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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, December 19

Obituaries Again

At the end of September, I ruminated about obituaries and how I was affected by them. Well, I'm ruminating again, saying much the same thing I said almost three months ago. Forgive me my repetition. Lately, I’ve come to examine the obituaries in several papers, not looking to see if I’m listed but to see if I know anyone there. My hometown paper, The Mobridge Tribune, usually has only two or three deaths notices a week, and since I no longer know most of that town’s residents, I hardly ever read about anyone I know. But school classmates are mentioned even though most of us relocated as soon as possible after graduation. We still feel a connection to that tiny, dusty South Dakota village located on the banks of the river by which it got its name. My youth was so Huck Finnish. One by one my classmates fall. I think we’re now down to about half of the original fifty-eight, shrinking each year by one or two. I wonder which one of us will be the last man or woman standing. And when that time comes, will the one of us return to our roots for a one-person reunion on the Fourth of July? Probably not since the last one would probably not be standing . . . or walking . . . or even crawling. And the old hometown would no longer even slightly resemble the home we once knew. I have better luck finding obituaried people in our local news (Better luck?). We Sun City Westerners drop with great regularity. The sounds of our local firemen rushing to the site of a rescue call fills the air four or five times a day. We always mutter to ourselves when we hear that claxon call, “Well, there’s another house for sale.” I even check the large Phoenix Independent. The odds against my spotting anyone I know are about the same as winning that megamillion lottery we just had. But I look anyway, just to check out the ages at which those people died, comparing them to my own numbers. I also glance at the small section listing the birthdays of well-known people. I saw today that Cicely Tyson is a year younger than I. And Jennifer Beals is now fifty. Oh, the humanity. It was only a year or so ago that she was Flashdancing. And Brad Pitt hit fifty a few days ago. Whoa! I remember as if it were only yesterday when he rode with Thelma and Louise in their ill-fated Thunderbird convertible. I’ve noticed that most of the listings are for ages under fifty, and I don’t recognize most of them. I’m sure that one of these days I won’t remember why I’m examining the obituaries. Or maybe not even remembering what an obituary is.
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