Remembering Those We Lost: 2011

As WC gets older, he finds death is claiming more and more of those he respects and admires. As we head in to a new year, WC wants to pause and note the loss of those who in one way or another, enriched WC’s life. In no particular order:

Ronnie Gaubert, Self-Portrait

Ronnie Gaubert, Self-Portrait

Ronnie Gaubert: WC posted earlier on Ronnie’s work and life. A remarkable artist and man, and a model for us all. WC misses him.

Vàclev Havel, 1936-2011

Vàclev Havel, 1936-2011

Vàclev Havel: WC studied one of Havel’s plays, The Garden Party, when WC was an undergraduate student. It was a brilliant send-up of Soviet society, sort of Mikhail Bulgakov meets Albert Camus. The play earned Havel his first prison term.Havel emerged as an unlikely non-violent political leader in the Velvet Revolution that overthrew the communist rule in Czechoslovakia, and in 1989 became the president of the country.

Cover of Upcoming Steve Jobs Bio

Cover of Steve Jobs Bio

Steve Jobs: WC has posted earlier on Steve. But will repeat here Steve’s words on death:

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.


Senator Geraldine Ferraro, 1935-2011

U.S. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, 1935-2011

Geraldine Ferraro, U.S. Representative and first woman to be a candidate for Vice President of the United States for a major political party. She was also a successful prosecutor, tireless advocate for the protection of women and children and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

If Sarah Palin had an exact opposite, it was Ferraro.

Christopher Hitchens Lecturing, via Wikipedia

Christopher Hitchens Lecturing

Christopher Hitchens: WC has posted on Hitch. Twice. Once on his death and against focusing on his Ten Commandments. An extraordinary man, and extraordinary life and an extraordinary body of work.

Jerry Lieber, 1933-2011

Jerry Lieber, 1933-2011

Jerry Lieber, the lyrics half the the songwriting duo, Lieber and Stoller. His songs included “There Goes My Baby,” Stand By Me” and “Hound Dog.” A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987), his lyrics and Mike Stoller’s melodies got in your head and stayed there.

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

Clarence "Big Man" Clemons, 1942-2011

Clarence "Big Man" Clemons, 1942-2011

Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, tenor saxophonist in the E Street Band, and the heart of Bruce Springsteen’s band. His tearing sax solos helped define Bruce Springsteen’s music. Born to be wild, indeed.

Angie Ertter, 1924-2011

Angie Ertter, 1924-2011

Angela Ertter, German war bride, godmother to Mrs. WC, mean harmonica player (she’s playing the harp in that photo) and unrepentant singer of German folksongs. Her family was everyone Oma could hug. And her love could fill a big room.

Others WC might name include James Arness,  whose television show “Gunsmoke” was one of the few televisions shows WC could stand when WC was a pup; and Gerrie Rafferty, whose “Baker Street” would be on WC’s list of all-time top ten rock and roll songs.

Correction: 26 Dec 11 – As reader Paul Eaglin points out, Geraldine Ferraro was a member of the U.S. House, not the Senate. Corrected.

5 thoughts on “Remembering Those We Lost: 2011

  1. Some great people, whether to the world or just personally, have left us this year.
    (Had a Oma too and a dad who still plays German march music and some folk songs.)
    I off set times like this with looking for examples of the young people who are coming up in the world and doing great things too, makes some of the loss less sad.

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