Farewell

I have a Google alert set up for my name. In the past I used to keep track of the searchable trouble I'd gotten myself into, but now it's mainly obituaries and death notices of people who share my name. Usually I just delete them but the most recent alert provided a stark realization: When I die I'll only have the second-best obituary ever written featuring my name. Because Gene Newman of Hillsboro, North Dakota clearly has the best.

Born April 16, 1950 (coincidentally the same day, though not the same year, as my dad...

Warning: There’s a major character spoiler ahead. Proceed only if you are up-to-date on the show or don’t care about spoilers.

As the popular AMC show Mad Men draws to a close, so does the life of one of its main characters.

Betty Francis (January Jones), the ex-wife of advertising executive extraordinaire Don Draper (Jon Hamm), was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Betty, like most of the women of that era, has been routinely marginalized and dismissed, but her final storyline proved her character is a woman of poise and grace.

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Robin Williams was known as a manic comedian, but it was his more soft-spoken performances that stick with us. Most of these involve him providing hope to those that need it:

A teacher trying to bring hope to students in Dead Poet’s Society


Kerri Kasem protesting on October 1, 2013 after being denied contact with her father by her stepmom Jean Kasem. A court granted Kerri temporary power over his health care on June 3, 2014.

Family Drama Over Radio Icon's Ailing Health Gets Ugly


Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Source: National Parks Service)