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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good Monday morning, everyone. So little time, so many worlds unknown. Here are a few lives from worlds that are outside my range of knowledge.

A punk rock pioneer has died, say those who know punk. Willy DeVille, who founded the punk group Mink DeVille and was known for his blend of R&B, blues, Dixieland and traditional French Cajun ballads, died Friday of pancreatic cancer. He was 58.

We'll have to accept the Philadelphia Inquirer's word that Bill Freeland, "a consistently interesting sculptor for three decades, created art that is an homage "not only to old-time farm machinery and antique processes, but to the abiding values and traditions of country life." He died at 80 in County Mayo, Ireland.

Jimmy Bedford, the former master distiller at Jack Daniels for 20 years, died Friday of an apparent heart attack. As master distiller, he supervised the entire operation at the 143-year-old distillery in Lynchburg, the oldest registered one in the United States. Among his duties was tasting the whiskey before it was sent to retailers (now there's a thought for a pre-breakfast morning!)

Finally, here a handful of pieces that feel more accessible: Evelyn Coke, a home health aide who stood up for her rights, Mike Seeger, a folk musician who founded the New Lost City Ramblers, and influenced the early Bob Dylan, and Peggy Lampl, a former executive director of the League of Women Voters whose appeal to the Federal Communications Commission in 1976 set the presidential debate format that still exists today.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  August 10, 2009; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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