R.I.P. Stéphane Hessel

Stéphane Hessel has passed away during the night. The Holocaust survivor, member of the French Résistance, diplomat and author inspired the “Occupy” movement with his pamphlet “Time for Outrage” in his later years. I saw numerous interviews with him and greatly admired his intelligence, sense of humor and humanity. May he rest in peace.


Rest in Peace, Richard Holbrooke

A tenacious diplomat who earned a reputation as a “bulldozer” in negotiating the 1995 Dayton Accords that concluded the Bosnian war, [Richard] Holbrooke was once called “Washington’s favorite last-ditch diplomat” by Time magazine.

Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize seven times, Holbrooke joined President Barack Obama’s administration in January 2009 as special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, dealing with two of Washington’s most vexing foreign policy challenges.

Ambassador Holbrooke, a lifetime public servant and diplomat, suffered a tear in the wall of his aorta, and did not survive surgery to repair the tear.  He is survived by his wife and stepchildren.

RIP Robert Culp

I was a great fan of the ground-breaking show I Spy.

I Spy broke new ground in that it was the first American television drama to feature an African-American actor (Cosby) in a lead role. Originally an older actor was slated to play a fatherly mentor to Culp’s “Kelly Robinson.” But after seeing Cosby performing stand-up comedy on a talk-show, Sheldon Leonard decided to take a chance on hiring him to play opposite Culp. The concept was changed from a mentor-protege relationship to same-age partners who were equals. It was also notable that Cosby’s race was never an issue in any of the stories.

Rest in Peace, Mr Culp.

RIP Miep Gies

Miep Gies defied the Nazis in WWII Amsterdam in order to hide the Frank family and several others in the attic of an office building.  She succeeded in doing this for 25 months, before all were arrested.

Gies preserved Anne Frank’s papers that were found in the attic, hoping to give to Anne after the war, but instead she gave them to Anne’s father, Otto, the only survivor of the Frank family.

Rest in Peace.

UPDATE:  Here’s an excellent series about Miep Gies.

RIP Art Clokey, Gumby creator

We members of a certain generation remember the weirdness that was Gumby & Pokey.  I think I enjoyed my bendable Gumby figure than I did my Barbies.

Clokey first molded Gumby for a surreal student project at the University of Southern California called “Gumbasia.” That led to his making shorts for the “Howdy Doody Show” and several series through the years.

He said he based Gumby’s swooping head on the hairdo of his father, who died when Clokey was nine.

I always wondered about that sloping head.  😉

Rest in Peace, Mr Clokey.

Oscar Mayer dies at age 95


Oscar G. Mayer, retired chairman of the Wisconsin-based meat processing company that bears his name, has died at the age of 95.

Mayer’s wife, Geraldine, said he died of old age Monday age at Hospice Care in Fitchburg.

He was the third Oscar Mayer in the family that founded Oscar Mayer Foods, which was once the largest private employer in Madison. His grandfather, Oscar F. Mayer, died in 1955 and his father, Oscar G. Mayer Sr., died in 1965.

Died of old age…I guess he didn’t eat Oscar Mayer wieners.  😉

Loved your car, Mr Mayer.  Rest in Peace.