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Dropping Like Flies January 2, 2009

Posted by Jim Berkin in 1960s, Books, General, Television.

What an end-of-year rush on death it’s been. I pick up the paper today and see that my old Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell has died of Parkinson’s at age 90. Pell’s claim to national fame would be the Pell Grants that go towards education. He also engineered some federal moolah towards a gifted education program that I benefited from way back when, back when someone finally realized that those of us outside the mainstream on the upper end of the scale (no false modesty here, sorry) could be well served by an alternate approach to school. My own memory of Pell is somewhat better however – one time while walking in downtown Providence, I nearly slammed head-on into a fast pacing Pell, all six foot whatever of him – his head in the clouds, almost in a daze – I stepped aside, he looked at me, shook his head, said “Sorry, didn’t see you” and wandered off in what looked like a trance. I’d like to think he was stoned. I voted for him the one time I could while living back in Rhode Island – I figured I owed it to him for my 4th through 6th grade experiences.

Also passing was prolific mystery writer Donald Westlake, who had been pumping out entertaining mysteries under his own name and numerous pseudonyms for more than forty odd years. I don’t think I could ever get into such a “zone” and write as much as that guy, especially considering how long it took for me to churn out one novel and what a pain in the ass it’s been to finish a second.

And a little while back, we lost one of our Catwomen when Eartha Kitt died. She had a better purr than Julie Newmar, but unfortunately the Batman producers would nix the lovey-dovey gags between her & Batman as Julie had played them since the interracial aspect scared them, and that was too bad since that provided most of the comedy when it came to that character.
So long, kitty. 😦



1. Low Back Pain Exercise - January 4, 2009

wow she was my favorite bat woman….

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