Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Play It, Sam: the Last Song

Metastatic cancer of the pancreas -- the "tetchiest" kind.  Stage IV.  Has spread to the liver.  Inoperable. Untreatable.

The long last run on the downhill track.  What a hoot!  Was I all THAT great an editor? But of course!  All of my best friends, on their sacred oath, so testify.

But the athletic feats; surely they have been embellished, if only a tad? No, I really did reel off strings of 125+ mph serves.  And the slice! Oh, the wicked slice! A legend of the American Southwest.  Not to mention the three-point shooting records in every age group from 50 through 80. Or the high school records in the high and low hurdles.  Or the 350-foot home run off a hanging curve ball thrown by a future major leaguer named Tom Butters, who became the Director of Athletics at Duke University.

Was higher praise ever uttered than the words of my baby daughter, Patricia? "The  best Papa Bear," she said, "in the entire world."

Or this (from Lois): "I love you."

I rest my case.

Thanks, World, for a helluva ride.


  1. Ha. I never knew about your athletic achievements. And here I liked you for your wit. I appreciated you for your editing prowess and the major boosts you gave my career. And, yes, I love you for all that and for the grace you show now as it all approaches the end.

  2. I loved you from the first, even though we resisted. Loved how you'd sweep into the Free Press newsroom in that long trench coat, pause at the mailboxes just across from my desk, then turn and smile before striding off. Stop, my heart. All the ways that love is born. And keeps growing.

  3. Yes, you were THAT great an editor. I remember how you took sophomoric stabs at journalism and turned them into--stories! And how you launched chases around Macomb County to watch the racists of Wishing Well Farms or expose fake UFO sightings. I love you for the lessons you taught and for the memories. And I wish you peace.