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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good federal holiday morning.

Claire L. Walters was one of only 100 female pilots in the 1940s. She taught thousands of others how to fly, competed in numerous woman-only air races and sounds like she had a hell of a good time in her 85 years on (and just above) this planet.

Just because I haven't heard of Dannie Flesher and Wax Trax record label doesn't mean you haven't. His Chicago store was the world headquarters for boundary-pushing artists who bridged disco, electronic music, rock and the avant-garde. Some dubbed the sound "industrial disco," an umbrella term that included Ministry, Front 242, Underworld, KMFDM, and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, underground acts that went on to sell millions of records, according to music critic Greg Kot.

It's a story only partly told; Judith Clack escaped the Holocaust because she spoke several languages but she would not talk much about her family background. Still, her children know that her family died in slave labor camps and she was probably Jewish. She died Dec. 26 at the age of 95.

Here in the dead of winter, it's nice to remember that wildflowers do bloom, even in the cold climate of Minnesota. Evelyn Wood Moyle knew her wildflowers and wrote a best-selling book about what you might find in the north woods.

Edward Nathan began contributing to the NAACP before he was 15 years old. He went on to become the leader of a philanthropic organization and helped refugees, artists, the disabled and others fund their ventures.

It's hard to imagine a person more committed to peace and nonviolence than
George Wiloughby
, who died at 95 in New Jersey.

Dave Genden was a landscaper, but so much more. As a kid, he was known to cut class and hitch rides with the truckers who would stop at his mother's gas station. He would send his teachers ``Wish you were here'' postcards from his far-flung destinations. In the 1930s, he served gangsters and literary figures alike in the pool hall he opened on Miami's South Beach. He climbed Peru's Machu Picchu at age 70. He died at age 97.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  January 18, 2010; 9:01 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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