Friday, December 26, 2014

Register for the draft before your 18th birthday.

Still almost all women, few men back from the war yet.
In yesterday's obituaries, a 91-year-old woman about whom it says she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse University School of Journalism in 1944 and “was editor of the school paper, the Daily Orange.”  I find myself offended by “school paper”, which somehow trivializes that impressive publication.  Besides, I don’t recognize her name,  though I was already working on that newspaper by 1944.  I’ll bet she was simply a junior editor.  I was that myself, never mind the cum laude and Phi Bete, and I’ll bet my kids would never think of putting any of that in my death notice.  But she had no children.  I wonder if she wrote the obit herself.  These days I not only read the obits, I find myself looking at the list of survivors and trying to picture the person who wrote the notice.

I am reminded of the morning after my sister Esther died.  I had taken over  a proposed obit.  Cousin Betty came in (with a casserole of course) and I was just telling her how complicated it was, trying to get the job done in a house full of writers, when Martha came over, gave me a worried look, and said “I don’t want to interrupt, Aunt Edith, but why did you use a semi-colon here instead of a comma?”

1 comment:

  1. I get up each morning, gather my wits.
    Pick up the paper, read the obits.
    If I'm not there I know I'm not dead.
    So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.
    Oh, how do I know my youth is all spent?
    My get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went.
    But in spite of it all, I'm able to grin,
    And think of the places my get-up has been.
    Pete Seeger c/o ABL