Thursday, April 12, 2007

So it goes

Probably one in a sea of posts with that title today and the next few days.
My friend Tommy H. wrote a nice memorial blurb about Mr. Vonnegut. I hope he doesn't mind me reposting it.
In memory of one of my literary heroes - Kurt Vonnegut, who passed away yesterday at 84 years of age - I wanted to share a tale with you inspired by the man himself. Some of you have "Welcome to Storyville" and have already read this, but just felt the urge to share what the man meant to me.
In keeping with Kurt's best work, this tale is mostly fictitious, but with just enough truth scattered among the road to blur the lines.
I'll miss him. He was a 20th century Mark Twain with a playfulness that, both, poked holes in hypocrisy and winked at the wary as if to say that all would - eventually, somehow - be OK. Or if not, at least the road to ruin would be paved with child-like laughter at our own human foolishness.
Here is one of my favorite passages from Kurt. I could give you a Top Ten List of quotes from "A Man Without a Country" alone, but this sort of sums up who Kurt was, and who I hope to be:
I had a good uncle, my late Uncle Alex. He was well-read and wise. And his principal compliant about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."
So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."


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