Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Death Did Take a Holiday

There is a of the obituarist Bruce Weber giving a talk at a conference in Monterey, California on April 12, 2012. The talk gives no indication that Mr. Weber will be retiring from obituary writing, as he has just announced in a good-bye essay in the NYT on August 13, 2016, taking the buyout offered by the paper. The talk was re-posted via Twitter tweets when his announcement hit cyberspace and the print media.

Somewhere I read or heard, Bruce tells us he's going to spend time with his wife and their recently purchased house on the East End of Long Island. Wives and houses give someone plenty to do. And if it is a younger wife and an older house, there's always something to do.

In his talk, Mr. Weber makes mention of some lame jokes that people make to the obituary staff. Things like, "What happened, I haven't seen you. Did death take a holiday?" Definitely lame.

But here is an example of where death does seem to have taken a holiday. Just back from the annual pilgrimage to the finish line at Saratoga, when I only buy the local papers and the Daily Racing Form for the week. Outside of nightly phone calls to my wife, I pretty much stay unconnected to downstate news.

I'm happy to report there are still hard copy print newspapers to buy. For me, this is usually the Glens Falls Post-Star, and the Saratogian, from of course, Saratoga Springs, New York.

To show you how reading obituaries seems to have taken hold of the collective readership, the Saratogian posted this on its front page, bottom, in the teaser portion, amongst the other headings of 'Community Page,' 'Opinion,' and 'Classifieds'. Under the 'Obituaries' heading, and then the sub-heading, Remembering family and friends, it was reported:

There are no obituaries in today's paper. Look for recent obituaries at

It was Monday's, August 22 edition. Seems like everyone in the area did have at least one more weekend.

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