June 7, 2015
As strange as this may sound, I was reading some obituaries of individuals who passed away in the early 1900's. It was the command of the English language of that era that caught my attention. Not only were they lengthy in their story of the individuals passing (would cost a small fortune at today's rate) the description and the manner of their demise was laid out in great detail.
One such obituary started out (so and so) 'has passed to his reward'. I thought, now there is one way to say something nice of a scoundrel or beloved and not offend anyone. The obituary went on to read 'but his many friends wish that his death might have been less violent'. Ok, now you have my attention. What followed is the poor soul's morning routine and something about a 'heavy fall' and his finding at the base of the stairs 'unconscious and probably already past breathing'. There was more talk of rheumatic and epileptic afflictions followed by the coroner's ruling of a 'severed spinal cord at the base of the brain'. Stop, I can't take any more.
But where the above may leave you hanging for the next word -- no one writes better than a cowboy poet. One of my favorites is Waddie Mitchell. Out of respect for his copyright I won't post his work here but instead provide a link to the http://www.cowboypoetry.com/waddie.htm website so that you can read it for yourself. Check out "Story with a Moral".