A death in the family just happened, a favorite aunt who made it nearly to age 90 before coming down with pneumonia. Her husband, who served in the Navy during World War II, preceded her in death.
I always liked that side of the family and enjoyed visiting them as a kid, including all the cousins. They lived in the BIG city of Columbus three hours distant, a place of almost unimaginable magnitude to someone growing up in my part of West Virginia. I always stayed in their basement, which incidentally used to have a well-stocked bar which I may or may not have been known to raid.
Columbus also had these places called malls, unheard of in WV at the time, where, if I played my cards right, I might be able to get a karate book. It also had a certain hamburger chain famous for their small sized burgers, a kind of nutritional crack upon which I still feed whenever I can.
I have many fond memories of her and her family. I wish her well on her journey and send my best to those who remain.
I was told that one of the last things she said was that she had seen her father and mother, who passed decades ago. Her husband, a day before his death, saw his deceased brother. It makes you wonder.
ANOTHER LOSS. From Ken Ward's Coal Tattoo, here's a moving profile of one of the miners who died in Massey's Upper Big Branch mine disaster.
TWO SIDES. It looks like the US Senate moved fast on the unemployment/tax cut deal. Here are two opposing takes on the deal and the dealer. Most groups that I trust on this issue hate the high end tax cuts but support the unemployment extension and are hoping the House makes a better deal.
WELL OFF, but empathy-impaired.
MY STARS. Here's a look at America's cult of the celebrity.
ME ME ME. Here's a look at narcissism.