Thursday, April 9, 2009

Things worth mentioning during my absence

Andy Hallett passed away from congestive heart failure. He was 34 years old, entirely too young.

His most famous role was as the demon Lorne on the TV show Angel. There was a strong subtext on Buffy and Angel that demons are just people, too, and of all the good guy demons, Lorne was the most decent by far. The gimmick of the character was that he could read people's futures when they sang, so he ran a demon karaoke bar. That could have been a one note gag, but Hallett always delivered the funny, and sometimes he gave the customers a little extra funny, no additional charge.

He often sang on the show. His voice was a little nasal for my tastes, but I wish I could find the scene where he stands vigil at the death bed of Faith and sings a capella the prettiest part of MacArthur Park, the part with the lyric "There will be another song for me, and I will sing it..." A voice I don't love and a song I don't love add up to a truly lovely dramatic moment. It's a very moving scene.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Andy Hallett, from a fan.

Keith Olbermann's mom died. Olbermann did a moving tribute to her on his show. Obviously, she meant a lot to him and she was the reason he became such a serious sports fan.

Mrs. Olbermann's own fifteen minutes of fame came at Yankee Stadium. For a time, the Yankee second baseman Chuck Knoblauch had problems throwing runners out at first base. Technically, the second baseman throwing to first should be the easiest play in baseball, but sometimes something gets in the head of the second baseman and he gets wild. This happened to Steve Sax of the Los Angeles Dodgers a few decades back as well.

Knoblauch threw several wild throws to first over a few weeks, but one in particular hit Mrs. Olbermann, who had a seat behind first base, in the head. Olbermann, who was still in sports at the time, got an exclusive interview with his mom, who said she felt bad for Knoblauch, because she could also be a little clumsy from time to time.

Olbermann said, "But, mom, you're not second baseman for the Yankees."

Mrs. Olbermann's reply: "Not yet."

Best wishes to the family and friends of Marie Olbermann, from a fan of her son.

And last, Mike Strickland's mom passed away. He wrote a short and lovely post over at Civic Center, which included this picture of a shrine.

Seriously, if you are reading my blog and don't read his, you are short changing yourself.

I was a regular at alt.obituaries for many years, and I want to discredit the old idea that deaths come in groups of threes. It just so happens that I felt the pang of loss, either directly or sympathetically, from these particular three people passing away, but that's the only way they are connected in the world other than being human beings on the planet at the same time.

Again my best wishes to the family and friends of Patricia Strickland, from a fan and friend of her son.


dguzman said...

Nice tributes all.

FranIAm said...

What a beautiful post Matty, truly beautiful and filled with reverence and respect.