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One of the most unusual - some would say "bizarre" - journalists
of our time has died. If you grew up in the sixties and seventies and
read Rolling Stone magazine
you are very familiar with Hunter S. Thompson. His rambling, stream-of-consciousness
writing on everything from politics to rock n' roll gave birth to the
self-proclaimed "gonzo journalism".
The popular comic strip Doonesbury even had a character patterned after
I remember reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas just out
of college. What a hoot! My college buddies and I lived vicariously through
him and would occassionally try to imitate his writing style, although
we couldn't touch him for his wacked out prose equivalent to continuous
bungee cord jumping. Hunter S. Thompson was one of a kind and it is too
bad that he apparently chose to end his life with a bullet (he had a lifelong
fascination with firearms).
More and more I am seeing articles about Ethical Wills. I wrote
about it not long ago. And you may be reading about it in your newspaper
or favorite magazine. Reportedly there is an article in the new issue
of Spirituality and Health (although I haven't seen it yet).
In my town the Albuquerque Journal publishes a monthly magazine,
Boomer, and they recently included a good article on the
value of ethical wills. You can view it here.
One of the great writers of our time has passed on. Arthur Miller
was a great American playwrite best known for Death of A Salesman,
for which he won the Pulitzer at age 33. Another of his best works was
was reportedly an introvert, but he was married for five years to Marilyn
Monroe and that certainly thrust him into the brightness of the celebrity
Miller died Thursday night at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. He was
89. The cause was congestive heart failure, according to his assistant,
The rich heritage of Asians in the Western Hemisphere may not have been
covered in your social studies class. I, for one, did not know there were
Chinese barbers in Mexico City as early as 1625.
The extensive history of Asian-Americans is brought to light with the
PBS "Ancestors in the Americas" Web site. Starting with
Europe's desire to trade good with Asian countries before Columbus landed
in the Western Hemisphere (remember, he was looking for a new trade route
to India) and continuing up through the Japanese-American internment camps
the U.S. government used in the 1940's, you can find out a great deal
about the heritage fo Asian-Americans. The stories told in their own words
by some of those profiled are particularly revealing. See the site here.
As I've often pointed out on this website, there are many ways
to preserve your story. Personal history is a growing field and I believe
the number of people interested in saving their story in some fashion
will continue to grow in the years ahead.
While I recommend working with a personal historian if you can, there
are other options to pursue. One is Totem - a software program
designed to record your life story to a computer. You can create a multimedia
personal history that uses interviews, audio and video. Do you have a
web cam with your computer? This software program is an affordable way
to go (just $60) and is the first software designed to collect life histories
from nursing home and care facility residents (thanks to a partnership
with one of the nation's leading geriatric care and research institutions).
Take a look and even download a free trial here.
Everybody has a story to tell!
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