From... The Daily Reckoning
Here's a heartwarming story from the TIMES of London: Jan Berry
Only in the death notices do you get any honest or uplifting
news. A man is dead or he is not. There's no way to put a spin on
it. No point in lying about it. And even the worst hack in
newspapers can get the story right; although very few actually
see the body to make sure.
What is uplifting about the obituaries is that they often confirm
our faith that things turn out, at least often enough to keep us
hoping, as they should. A man who annoys his neighbors by
playing loud disco music at all hours of the night gets run over
by a bus; because he can't hear it coming. A tort lawyer dies of
lung cancer after winning a big settlement with the tobacco
companies. A woman abandons her family, runs off with the guy who
put a swimming pool in her backyard, and later drowns. These
little vignettes cheer us up; not because they are entertainingly
ironic, but because they remind us that people don't get what
they expect from life, but what they've got coming.
No man ever dared his wife into the arms of another man...
No central banker ever urged consumers to mortgage their homes
and ruin themselves...
No president ever invited his enemies with a "bring 'em on"
.. without tempting irony. The obituaries are where you see how
the story turned out.
Jan Berry, for example, made the papers back in the 1960s as one
half of the Jan and Dean duo, which rivaled the Beach Boys in
creating the West Coast Sound and recording the good life in
California during the early Consumer Binge Epoch. Their music
seemed to herald the reckless, la la la live for today, 'we'll
think of something' for tomorrow spirit of the whole Baby Boomer
generation. It was Berry who wrote "Surf City," with its
delightfully delusional refrain: 'Two girls for every boy.'
Jan & Dean hit it big in 1964 with "The Little Old Lady from
Pasadena" and "Dead Man's Curve." But the latter song must have
given the gods an idea. Hardly 24 months later, driving at 90
mph, Berry crashed his Corvette Stingray into a parked truck, not
far from the 'Dead Man's Curve' he had made famous. The poor man
survived, but his brain was damaged. His speech was slurred; he
could no longer play the guitar or remember the lyrics of the
songs he had written. And finally, on March 26th, Jan Berry took
that last ride, ending in a seizure brought on by his injuries of
38 years ago.
[ 04-12-2004, 06:19 PM: Message edited by: Gary E ]