As for people who have died since the last time I did one of these wrap-ups, Laura Caldwell wrote both chick lit and mysteries. Barbara Neely wrote African-American themed mysteries. Rosalind Walter was the original Rosie the Riveter. McCoy Tyner was a jazz pianist. Tom Turnipseed was a South Carolina politician who I am noting primarily because he had such a wonderful name. Henri Richard was a hall-of-fame hockey player. David Rainford was a British quiz show contestant. Mart Crowley wrote The Boys in the Band, which is considered a break-through gay-themed play. Max van Sydow had a prolific acting career. Richard K. Guy was a British mathematician. Daniel Greenberg was a science journalist. Anton Coppola was an orchestra conductor. Mal Sharpe conducted prank “man on the street” interviews for radio and television in San Francisco. Genesis P-Orridge was an experimental / industrial musician and performance artist. Doriot Anthony Dwyer was one of the first women to be a principal chair of a major American orchestra, having been appointed first flute of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1952. Suzy Delair was a French actress. Stuart Whitman was a film and television actor, who co-starred in Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, which has the distinction of being the first film I ever saw in a movie theatre. Menachem Friedman was a sociologist who wrote about Haredi Judaism. Betty Williams won a Nobel peace prize for her work in trying to end The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Gerald Freedman was the first American invited to direct a play at the Globe Theatre in London. Alfred Worden was an astronaut. Catherine Hamlin co-founded a hospital in Ethiopia to treat women with fistula from childbirth. Richard Kline directed television game shows such as Joker’s Wild. Sol Kerzner developed the Sun hotels and casinos in South Africa and thereabouts. Eric Weissberg was a musician, best known for “Dueling Banjos.” Julie Felix was a folk singer who was mostly known for performing on British television. Walter Robb was a GE executive who owned the Albany River Rats minor league hockey team. David Collings was a British actor who appeared in a lot of science fiction shows. Manu Dibango was a Cameroonian saxophonist.
Javier Perez de Cueller was the Secretary-General of the U.N. from 1982 until 1991. He was on my ghoul pool list two years ago, which gets me nada.
Troy Collings ran a travel company that specialized in sending people with no sense to dangerous places. For example, he arranged Otto Warmbier’s trip to North Korea. Collings allegedly died of a heart attack (at age 33) but I am skeptical.
John Seward Johnson II was a sculptor. He was known for hyper-realistic works and founded Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey. D.C. area residents know him best for The Awakening, which used to be at Hains Point and is now at National Harbor.
Lyle Waggoner was an actor who appeared on The Carol Burnett Show and later played Steve Trevor on Wonder Woman. He also made a lot of money by leasing trailers for use on studio lots. He was on my back-up list for the ghoul pool, which is, apparently, where people go to die, while the ones on my actual list linger on and on.
Kenny Rogers was a country singer. I assume you didn’t need me to tell you that. Nor do you need me to tell you that his most famous song was “The Gambler.” Given the state of the world, I guess you could say he knew when to fold them.
Terrence McNally was a playwright, which is quite an understatement given that he won a lifetime achievement Tony and numerous other awards. He wrote plays (e.g. Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Master Class) and libretti for musicals (including several for Kander and Ebb musicals, e.g. Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink, and The Visit).
Cabin Fever: Last week started with my company recommending working from home. By Thursday, it became mandatory. Our military customers are requiring flag-level permission to go to the office, which is limited to mission essential activities, like supporting a launch. This doesn’t have a huge impact on me, since I spend most of my time calling into to meetings and then writing emails about what happened at those meetings. I am giving myself a half-hour each morning and each evening to read, which I am counting as my commute time even though I am only commuting a few steps from my bedroom to my dining room, instead of riding the metro. (It should be 45 minutes, but I am also sleeping a bit later.)
The bigger impact to my normal life is that everything is canceled for months to come. A few things might get rescheduled for later this year, while others have already been rescheduled to future years. One of my friends has long claimed that if I don’t have at least 6 things on my calendar in a given month, that month won’t exist. So, I guess April, May, June, and July of 2020 are completely imaginary. And possibly longer, but at least one event in August is not canceled. Yet.
I have been out twice to do grocery shopping. The one thing I need that I haven’t been able to get is paper towels. I am not in dire need yet, but I am using the last roll now. (I do also have about a half a package of paper napkins. If I had thought ahead, I could have brought home the absurd supply of napkins I have in my office.) I did have to go to a few stores before finding yeast and eggs. Fresh produce hasn’t been a problem to buy, however. The trickiness is that Passover is approaching and I have to balance having supplies with cleaning out pantries for that. I used up the last of the barley I had on hand in making bean and barley soup on Sunday evening. I have been enjoying pancakes (with confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice) for breakfast some mornings. I have some oats to use up, which I think are going to go into muffins if I can find the recipe I had in mind for them. Alternatively, I could wait until the weekend and make Donegal oatcakes, which take more time than I am willing to spend on a weekday.
I also want to mention all the streaming entertainment out there. I’ve particularly enjoyed several shows from the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, including one of Allan Sherman songs. I am planning on giving them a nice donation.
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