John Glenn receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom fromPresident Obama

R.I.P. John Glenn, 1921-2016: The Right Stuff


When WC read of John Glenn’s death, he immediately flashed back to 4th Grade, when WC’s teacher had the whole class write letters to Glenn congratulating him on his successful orbital flight in 1962.1  Unusually for the time, Mrs. Klaich made a real effort to ground our grade school class in current events. We all wrote…

cohen

R.I.P. Leonard Cohen, 1935-2016


In the late 1960s, Judy Collins, for whatever reason, came to Fairbanks, Alaska and did a performance at Patty Gym at the University of Alaska, the largest venue in Fairbanks at the time. The first song was her hit cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne.” After singing it, accompanying herself on the piano, she said, “I love Leonard…

Tom Hayden (Photo John Berman/CNN)

R.I.P. Tom Hayden, 1939-2016


On December 4, 1969, WC was sent by the University of Oregon student newspaper, the Emerald, to photograph a meeting of student radicals in a UO classroom. It was the day after Black Panther Fred Hampton was murdered in Chicago by Chicago police.1 The first words out of the first speaker’s mouth were, “Last night in…

Gene Wilder (Photo credit Dave Pickoff/Associated Press)

R.I.P. Gene Wilder, 1933-2016


“What seems to be the trouble?” the therapist asks. “I want to give all my money away,” he says. “How much do you have?” “I owe three hundred dollars.” Gene Wilder, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art (2005) WC first saw Gene Wilder as the kidnapped undertaker, Eugene Grizzard, in Bonnie and…

Abner Mikva, 1926-2016

R.I.P. Abner Mikva, 1926-2016


WC attended law school at Northwestern University Law School. On three occasions, Abner Mikva, who was between his two periods of service in the U.S. House, came and spoke to the law school. Even though he was a graduate of arch-rival University of Chicago Law School and, worse still, a professor there. WC went to…