By Cory Franklin
How many ways can you say “He died”? “Died” is simple enough but John Cleese’s description in the famous Monty Python Dead Parrot Sketch of his ex-parrot says it with more flourish:
• Passed on
• Is no more
• Has ceased to be
• Rest in peace
• Expired and gone to meet their Maker
• Is bereft of life
• Pushing up daisies
• Whose metabolic processes are now history
• Is off the twig
• Has kicked the bucket
• Shuffled off their mortal coil
• Has rung down the curtain
• Has joined the choir invisible.
The obituaries we bring are not solemn memorials or grim tributes as print obituaries so often tend to be. Our audio stories are, as Russell Baker once wrote of well done obituaries, “…stimulants to sweet memories of better times, to philosophical richness, variety, comedy, sadness, of the diverse infinitude of human imagination it takes to make this world.”
The stories we relate are about the famous, the notorious, as well as people you never heard of who may have influenced your life and how each one of these people lived out their potential:
• How Eddie Fisher’s career was ruined after his marital escapades with Elizabeth Taylor
• Bobby Thomsen’s hitting the most famous home run in baseball history
• The spy Eileen Narne who helped the Allies win World War II and wound up in a concentration camp
• Richard Bing’s becoming one of the world’s top cardiologists and a world-class musician at the same time.
• There is humor: Tony Curtis describing that kissing Marilyn Monroe was like kissing Hitler.
• There is pathos: the end of the Pontiac, an iconic car for generations of Americans and even the death of the world’s most famous octopus.
Listen to life’s stories and little bits of history. We will bring you something that NPR, CBS Sunday Morning, your newspaper or an ordinary obituary cannot—a little extra.