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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning, all.

The retail empire Talbot's is a godsend for the professional woman over the age of 35 who faces a universe of shopping geared toward the pubescent, trendy, non-serious fashionistas. A woman was behind that empire: Nancy Talbot, a self-described "pushy Midwesterner" who with her husband turned a small clothing store into a retail giant.

He discovered a new gem, lived in a treehouse in Africa and survived an attack by a charging cape buffalo. Is there a more adventurous live than the one Campbell Bridges lived?

In the aftermath of credit default swaps, financial finagaling with pension funds and taxpayer buyouts to failing firms that then award their own executives billions of bonuses, who needs a pickpocket? All evidence indicates that David Avadon lifted wallets strictly for entertainment value, and then gave it back, which is more than can be said for some of the "masters of the universe" on Wall Street.

There never were that many Tuskegee Airmen and those who remain are dying, including Vernon Hopson, a pilot who also became one of the first African-American air traffic controllers, and Robert Decatur, who became a judge and civil rights lawyer.

She found a new career in her forties and became one of the first women to establish a winery in her own name. Kathryn Kennedy died in Saratoga on Aug. 23. She was 82.

Perhaps you've seen the giant bronze bunnies that somehow seem animated by more than a rabbit sensibility. The internationally known artist who created them, Barry Flanagan, has died.

As we head into this long Labor Day weekend, which for many is the last beach weekend of the year, take a moment to muse upon the life of Francis Rogallo, the father of hang-gliding. He and his wife invented a "flexible wing" flier that was the precursor of personal flying machines like the hang glider, paraglider, ultralight aircraft and kiteboards. Someday I'll tell you about my own attempt at the sport in my early twenties... Meanwhile, here's a local TV video of him.

By Patricia Sullivan |  September 4, 2009; 8:02 AM ET  | Category:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye
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