. I read about it a few weeks ago and just kept putting off writing about it. So, here goes:

First, the controversial obituary that was printed in the Reno Gazette Journal. It has since been pulled from the online edition because “the incorrect date of death was listed”. Rather than correction… they went with deletion.

Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Aug. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her death from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.

Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her death can revive our message that abusing children is unforgivable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a “humane society”. Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.

According to the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel, the story and reason for the obituary:

“People may see this as something we did to shame our mother,” Patrick Reddick, the second oldest of eight children, said in a phone interview Wednesday. “But this is to bring shame to the issue of child abuse. I want every single person to realize this could be your obituary.”
     The article goes on to add about the one-time paralegal/mother that:

Katherine and Patrick Reddick both testified at the Nevada Legislature in the 1980s on bills related to child abuse and the termination of parental rights.

“We were constantly physically, mentally abused even after being taken away and put in the children’s home,” Patrick Reddick said during his testimony in 1987. He said that on weekends, they were sent home to an office on Court Street in Reno, sometimes lined up and beaten with a steel-tipped belt.

Despite being removed from their mother and placed in an orphanage, the court system never tried to terminate parental rights, he said Wednesday.

“It was something that could have given us a life,” Patrick Reddick said. “How do you let a child live in foster care for 14, 15 or more years?”

Patrick adds that he hopes that people will look upon this to consider that children have rights too. Their obituary has gotten plenty of press. The Reddicks are glad. As Katherine Reddick adds, “The things that she did to us were horrible but it’s still happening to kids everyday.”

It’s hard to segue from this to DID YOU KNOW and pic o’ day… but that’s the blog.

DID YOU KNOW that the word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.  Of course, I won’t be able to remember that word either.

I guess we can call it whatever we want… like a bad memory. That brings to mind the quote from Abraham Lincoln and what we can call it.

     “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?…. Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg!”  

And for pic o’ day that was sent to me, which seemed appropriate  for this lengthy blog:

long dog
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