Posted: 12 December 2009 in observations
Tags: , ,

Stick it out til the end. It’s worth it.

Bucking the trend, we just got a subscription to the local paper.  There’s not actually much paper to speak of; a total of two sections with about 8 pages each.  The two sections?  The A section (including all local and national news) and Sports section (including local sports, comics, Dear Abby and the crossword).  As an aside, the crossword is an amateur event, involving questionable and repetitive clues. Since we decided to get the paper for the crossword and the coupons, I don’t know how long this paper subscription will actually last.  Wow, I just turned 92 while you sat here and watched.  Son, get me my bifocals and I’ll give you a quarter!

I tell you all that to tell you this, the obituaries hold a place of honor on the second page.   The second page.   I’m completely unable to read the paper without spending time pursuing the obits because of their startling placement. And there aren’t the obituaries I’m used to – tiny two-inch columns with a smiling black and white picture and the bare minimum of information.  These are the obituaries you spend time writing before you die.  The laudatory life list that remembers you not only to friends and family, but to complete strangers who tear up at your well-lived life.   Oh…that’s just me.

So in the morning we read about “Sassy” and Arnold “Tex” Stewart and Sue Elizabeth Sarah Moore Midgett.  I’m not sure where the Ted Johnsons and Alice Maxwells live, but it isn’t here.  We learn about where they’ve come from (Orange, Roanoke) and what they did (mechanic, Navy, cook). We find out what their quirks were (“visitors scuttled to the balcony to prevent being killed by a tower of books” – no, I’m serious) and where to send flowers.  The dullest part is usually the preceded in death by and survived by bit.  It’s the most mandatory though and the most common content. I usually skip over those bits when I’m reading about Sassy and Tex to my wife over cereal.

I skipped over them…until I got to Aubrey.  He had a list of precededs and surviveds and particularly caught our attention with the mention of his grandchildren: he apparently favored one, Stevie.  I’m not sure how the other kids will feel about that.  I almost moved on to the next obit until I realized that, not only was Aubrey survived by his wife of 25 years, he was also survived by his special bed partner “Tina”.

Oh yes, they did. I’ve attached the photo.  This is a cached version since, as you can imagine, the official obit was replaced the following day with one that didn’t even whisper the name Tina.  Sure, you could argue that Tina is a faithful hound, but I suspect that Tina is the special lady, nay, bed partner, who was responsible for faxing this piece of work in the first time.  I think we’ll keep the paper.

  1. hannah says:

    My mother and I have a collection of hilarious obituaries we’ve collected from Arkansas papers over the years. The best one – a 45 column-inch obituary that included directions for how children should behave at the funeral and how many magazine subscriptions the deceased sold in a junior high fundraiser. Second place has to be the one where the deceased patriarch is informed that his widow ‘Maw’ shot a ten-point buck off the deer stand he built for her.

    Obituaries in small towns – the gift that keeps on giving after death.

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