Wednesday, September 3, 2014

the halitosis of hallelujah

Death has a way of sand-papering the juicy and jagged and nuanced bits of anyone's life. As a focal point, reporting a death is a little like reporting on sports or religion ... the news is frequently cushioned by soft-ball recollections because, well, sports, religion and death are delicate matters, so shading the truth is often acceptable. Jesus and Babe Ruth and whoever all else may represent a totem ... well, somehow it's understandable to make nice ... they're dead after all.

On page 1 of the local paper today, the death of 89-year-old  Francis Dresser was reported. Dresser saw action during World War II, came home and became the Fire Chief in Goshen, a small community in the hills not far from here. To judge by the article, he was a nice and caring man of whom the reporter wrote that Dresser was "a man of little words who got a lot done." Dresser was instrumental in a number of emergency-services initiatives.

As praise goes, I like to think that Dresser was indeed a man who did more and spoke less. It's not a recollection anyone is likely to put on my gravestone. But just knowing there may have been such a man or woman -- especially with mid-term elections in the offing -- is a pleasure.

Doing disappears and yet remains.

Words just remain ... the stale stuff; the softball stuff; the 'important' stuff... the halitosis of hallelujah.

A nice bit of praise even if it is not entirely accurate -- spoke less, did more.

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