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RIP Anne Rice....read some of her earlier books and enjoyed.  Couldn't get into as much later, but she basically kicked off a major genre of Romance-Horror.

She was also a fan of one of my favorite musicians, Mary Fahl, and chose a song of Mary's to use in one of her Audiobooks.

Also RIP to Al Unser....used to watch racing more in the 70's and he (and his whole family) were among the best!

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RIP Renay Mandel Corren

El Paso, TX—A plus-sized Jewish lady redneck died in El Paso on Saturday. 

Of itself hardly news, or good news if you're the type that subscribes to the notion that anybody not named you dying in El Paso, Texas is good news. In which case have I got news for you: the bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redneck American family has kicked it. This was not good news to Renay Mandel Corren's many surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, many of whom she even knew and, in her own way, loved. There will be much mourning in the many glamorous locales she went bankrupt in: McKeesport, PA, Renay's birthplace and where she first fell in love with ham, and atheism; Fayetteville and Kill Devil Hills, NC, where Renay's dreams, credit rating and marriage are all buried; and of course Miami, FL, where Renay's parents, uncles, aunts, and eternal hopes of all Miami Dolphins fans everywhere, are all buried pretty deep. Renay was preceded in death by Don Shula.

Because she was my mother, the death of zaftig good-time gal Renay Corren at the impossible old age of 84 is newsworthy to me, and I treat it with the same respect and reverence she had for, well, nothing. A more disrespectful, trash-reading, talking and watching woman in NC, FL or TX was not to be found. Hers was an itinerant, much-lived life, a Yankee Florida liberal Jewish Tough Gal who bowled 'em in Japan, rolled 'em in North Carolina and was a singularly unique parent. Often frustrated by the stifling, conservative culture of the South, Renay turned her voracious mind to the home front, becoming a model stay at home parent, a supermom, really, just the perfect PTA lady, volunteer, amateur baker and-AHHAHAA HA! HA! HA! Just kidding, y'all! Renay - Rosie to her friends, and this was a broad who never met a stranger - worked double shifts with Doreen, ate a ton of carbs with Bernie, and could occasionally be stirred to stew some stuffed cabbage for the kids. She played cards like a shark, bowled and played cribbage like a pro, and laughed with the boys until the wee hours, long after the last pin dropped. At one point in the 1980's, Renay was the 11th or 12th-ranked woman in cribbage in America, and while that could be a lie, it sounds great in print...


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He designed the buildings I used to work in - PA Technology in Melbourn (near Cambridge UK) and in Princeton NJ, below (designed 1985)

PA Technology Center, Essay and Images

After that he became too famous and expensive to do little jobs like the above!

But what an architectural titan. RIP Richard Rogers. 

Edited by Craig Sawyers
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On 12/21/2021 at 1:36 AM, Craig Sawyers said:

If you find yourself in my neck of the woods near Oxford UK on your way back, there are cold beers in the fridge with your name on them...

I saw this post in the wee hours in a jet lag haze and couldn't remember what thread it was in when I remembered to respond. Thanks for the offer, but we have a direct flight to SF so I won't be dropping by this year. Cheers!

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RIP giant Joan Didion.


"I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment."



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RIP artist Wayne Thiebaud at 101. He was a professor at my alma mater UC Davis so I saw his work early in life. He is most famous for his cakes and ice creams and such, but I loved his streetscapes of SF and also his quirky portraits. My dad grew up next door to Richard Diebenkorn, and Thiebaud was influenced by him and his city streets and parks always reminded of him (not an original or unique observation, just to be clear). RIP Prof. after a very good innings.



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Oh, and speaking of UC Davis, I saw Desmond Tutu speak while I was in school there. It was during the anti apartheid demonstrations and the UC system was rife with sit-ins and students occupying buildings, etc. It was a truly moving experience, even in my animal house phase (has it ended?). I had been working as an intern for the California Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy and he spoke too. 

The magic of the internet produced a video of the whole event, so I'm going to relive it shortly. Here it is in case anybody would possibly be interested.


RIP Bishop Tutu

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