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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning, all you stay-cationers, essential employees/employers and those otherwise unoccupied with the commerce of the world.

Nancy A. Cahill, who died Aug. 4, made her work into others' play. As a historic guide for Philadelphia's Centipede Tours, she dressed in a colonial costume and led visitors through the streets of Society Hill, into Independence Hall, Congress Hall, and the Liberty Bell Pavilion and past log cabins and memorial monuments in Valley Forge National Historical Park.

You were in good hands with Ed Reimers, the voice of Allstate Insurance Co. commercials, who died Sunday in upstate New York.

An apparently well-known, albeit homeless, character on the streets of Boston died last week. Bob Wright, 59, had a sign that urged passersby to "smile -- it's the law."

Somehow, Barry Beckett's death slipped by us two months ago. Who was he? Just architect of the profoundly influential Muscle Shoals sound and whose own keyboard playing can be heard on classics including James and Bobby Purify's "I'm Your Puppet," Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman," Paul Simon's "Kodachrome," the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There," and many more songs and albums by Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Billy Burnette, The Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Delbert McClinton, John Prine, Dire Straits, Rosanne Cash and Jerry Jeff Walker.

Since we're on overlooked obits, here are two Canadian lifesavers; a weatherman who before electronic forecasting predicted a deadly storm and a fur-trader/police inspector who saved a number of people over the years.

Getting a grasp of real causes of death is notoriously difficult but a Long Island, N.Y. newspaper says that in its region, prescription drugs are a bigger killer than murderers, and almost as deadly as auto accidents.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  August 17, 2009; 8:10 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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