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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning, and spare a prayer for the victims of the Haitian earthquake.

It's too coincidental, but Jan C. Gabriel, whose "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!" ads for drag-strip racing live on in the memories of radio listeners, died Sunday in suburban Chicago.

The Daddy-O of Spaghetti-Os, Donald Goerke, has died. In the early 1960s, working as marketing research director for the Franco-American division of Campbell Soups, he considered different pasta shapes that would appeal to children, including baseballs and stars. He decided to go with O's. "We wanted to keep it simple," he told a reporter.

Hamilton Forman was a political kingmaker in the country around Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and by extension, in the state of Florida as well. If anything, this obit understates his importance, and it mentions that he was key in development of roads, hospitals, schools and ``If you wanted to get elected, you used to go to Ham for his blessing,'' as one political consultant accurately said.

Ruth McBride Jordan, an Orthodox Jew from Poland, married an African-American man, and after his death, another. When one of her 12 children asked if she was black or white, she answered she was light-skinned. Her children, she said, were human beings. And God was the color of water. One of her sons wrote a book, a tribute to his mother, by that name.

Calgary, Alberta lawyer John Bishop Ballem, who died Saturday, wrote 14 novels, including "The Oil Patch Quartet" which virtually sold out within days of publication. Yet, his steadiest seller remains The Oil and Gas Lease in Canada, a standard legal text currently in its fourth edition.

Curt Dalton, a prolific blogger and letter writer who, after a decade of effort, finally shook enough trees to compel officials to set up warning signs for swimmers in the Kern River Canyon near Bakersfield, Calif., died Saturday at the age of 56 from lung cancer.

Elin Eisenberg knew the importance of a perfect Chicago hotdog. And that's all that needs to be said upon her death.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  January 13, 2010; 8:18 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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Next: Dennis Stock, Photographer of James Dean, Dies


Our junior high school brought in a bunch of John Ballem novels one year. I suppose the librarian assumed that the works of learned counsel would be appropriate, but she didn't bother to actually read them. Let's just say that they were definitely NOT suitable for a younger audience. Naturally this was the best thing ever for us Grade Eight students, at least until someone caught on and the books disappeared.

Posted by: Blurgle | January 13, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

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