Auf Wiedersehen, thanks for the memories.

Hmfph. In a blog funk.

What to write about? Christmas? The climate change conference? This just in – U.S., China, India reportedly reach a “meaningful agreement”. It’s about time! Are you guys still doing your composting? Turning off lights when not in use? Walking to places instead of driving? Good.

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How about one of my favorite topics, DEATH.

evil cackling and wringing of hands

No idea why death intrigues me so much and if you are a celebrity and bite the bullet, well, I’m intrigued even more. 2009 was a ROUGH year for celebrities. Here are my top 10 people who died this year that I actually gave somewhat of a damn about:

1. Mary Travers (1936 – 2009) Member of folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. The group’s first album, Peter, Paul and Mary came out in 1962 and immediately scored hits with their versions of “If I Had a Hammer” (listen to it below, one of my favorites) and “Lemon Tree”. The former won them Grammys for best folk recording and best performance by a vocal group. Their song “Puff the Magic Dragon” brings back so many memories, and was actually sung during the recent road trip with my parents! (Dad sung in his heart).

2. Les Paul (1915 – 2009) A pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar. The godfather of rock. No more needs to be said.

3. Walter Cronkite (1916 – 2009) The most trusted man in America ……”And that’s the way it is.”

4. John Hughes (1950 – 2009) Where would I be without Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Certainly not the slightly off-kilter, movie quoting extraordinaire, sometimes cute dweeb that I am today. Thank you John Hughes for bringing Cousin Eddie, The Donger, “Eat My Shorts”, Simple Minds, “Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?”, “By night’s end, I predict me and her will interface”, into my life.

5. Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009) C’mon, you didn’t really think I would leave Jacko off the list. Thriller was one of my first MTV videos and Jeannie and I can do the Thriller dance for you …..er, after a few cocktails. So many great songs, “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, “Ben”, “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, I could go on and on. Miss that moonwalking, one-gloved man.

6. Eunice Shriver (1921 – 2009) Thank you Ms. Shriver for founding the movement that became Special Olympics, the largest movement for acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in the history of the world.

7. Oscar Mayer (1914 – 2009) My Bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name, it’s M-A-Y-E-R. Oh I love to eat it everyday, and if you ask me why say….. Cause’ Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A!!!! I have friends who go freakin crazy when they see the Wienermobile. Thank you Mr. Mayer for your delicious bologna, bacon and hot dogs – still a staple in my lunchtime meals!

8. Patrick Swayze (1952 – 2009) “Nobody puts baby in a corner.” Need I say more?

9. Paul Harvey (1918 – 2009) Mr. Harvey reminds me of my days of high school in Oklahoma (btw, he was born in Tulsa). His The Rest of the Story series would always broadcast during the Sunday Top 40 on my car radio. And I did A LOT of driving around in my four door Buick Electra. That car rocked. It sat 27,000 comfortably and the horn sounded like a freight train.

10. Farrah Fawcett (1947 – 2009) Loved the hair, loved Charlie’s Angels, loved the red swimsuit, an iconic beauty.

Honorable mentions from the animal kingdom: Gidget the Taco Bell Dog – “Yo quiero Taco Bell”, Socks the Clinton cat and my beloved cat Good Morning.

May everyone rest in peace.

Those are my top ten. Why don’t you let me know if I missed a favorite of yours. To conclude, I give you “If I Had A Hammer” by Peter, Paul and Mary.

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