American writer Norbert Blei has passed away at the age of 78. He wrote 17 books of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and essays. Norbert was born in Chicago and attended Illinois State University which is in Bloomington-Normal. Coincidentally, I was there just the other weekend. While there I authored one of the must delicious cups of self-serve frozen yogurt you could ever imagine. Multiple flavors of frozen yogurt? Check. Ground up thin mints? Check. Cookie dough balls? Check. Reeses Pieces and Peanut Butter Cups? Check and Check. But I digress.
Rest in peace to Mr. Blei, who created some great pieces of art in his day that will live on well beyond his passing, even if it was overshadowed by a masterfully crafted frozen yogurt treat. I definitely should have taken a picture. Damn it.
Allan Arbus was a photography and actor, best known for playing Major Sidney Freedman on M*A*S*H. The New York Times described his character by saying, “He treated wounds of the psyche much as Capt. Hawkeye Pierce treated surgery patients: with a never-ending string of zingers.” He’s probably glad he was unable to read that. Rest in peace and rest in steesh.
Ettore Boiardi was a remarkable chef. His company made and prepared millions of rations for American and Allied troops during World War II, and for his efforts he was awarded a gold star order of excellence from the United States War Department. It’s too bad then that he had to change the spelling of his name so us dumb Americans could pronounce it.
Jack White was named this year’s Record Store Ambassador and released a note pretty much telling people to stop relying so much on computers, phones and the internet. I agree with some of what he says. Jack, let’s get a cup of coffee and talk it over.
Gutzon Borglum is the sculptor famous for designing Mount Rushmore. Then his story gets bleak. “A child of polygamy. His father, Jens Møller Haugaard Børglum, had two wives when he lived in Idaho—Borglum’s mother and his mother’s sister, his father’s first, legal wife. His father decided to leave Mormonism and to go back to Omaha, where polygamy was illegal and taboo. He decided that Gutzon’s mother would be cast out of the family and never spoken of again.”