Friday, June 26, 2009

Three Deaths This Week

Farrah Fawcett died of cancer yesterday morning. When I was in high school I never missed an episode of "Charlie's Angels" This was commercial TV's version of "Women's lib" where women didn't wait for a man to rescue them, they solved mysteries, they kicked fought their way out of trouble...all with sexy figures, heels and hair dos that my friends and I spent hours with curling irons trying unsuccessfully to emulate.

But all I can think of is her boyfriend Ryan O'Neal's troubled daughter Tatum telling of how the two of them were so wrapped up in each other there was no room for anyone else, not even their own children.

Nobody is perfect we all make mistakes and one is not supposed to speak ill of the dead. But when we idolize celebrities, especially at their death, this failure on her part needs to be acknowledged. I think your children are a much better legacy than your work. When I think of Fawcett all I can think of is Tantum and Redmond.

And then yesterday afternoon came the shocking news of the death of Micheal Jackson. We thought we'd always have Micheal Jackson around to make fun of. Of course no one is making fun of him now. He's a tragic heroic figure. Everybody loved Micheal Jackson but it seemed nobody loved him enough to say no to him. Not the doctor's who kept operating on him until he looked like a freak. Not his agents. Not the women who handed their children over to him to be raised in his isolated freakish world.

I never was that big of fan of his music, though I recognize his genius. I just hope those who admire his work so much realize at what cost it came. It is a mystery to me as to why the genius that produces the art that gives joy to so many costs the artist such a high price.

Farrah Fawcett and Micheal Jackson were not heroes. A real hero died earlier this week. His name was Ed Thomas and he had coached high school football in Parkersburg, Iowa for 37 years. He served as an elder in his church and taught Sunday School. He was instrumental in getting the football field rebuilt after it was destroyed when a devastating tornado ripped through the town last year.

He was more than a coach but a mentor to his students. Detroit Lions defensive end Jarod DeVries said in a statement: "Aside from my own father and mother, no one had a more profound impact on my life than Coach Thomas. He truly was like a second father to me and to the hundreds of players from our community he coached over the years. "

He tried to help a troubled former member of his team, Mark Becker.
Wednesday, for reasons no one knows and probably will never understand, that troubled young man walked into the weight room of the high school where coach Thomas was working with other students and shot the coach to death. Ed Thomas was a real hero. His death was a real tragedy. When the media laments the loss of our "icons" this week, I remember a community who lost someone whom they knew and loved, a man who truly gave his life for others.

1 comment:

  1. this is the best essay on these subjects I've seen so far. thanks!