Saturday, December 26, 2009

Irrewind, 20091226: Eulogy

Some might think it odd that I'm doing an Irrewind on pieces I've written about people who have died, especially on the day after Christmas, but I don't think it's odd at all. In fact, I'd have probably have done it earlier, but I didn't want to bum anybody out. That stated, I don't want anybody to forget these people, either.

Whenever somebody important to me dies, I usually write about them. Sometimes it's a celebrity or other public figure that I admire, and all too often it's someone I knew personally. Life sucks, and it always ends in death... and given how loquacious I tend to be, if I'm going to talk about something, I owe it to everybody to talk about them.

"Eulogy for O. Hawkins"
I met Omer Hawkins in 2000, when I had transferred from the C Company to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 37th Engineer Battalion. I didn't know what to make of him at first... a short guy, a chain smoker like the rest of us, with a grating voice... Read More

"The Angel George Carlin"
Although I grew up listening to snippets of Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Eddie Murphy, and the oft-overrated Andy Kaufman, it was George Carlin who was my first real introduction to stand-up comedy. Oddly, my first memory of Carlin was hearing a joke concerning an... Read More

"Michael Crichton: A World of Words"
Michael Crichton died on November 4. Perhaps you heard, but perhaps you didn't. Even though American history was made on that day, it's a bit sad to have a man as accomplished as Michael Crichton pass away with barely a blurb on the television news... Read More

"Master Sergeant David L. Hurt"
My first impression of Sergeant Hurt was, well, less than impressive. He came across as a little clumsy, a little irreverent, and more than a little egotistical. And, you know what? He was all of those things... Read More

"Staff Sergeant Glen H. Stivison, Jr."
I met Glen in South Korea around Christmas of 2000. Well, that's what we thought, anyway. There was a bit of recognition between us, but as he wasn't a paratrooper, the odds that our paths had crossed before then were a bit slimmer than usual. So, one day, we sat down... Read More


  1. Hi, Jeff. These are really good pieces. Please don't be shy about rewinding. I, for one, would not have seen your thoughtful and nuanced reflections on Omer Hawkins and on George Carlin, had you not posted this. Thanks.

  2. It is such a tragedy that so many men have perished in Iraq. It really makes me sad.

    Carlin was more of a philosopher than a comedian to me. Sometimes just pointing out stupidity is the best humor.

    Crichton was a genius and had so many book, movie and tv credits and his passing was not hardly observed. shame

  3. great seems you are much closer than most to the losses overseas.

    I loved Crichton, but his later books seemed a little too commercial, almost like they were written for the big screen...and the screen versions mostly disapointed.

    Amazingly, i see he has a new book out...probably will pick it up at the library, but not expecting too much.

  4. i really enjoy these pieces...writing about those that have passed from our lives, in some ways helps keep those memories alive while letting them pass slowly into the night...

  5. All these have resonance. I've read some before and I agree those gone deserve to be remembered. The minute we stop talking about them they cease to exist. Well done and a bit of a sobering gesture after all the Christmas celebrating. Hope you had a good one Jeff. Are you in the army yet? No talk of the military of late?

  6. It always has amazed me, how we see the entire body of work when someone has gone... no more revisions, no more apologies. It stand how it stands for ever more. -J