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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning.

John Harris, while in the employ of the National Enquirer, was sent hither and yon, searching for Utopia. Every time he thought he found it, the newspaper owner found a reason to shoot it down. It was the greatest assignment ever given to any reporter in any newspaper, a colleague said, even though after four and a half months, he hadn't written a word.

Another wordsmith who skewered his own bureaucracy has died. Leonard Drohan rocketed to the top of the best-seller list in 1957 with "Come with Me to Macedonia" but his other books went unpublished. "His whole life was sort of the struggle between poet and pragmatist,'' said his son. "Having two sons and a family to support, he kept his government job while always wanting to write novels.''

Gustavo de la Vina, the former U.S. Border Patrol chief and its first leader of Mexican American descent, died Monday in the Balkan nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he worked as a private advisor.

Michael Milbrath, a hospital official in Minnesota, took seriously the threat of H1N1 flu, planning and educating others for months about the virus. He died Saturday from the disease.

The remaining wild wolf packs of West are amazing organisms. Few spectacles demonstrate power and freedom so much as the sight of wolves on the run. Like wild animals everywhere, they kill and are killed and here's an excellent piece about Wolf 527, killed Oct. 3 by a hunter on Buffalo Plateau north of Yellowstone.

Lest anyone think we're mushy-brained critter lovers here, I'll point out that a young Toronto woman was killed by coyotes Tuesday while hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Schedules on the obit desk are shifting a bit so for the time being, I'm working a Sunday to Thursday shift. That means I won't be here tomorrow, although I hope one of my co-workers will be able to fill in. Just in case, let's leave you with a little quiz from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch web site: Alive or Dead?

By Patricia Sullivan  |  October 29, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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