Sunday, December 07, 2014

dead people


Dead People on My Mailing List
It's an end of the year project, I am sure this is familiar to you, to clean out the cupboard and throw out the unpaired socks, and delete names from your mailing list because people move one, even loved ones move on, or they merely lose interest in your Internet connection.
Marty Federman
I try not to send Frog Hospital to people who are not especially interested in receiving it. But there are exceptions, called the Marty Federman Rule.
What happened is that Marty, whom I have not seen in over 20 years, said, in the kindest way, that since he hardly reads Frog Hospital, would I please delete his name from the list.....
This request was reasonable, but I could not comply. I even refused to comply. I wrote to Marty and told him that I needed to know he was there, even if he did not read it. I needed to know he was there because he is one of the people I am writing for.
Thus was born the status of Legacy Reader. And you might be one of them. That means that your request to unsubscribe might not be honored.

Dead People
However, we have a new problem -- what if you are dead? A good friend of mine, her name was Hunter, and she lived in Altadena, with her dog and four cats, and I was a frequent visitor, and often stayed in her spare bedroom for several weeks at a time (paying her $100 per week).
She died.  Of course it was not entirely unexpected. She did have health problems, and she had become concerned about living alone. Last year she had a fainting spell and collapsed on the floor. That left her helpless for several hours because she could not reach her cell phone.
So, treasuring her solitude, she still preferred my company for practical reasons, plus I was a good guest.
They had a memorial in her honor at the Ale House, where she was known, attending the wine tasting sessions there. Why do they call it wine tasting? You go to a restaurant, are you food tasting? Anyway, those were her people, having been 86'd from the Coffee Gallery.
This was incredible. No one gets kicked out of the Coffee Gallery, except maybe some crazy, homeless drunk or Jesus preacher.... but Hunter, in her outspoken-ness, in her ranting, managed to alienate the entire round table at the front of the house. This is a solid left-liberal group, matching her politics and religion or lack thereof. It wasn't politics. It's that she would not stop talking. And a woman at that. A highly intelligent and very articulate woman.
No, it was not her being a woman. I can cite examples of men at other coffee shops who were evicted for similar offenses.
But for Hunter, it was a kind of status, being the first woman ever kicked out of the Coffee Gallery.
I grieved for her dying, but I never get over to Altadena these days, so she was fading from my life anyway.
Then I come to her name on the mailing list. I was not prepared for this -- just to push a button and delete her name. I can't do that.
I give up. I can't delete anybody.

Marty, you are a great guy and I am glad you're still with me.

Hunter, I hope your dog and your four cats have found other homes because I know that would matter a lot to you.
All the rest of you, be well and I will write to you again soon enough.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001

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