exordia

"How are we to help those who die and those who have died?" --
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"By writing or reading obituaries,
we can discover ways to make our time on earth more worthwhile, more productive, more meaningful to others." -- Alana Baranick, "Life on the Death Beat"

"'I always read the obituaries in The Times,' I explained to her. 'They make me bloody glad to be alive.'" -- John Mortimer, "Rumpole's Return"

Teena Marie aka Marie Christine Brockert

R & B Singer/songwriter/musician -- via Rolling Stone.

Jack Tracy

Former editor of Downbeat and producer of many jazz recordings -- via Jazz Wax. And here's part of a long and fascinating interview Steven A. Cerra conducted with him that appears on the marvelous blog, Jazz Profiles.

Myrna Smith

Singer and songwriter -- via Classic Pop Icons. As a member of the Sweet Inspirations, she sang backup for Elvis alongside Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston's mother.

Mohammed Amin Sweeney

Malay literature expert -- via Asiaone News.

Bud Greenspan

Documentary filmmaker, writer and producer -- via the New York Times. His subject was sports, specifically the Olympics. He created extensive chronicles of Olympians and their efforts, "focusing on the uplifting stories of athletes facing triumph and tragedy. He left the unsavory stories for others to chronicle," according to Richard Sandomir of the Times. This approach proved popular and inspiring, and influenced many others -- including yours truly. Here's a clip that typifies his smooth, well-edited, clear and focused narrative approach --