Friday, April 14, 2017

K is for Kennedy

Pretty sure I’ve outlived half the Kennedy clan.
Joe Kennedy Jr., died at 29 in 1944.
Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy was 28 when she died in 1948.
John F. Kennedy was 46 when he was assassinated in 1963
and Robert Kennedy was 42 when he was killed in 1968.
My favorite quote from JFK, the one that seems most relevant today is: “we enjoy the comfort of opinion, without the discomfort of thought.”

Thursday, April 13, 2017

J is for Jones

Not just the protagonist of a Grateful Dead tune, Jonathan “Casey” Jones was a real life train engineer who died at 37 because he stayed on his train trying to slow it down rather than jumping to safety. Casey Jones was the only fatality when his train collided with Engine 83 outside of Canton, Mississippi on April 30, 1900. Not only immortalized by Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, Wallace Saunders, Jones’s friend and colleague wrote “The Ballad of Casey Jones” which has been recorded numerous times in various incantations.
I too, enjoy riding public on transportation.

I is for Iscariot

I don’t know how old Judas Iscariot was when he killed himself after turning Jesus over to the Roman authorities for 30 pieces of silver but since he was a contemporary of the 33-year old carpenter’s son, I think it’s safe to say he was less than 50 years old when he died.
Cornelia Parker’s “Thirty Pieces of Silver,” is one of my favorite art installations.

Monday, April 10, 2017

H is for Houdini

Escape artist Harry Houdini was known for escaping from milk crates, chains, and straitjackets but he died in 47 in 1926 from an apparent appendicitis in 1926. There are days when I can get out of my own way but I did survive having my appendix removed in 2007.

G is for Guevara

Wikipedia describes Ernesto “Che” Guevara as an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. Not sure how he managed to fit them all into only 39 years.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

F is for Anne Frank

Anne Frank was 15 when she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. She would have been 17 in 1947 when her book “Diary of Anne Frank” was posthumously published. She would have been 52 in 1981 when I read her book in junior high school. She would have been 87 if she were still alive today.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

E is for Elvis

The King of Rock and Roll was 42 when he was found dead in the upstairs bathroom of his mansion, Graceland, supporting the finings that there are more bathroom-related deaths every year then there are shark attacks. 
For years I had a framed poster of Elvis in the downstairs bedroom we used as an office. I remember the time one of my sons pointed to it and asked me, “how are we related to that guy?"

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

D is for Dean

James Dean was 24 when he died in 1955 leaving a wrecked sports car and legions of heartbroken female fans.
I drive a staid and reliable minivan.

Monday, April 03, 2017

C is for Cleopatra

Cleopatra was 39 when she died in August of 30 BC.
Among other things, she had an extramarital affair with Julius Caesar, though who can blame her as she was married to her brother at the time. After Caesar’s death she aligned herself with Mark Antony, probably because he wooed her with his R&B top 10 hit “I Need to Know,” but things went south for the couple after a military loss.
Lucky for me, there are no poisonous snakes on Cape Cod.

B is for Blackbeard

Blackbeard (or Edward Teague as he was known by his Christmas Club account) was only 38 when he was killed off the coast of Virginia in 1718 although maybe that is old for a pirate.
He was known for tying lit fuses under his hat to scare the bejeezus out of ships he was in the process of attacking. I prefer to use teetree conditioner in my hair.

A is for Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great (or Alexander III of Macedon as his creditors referred to him) was only 32 when he died in June of 323 BC and still he managed to amass through the use of brute force one of the largest empires of the ancient world. I, at age 49, can barely get my kids to brush their teeth at night.

A to Z Challenge - Theme Reveal

It’s always a sobering thought when you realize that you’re older now that most of the people you thought were old when you were a kid. Well, maybe not “old” perhaps - it didn’t strike me that my English teacher Mr. Cali was old - just mature. I mean the man worked a full week at the high school and then sold toilets at Sears on the weekends. That's maturity for you.
At age 49 and in need of an A to Z theme - I’ve decided to combine the two and create a list of people who accomplished more with their lives, for better or worse, in less time that I have. Maybe next year I’ll get off a list of 26 people who didn’t do anything for the first 50 years but then made up for it. There's still hope. And there's always Sears.