Wednesday, December 27, 2006

on deadline

The editors at USA Today chose today's paper to list the notable figures who died in 2006. Why couldn't they wait for the year to end? I seem to recall that they've done this before. This year it backfired on them more so than usual. The death of former president Gerald Ford was reported late last night, after USA Today had gone to press. Not only is his passing missing from the list of 2006 deaths, he's not mentioned anywhere in the paper.

There are some other celebrities who've died on the day after Christmas. One of the first celebrity deaths that I remember from childhood was the passing of former president Harry Truman. Jack Benny, Jason Robards and Reggie White also died on December 26th.

While reading the list of entertainers who died in 2006, I was reminded of my blog entry from February 6th. I wrote about the deaths of Al Lewis and Fayard Nicholas, both of whom I had the opportunity to meet. I've met two other stars who died this year. I booked Jack Palance to appear on the Mark & Brian show once or twice while I worked there. I would have met Steve Irwin too but I was on jury duty the day he visited KLOS. Because Steve was not yet well known in America, I had to persuade Mark & Brian to say yes when the booking was offered to us.

My other "brush with greatness" (or could I say "brush with late-ness"?) happened back when I worked in the box office at Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts. My boss asked two or three of us to accompany him to a late night performance at the Madeira School (yes, that Madeira School). We were to sell tickets to a Wolf Trap sponsored performance of some opera. The conductor was the larger-than-life Sarah Caldwell. I won't speak ill of the dead, so I'll just say that she was a little different. Okay, okay... She could have used a shower and she could have been nicer to the people working the event. How's that?

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Blogger bean said...

today was the first day i ever remember seeing two different editions of the "usa today," frank.

i get it home-delivered by mail and my paper was the one you saw with no mention of the president's passing.

the one i saw on the newsstand at the 7-11 today had a big full-color photo on the front page with an obit.

wonder if betty will start drinking again now.



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