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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning, readers. How could you possibly be expected to handle school (work, chores) on a day like this?

Have you voted yet on which of John Hughes' films (cough... Ferris Bueller... cough) was his greatest?

Robert M. Takasugi
was what we all seek in a federal judge: compassion for victims of injustice and a calm demeanor. He needed the latter, when pornographer Larry Flynt tried to disrupt his court with profane outbursts and a diaper fashioned from an American flag. He was the first Japanese-American appointed to the federal bench handled a number of high profile cases, including the high-profile trial of automaker John Z. DeLorean in 1984. He died Tuesday in Los Angeles.

People often think obits should contain only laudatory aspects of a person's life, as if life itself could be controlled by only looking at the bright side. It ain't so, folks. Take for example Robert Bolivar DePugh led a shadowy militia group known as the Minutemen in the Midwest for more than a decade. The members were dedicated to stave off the Communist invasion of the U.S. that they were convinced was on its way. A kook, you say? He and his followers amassed an arsenal of weapons and explosives, much like the militia crowd that bombed the Oklahoma City federal building years later. DePugh was finally caught and convicted of violating firearms laws. He died almost unnoticed June 30 in Kansas City.

Salt Lake City beauty salon owner Michael Adamson died this week, Utah newspapers reported. His customers first suspected his obit was a grand prank, but Adamson, who was infected with the HIV virus, and who talked about it, really had died. He wasn't just a prankster; he volunteered his skills to the hospitalized and homebound.

Carolyn Benson was a real estate agent and former Democrat who became fed up with campus radicals and antiwar demonstrators in the late 1960s. So she wrote a letter to then-President Richard M. Nixon, describing herself as a "silent American." Nixon called, asked if he could repeat the words, and they became a catch phrase of the era. She died last month.

By Patricia Sullivan |  August 7, 2009; 8:09 AM ET  | Category:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye
Previous: Which John Hughes Film was Best? | Next: "Helter Skelter"


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One of those cosmic coincidences:
John Hughes died yesterday of a heart attack in New York City

Movie director Preston Sturges, probably the close thing to him in the 1930's and 1940's died of a heart attack in New York City 40 years ago yesterday

Posted by: cmfranklin1 | August 7, 2009 10:38 AM

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