Some of you folks have just lived too dadgum long
There have been occasions the past 43 years when I have written the “memorial” column about someone who has died.
I don’t understand why some people refer to dying as passing and to the person who died as having passed.
The Google says referring to death as passing away comes from Judiasm.
We say cows die. We say dogs die. But Uncle Fred passes away.
I refuse to use the euphemism. If someone has died, I say they died.
There are other, more colorful ways to refer to death, of course. Kick the bucket. Cash in the chips. Buy the farm.
Back on point – I don’t remember the first memorial column I wrote. I wrote one after my father died, after my brother died, after my mother passed…just kidding…after she died, after my father-in-law died.
But you don’t have to be related to me to get the honor of a memorial column. But you do have to be dead. So, this pending retirement is going to put me out of the memorial column business.
There are some friends – and a very few family members – still kicking who just lived too long. I was looking forward to writing memorial columns about them, but they went and screwed up my plans.
I’m pretty good at this. In fact, I’m thinking of going into the eulogy-writing business part-time after I leave here. I could spend a few hours with the deceased’s loved ones and I could pen a kickbutt eulogy to be read at the memorial service (the people who refer to dead as passed call funerals memorial services).
How does one receive the honor of a Larry Franklin Memorial Column, LLC? That’s hard to say. Usually it’s because there are things I want to say about the recently-dead.
There have been occasions when I felt almost obligated to write a boo-hoo Uncle Fred’s dead piece. In each of those cases, I resisted the obligation. It has to come from the heart. Or whatever I have substituting for a heart.
Tommy Kitchens says he is frequently accused of waiting until someone dies (passes) to write something nice about them. I guess that’s true of me, too.
I’ve written a very few columns about people that, if they were dead, you could just change the verb tense and have a ready made memorial column.
In my mind (or whatever I have substituting for a mind), I have a list of people about whom I would have written a memorial column if they had only just died.
But they went and lived too long and now they will receive no memorial Franklin’s Corner.
The list – written in pencil because people are added and others come off the list for reasons other than death – is not long and I’m not going to tell you who’s on it.
The only one I’ll mention by title is The Great American (whose initials are Jimmy Robertson). There is so much I know about that boy that I could write a memorial book, forget about a column.
Some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard in my life are his adventures in doctors’ offices. Many of them involve a DRE. But you won’t get to read about them because he’s still alive and kicking.
He hasn’t yet passed, if you prefer.
(Larry Franklin is retiring in June as publisher of The Chronicle.)