One of the first things I saw this morning was an AP article about Bruno Kirby's death. It has effectively ruined my day. He had leukemia I guess. That sucks. I'm going to stop there, because all my kind words for Bruno Kirby sound like jokes, and I'm not intending to be funny. So out of respect, I'm cutting myself off.
Know who else died this year? Peter Tomarken. His plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay. Much like John Ritter, he was a figure I noticed and admired for as long as I can remember. Maureen Stapleton died on the same day...March 13.
Anyway, all this death thought inspired a trip to Wikipedia for a list of who's died this year. LOTS of people are dying. Most of the names aren't familiar to me (which inspires a weird guilt in itself), but there are lots of them. And the causes are varied and, in a surprising number of cases, unfair. For Kirby Puckett, 45-year old baseball player, to die of complications from a stroke? Sucks. Lots of cancer, lots of "complications". Both Ohio's and California's oldest residents died at the age of 112 this year. Bill Cardoso, the guy who coined the word "gonzo", died in February at the age of 68. Doesn't say how. Darrin McGavin (star of Kolchak: The Night Stalker; also known as the dad in A Christmas Story) died at 83 of natural causes on February 25. Actually, I had no idea he was that old. But still, it sucks.
It's never who you'd expect. Rare is the day my mind would turn to Bruno Kirby, or how he's getting along, but I'd never think about the fact that he's going to die. I certainly wouldn't have expected him to die this soon. Someone who'd been long-suffering doesn't sting as much. Johnny Cash, for example (whose death, for me, was overshadowed by John Ritter's (Ritter died September 11, 2003; Cash died September 12)). But maybe Bruno Kirby was suffering. His misfortune just wasn't as newsworthy.
There's one less funny guy in the world. I'll leave it at that.