Monday, September 11, 2006

The Dead Beat

SO, I was reading the Ben Franklin book last week and I guess you could say I still am but am taking a break for a few days. (I generally have more than one book going at a time, adult ADD???) I've not progressed very far and now "The Dead Beat" is in my hands from the SDPL. Pretty interesting stuff. I wasn't sure about reserving it at first. I'm not very strong when it comes to thinking about death and I didn't know if this would challenge my mental or emotional faculties too much or not. So far, I'm doing ok. It is actually more of an insiders view of the world of obituary writers and readers and not so much about death itself.

Here's how the book starts. Chapter 1 title, "I walk the Dead Beat" First few sentences of the paragraph grabbed my attention immediately..."People have been slipping out of this world in occupational clusters, I've noticed, for years. Four journalists passed their deadline one day, and their obits filled a whole corner of the paper. What news sent them over the edge?"

Marilyn Johnson goes on to illustrate how people tend to die in groups. For example: Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger in "Pooh" and John Fiedler, the voice of Piglet in "Pooh" died a day apart. Amazing. HOW is something like that possible?

Did you know...John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died July 4, 1826...exactly fifty years after the signed the Declaration of Independence. Wow! NO WAY!

I love this book so far because it is full of quirky little facts like this. I'm learning a great deal about obituary writers and readers. There is a conference held yearly by these people (who wouldda guessed it!). I think when I'm finished with this book I might have a new hobby (reading obits) but, if not, then at the very least I will have a better understanding of what makes the obit world go round.

We had a relatively quiet week-end here. Went to the Serra Mesa community fair on Saturday evening (while there, I bought some groovy new incense by the same makers of Nag Champra and Super Hit...called "Natural" LOVE IT!) The kids danced to a local band covering classic rock songs and rode some rides. Last night, we had our first chance to visit the beach. After dinner at Bronx Pizza, we stopped by Mission Beach to see the sunset. There is a small boardwalk there, which, if you've ever been to Ocean City, MD, is NOTHING like that (meaning the one out here is tiny), but there were some rides and games and the kids had a blast and didn't want to leave at 7:30pm! CA sand is soooo soft compared to FL sand, I had forgotten all about that, but the water is icy cold. I don't think I will be doing much swimming at the beach while we live out here!

Back to the grind today. The weather is gorgeous.

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