Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rule of Three? It's more like a guideline.

People have this superstition about the Rule of Threes, that famous people die in groups of three over a short period of time.

Of course, "Short period of time" is incredibly vague, but how about a single 24 hour news cycle?

Since yesterday, we have had the obituaries of four people whose names I recognized immediately. James Arness of Gunsmoke is likely the best known name, especially to older people. Also dying since yesterday are wrongly imprisoned Black Panther member Geronimo Pratt, assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian and former secretary of state Lawrence Eagleberger.

If anyone wants to quibble, I will admit Pratt's name is better known in the San Francisco Bay Area than it is known nationwide. In any case, deaths happen when they happen, and quite often a famous person will die and no one else of nearly the same level of fame will die within a week, and conversely, a passel of famous folks might all die in a couple of days.

A passel is not always three.

Just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

James Arness commanded a huge audience in all age groups, Lawrence Eagleberger a master stateman and negotiator who was the first to climb the ladder in foreign service to Secretary of State. I think these two although different careers are on the same footing. Sad to see both go.

Matty Boy said...

Yet another name released on Saturday of somebody I knew about dying on Friday. Former 49er running back John Henry Johnson died at the age of 81.