Two obituaries of note

I don’t blog obituaries as much as I used to. The L.A. Times really had me going for a while. They can be such art! But then the Times fell off. But now the Times is back! But now I have less time to find their and others’ best obit work.

So, let me explain about these two.

First, there was a man in our neighborhood who used to walk two beautiful huskies. The manes, the eyes, the discipline, these dogs were like heroes.

Our dog, Shadow, whose only dream is to run to every other dog he sees, as fast as he can, with as much happiness barking out as he can, he is a different kind of dog. Love trumps discipline. When he would see these two beautiful huskies, he would break out in barking, straining at the leash, growling for escaping, making a fool of himself and his people. The huskies’ person, meanwhile, he would say something that neither Lori nor I could ever make out over Shadow’s frenzy.

“It’s no problem”? “Your dog is crazy”? Which one?

We stopped seeing the owner and his dogs last winter and soon after were sad to learned the owner had passed away. I was glad to see his obituary mentioned his love for his amazing dogs. I didn’t know what had happened to the two of them until recently. According to another neighbor, they went to a relative in Texas.

I hope they’re happy and still proud.

The second obituary was from 16 years ago. The publication of the late John McNamara’s “The Capital of Basketball: A History of DC Area High School Hoops” made me think of my seventh- and eighth-grade basketball coach, Bo Wright. He ran a city rec league that nurtured tons of talent, and I imagine he’s mentioned somewhere in McNamara’s book – or lurking somewhere near the margins.

Bo asked for hustle from his players and gave us all kinds of encouragement and praise in return, and he made sure we went as a team to church (and McDonald’s afterward) once or twice as season. He loved his wife Doris and UNC basketball so much. He died in 2003. I had no idea about much of what his obit mentioned.

“In 1944, Mr. Wright joined the D.C. Department of Recreation, where he spent the next 36 years teaching woodshop, macrame and sports at city playgrounds and community centers. He organized and ran weekly bowling programs for severely disabled children at the old Military Road School, volunteered with the city’s Special Olympics and helped form the Retarded Citizens Group, which he directed for 24 years until his retirement in 1980.”

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