June 12, 2001
I told you a couple of weeks ago about my friend Dalton, who died on May 28. Today there was a profile of him done in the Gaston County supplement to the Charlotte Observer. Each week the reporter, Gerry Hostetler, does such a profile on someone who has died recently. I am delighted that she chose Dalton for this one. As I told her in a note this afternoon, I often did not know the people of whom she writes. This time I did, and can say with certainty that she did a wonderful job of capturing Dalton.
For no good reason, that reminds me of a piece of silliness that happened when my mother died. As you may recall, Mother had been married twice. Many people in the county originally knew her by my father's surname, and most were used to adding it between her first name and her newer surname. Well, when it came time for her obituary, I went with the order of First-Maiden-Daddy's Surname-Stepfather's Surname. And that was fine with most of the papers involved, but the (other) one in Gastonia decided to go with just the initial for her maiden name. And that got me in trouble with one of my cousins on that side, who thought I had omitted it.
He got all puffed up and asked me if I wasn't proud to be part of that side of the family. For once in my life, I stood up to him. I pointed out that it was correct in the Observer, and asked him since when had I become responsible for what that other paper printed. He had to acknowledge that I had a valid point!
Another funny obituary story, this from a few years ago: a friend here in the Chapel Hill area had died, and her family wanted memorials given to the local social service agency, which is the InterFaith Council. The obituary writer at the local paper must have been very, very new to the job and to this area. In the obit, memorials were designated to the End of Faith Council.
At least the address was right.