Category Archives: memory

Dear Clusterflock: What was the most comforting condolence sentence you ever heard?

Stolen from Metafilter. I don’t have a MeFi account, so I can’t even favorite things over there, much less comment. So I figured I’d re-pose the question here.

The MeFi thread is great, but bring tissues. I loved this one most:

My uncle, Albert Crary, was an extraordinary man. Not only was he an explorer and scientist of both poles (The Crary Mountains in Antarctica were named by him and the A.P. Crary Science and Engineering Center at McMurdo Station was named fo him) but he gathered stories like no one I’ve ever met. At his public memorial in Washington DC at, I believe, the Cosmos Club, speaker after speaker got up and told about his staunchness, his incredible endurance, but most importantly, they all told a funny story about him: The time he fell off the ice shelf and what he said to the preacher after his rescue when the preacher came looking for a good sermon. The time he went shopping for supplies in South America when they were running a geophysical line across a South American swamp. The time my father put my brother up to calling him and acting like a dumb reporter asking the stupidest questions imaginable about the ice island T3.

Months later, we had a private memorial in his hometown of Canton, New York. One-by-one his nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends got up and told more stories. To all of us he’d been the source of fun, support and laughter when we were growing up – he never let any of us take ourselves too seriously, but he was always there when anyone needed help. When my turn came, I got up, told my story and then said this:

Everyone deserves an Uncle Albert, we were just fortunate enough to have had one.
posted by BillW at 5:23 PM on March 30

(Via the wonderful Ed Yong.)

The Good Soldier of Cinema

Herzog on Ebert:

The good soldier of cinema. I kept calling him that and he kept calling me that. He saw in me a good soldier in cinema. I said you are even more. He was a wounded soldier. He was ill and struggled and was still plowing on relentlessly. And that was completely and utterly admirable and I love him for that.

Abridged

This is the story of a snake, a bear, and a little girl. Three great friends living together on the forested slopes beneath a mountain. There is a glade within the forest. Evergreens surround the meadow-grass, fireweed, and bee balm. The mountain’s snowcap is visible on clear days. Warmed by the sun, the three friends lay in a lazy pile near a broad, flat boulder. The bear licks the bottoms of the girl’s bare feet. The coiled snake dozes on the boulder. Summer is over but the days remain pleasant.

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Rory Gallagher: Cradle Rock

Cradle Rock (Montreux 1975)

This was on my mind today, although I’m not sure what made it jump out of my memory.

One of the most influential guitarists of the Seventies, Irish-born Rory Gallagher passed away at the age of 47 in 1995, of complications from a liver transplant. Although he remains relatively unknown, Gallagher is remembered by a devoted fan base, and listed as an inspiration by other, more famous guitar heroes.

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Inspiration for My Papal Archival Hat

Speculum_Sophicum_Rhodostauroticum

As we await artist Tom Sale‘s election to the papacy as Pope Pinky I, the design for my Papal Archivist’s hat proceeds apace. This image, courtesy of friend Ian, offers the inspiration and foundation for my papal archival hat.

A kind of cylindrical Advent calendar is what I envision.

As archivist to Pope Pinky I, I vow to stress style over substance.

Inventory

The last of the collections is leather scraps. It smells the best. If you burrow into the bins, you don’t want to touch bottom—damp, mulch-like, maggoty. Stay close to the surface and you’ll be fine. Soak up the scent of soap, bay leaves, and fresh-cut softwood.

Someone rolled gray enamel over the windows. Who would paint a window? Nothing inside this warehouse has borne daylight in a decade or more. This isn’t completely correct; a million billion holes permeate the roof and walls. Matrices of light stand out against the dust that is suspended perpetually. That’s a lot of exposition, so let’s move on.
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