Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

R.I.P. Tag

Batman star Adam West passed away at the age of 89 after he battled leukemia. From Vanity Fair:
“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero,” his family said in a statement. West died peacefully in his home Friday night after a battle with leukemia, and is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

If you're a fan of classic rock, odds are you know and love the music of Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers Band. Gregg Allman passed away this weekend of a combination of health issues at the age of 69. Deadline Hollywood reports:
Gregg Allman, Pillar of Namesake Southern Rock Band, Dies at 69 Gregg Allman, the singer and organist for the Allman Brothers Band and progenitor of the blues-inflected genre of Southern Rock, has died at age 69.

Yesterday morning, Bob Owens—a husband, a father, my friend, and a tireless defender of our Second Amendment rights—took his life. We are all diminished as a result. I don’t suppose we can ever really know what drives a person to make such a decision. Their pain must be unimaginable. Whatever the cause, Bob’s pain is past, and it is the rest of us who must continue. In particular, Bob leaves behind his parents, his wife, two daughters (17 and 9), and of much lesser concern the many hundreds of us who called him our friend. For myself, I choose to move forward by remembering all the tremendous good Bob brought to my life in particular and our broader gun culture in general. With respect to his family, I intend to participate in whatever efforts can be arranged to help them continue in the absence of their husband and father—more on that in a moment.

Comedian Don Rickles, who was well known for going after his audiences as well as his fellow entertainers, has passed away. He was 90 years old. The Hollywood Reporter has the story:
Don Rickles, Legendary Comic With a Gift for the Insult, Dies at 90 Don Rickles, the rapid-fire insult machine who for six decades earned quite a living making fun of people of all creeds and colors and everyone from poor slobs to Frank Sinatra, has died. He was 90.

Russian Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko has died at age 84. He was resident at the University of Tulsa, and died in a hospital in Oklahoma City. I think it's hard for Americans to understand the celebrated role that poets occupy in Russian history, including the dissident movement that began to develop in the 1950s and 1960s. I experienced some of that when studying Russian language and literature in the 1970s and early 1980s, and studying in Moscow in 1980. The vast sweep of Yevtushenko life work was somewhat overwhelmed by the power and stature of Yevtushenko’s 1961 poem about the Nazi massacre of over 33,000 Jews in just two days on September 29-30, 1941, at Babi Yar, a ravine near Kiev in the Ukraine. I provided extensive background and material about the Babi Yar massacre in my May 7, 2016, post, Israeli flag burned at Babi Yar on Holocaust Remembrance Day:

Sad news. The great Chuck Berry has died at the age of 90. I remember as a teenager listening to his records over and over and over. I think it's fair to say he was my first rock idol, even though by the time I started listening to him in the 1970s I was listening to a lot of his music from the 1950s.

In my memory, there are certain place markers in the history of terrorism that led to where we are today. The 1972 Munich Massacre of Israeli athletes (1972); the bombing of the Beirut Marine Barracks (1983), the World Trade Center attacks (1993 and 2001); the Jerusalem Sbarro Pizza bombing (2001) and the videotaped beheading of Daniel Pearl, February 1, 2002. I don't diminish the significance and horror of other attacks, it's just that these are memory reference points for me.

I saw the Roches in the late 1970s, and have followed them since....

There have been many deaths we have written about this year, from great musicians to actresses to astronauts to Nancy Reagan. But there may have been no other who so touched our lives. Fox News reports, Creator of the Red Solo Cup dies at 84:
The creator of the Red Solo Cup died on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at the age of 84. Robert Leo Hulseman lived in Northfield, Illinois, but spent much of his time in Scottsdale, Arizona. He began working for his father’s business – the Solo Cup Company – at the age of 18. He then worked his way to the top to become president and CEO.

As Kemberlee Kaye so eloquently demonstrated in her post, This Christmas, few relationships are as defining as one between a mother a child. Apparently the loss of her child yesterday was more than legendary actress Debbie Reynolds could bear. She passed away of a stroke, less than 48 hours after her daughter Carrie Fisher died from a heart attack.
Debbie Reynolds -- who rose to stardom in "Singin' in the Rain" and quickly became a staple among Hollywood royalty -- died Wednesday as a result of a stroke, TMZ has learned ... just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away ... this according to her son Todd.