18 October 2009

Rest in Peace, Mr. Kaufman

Mr. & Mrs. Kaufman and the Collection

A fellow named Donald Kaufman has passed away in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This is in itself a sad occasion, I’m sure, and yet how joyous is the headline of his obituary in The New York Times: “Donald Kaufman, Collector of Toy Cars, Dies at 79.”

Collector of Toy Cars! What a lovely way to be remembered! It got me thinking about the headlines that all our obituaries might get, if we had our priorities straight.

One of Kaufman’s Toy Cars

Exceptionally Good Listener, Murray Greshner, Dies at 79

Marie Slaughter Is Dead: “Made the Best Brownies EVER”

Teresa Rinteria, 87, a Lively Dancer

Louise Tate, 69, Never Missed an Opportunity to Vote

Hector Lozon, 91, Possessed “Rare Gift” for Choosing Inexpensive Table Wines, Say Friends

Bess Lindstrom Smelled Like Cookies

For my part, I’m torn. Do I want to be remembered for my compulsive collection of plastic figurines of cartoon characters, for my opera recordings, or for my Playbill collection that covers every theater and opera performance I've seen since high school? For a while there, I really wanted to be remembered for my abdominal muscles, but these days it’s looking less likely that they’ll last long enough to figure prominently in my obituary. Maybe choosing the right headline is best left to those who survive me.


Michael Leddy said...

Bill, is “Bess Lindstrom” the character from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or just a coincidental name?

William V. Madison said...

You caught me, Michael. As a kid, I had a crush on Lisa Gerritsen, who played Bess.