Sunday, January 01, 2006


the lives they lived

an annual ritual of mine on new years day is to take a look at the new york times magazine's "the lives they lived" section, to give kavod to people who lived interesting lives, who may have slipped by without the proper acknowledgement.

it's always fascinating to see whom they chose to pay homage, passing up the pope, rosa parks, johnny carson, peter jennings, shirley chisholm, arthur miller, simon wiesenthal, johnnie cochran, and richard pryor, and instead honoring others, whose passing may have been unnoticed... (for a longer list, see this article, or many others online)

some of the remembered include the voice of tony the tiger and the singing voice of the grinch; a man who sued the us government for his internment in a japanese internment camp during world war 2, and someone who worked at the same job for 69 of his 97 years.

we also have the the inventor of the bundt pan; a heroic flight attendant; one of educational cinema's great auteurs; and an expert oragamist.

and don't forget the man, unfortunately best remembered for "who am I? why am I here?" during the vp debates, but who struggled to maintain dignity and humanity as a pow during the vietnam war; the namesake for a device that runs on 2.21 gigawatts of electricity; and a new orleans policeman who sadly took his own life, after helping many people, when the despair became too much for him to handle.

may their memories be for a blessing.

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