Tag: obituary

Paul Sorvino, RIP


Paul Sorvino and Mira Sorvino at Giffoni Film Festival 2013 – on July 20, 2013 (GIO_LE / Shutterstock)

I’m pretty much retired as the unofficial Ricochet obituarist, but I can not let the passing of actor Paul Sorvino go by the boards. Well, yes, I can. Because I really can’t say much about him as an actor. There are no roles of his that truly stand out for me. But the most important role was that of proud papa.

In 1996 when his daughter Mira won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Mighty Aphrodite she thanked her parents, but particularly her father. He was, in turn, a blubbering mess. His money, his fame, his politics – everything but the love he felt for her at that moment – was irrelevant.

Colin Powell, for Good and Ill


Colin Powell, who died Oct. 18, 2021, was a good and honorable man in his personal life and the consummate bureaucratic warrior. While elevated to the highest appointed offices by Republican presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, Powell turned hard to the left, actively supporting the fundamental transformation of the constitutional republic he had sworn repeatedly to support and defend. Gen. Powell affected military-civilian relations in the early years after the end of the Cold War, helping shape the presidencies of both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. As President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, Powell first promoted the invasion of Iraq, then renounced the decision after leaving government. As secretary of state, Powell also helped the Democrats sabotage the Bush presidency and the early years of the global war on terror with the crooked special prosecution led by Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Powell twice endorsed and voted for Barack Obama, endorsed and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and supported and voted for Joe Biden in 2020, a fair indicator of his true long-term political beliefs.

A Good and Honorable Man in Military and Marriage

Sad Day for Conservatives: Mike Adams Dead


From the Port City Daily:

WILMINGTON — According to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Mike Adams was found dead at his residence today.

Deputies responded to a wellness check at Adams’ home address and found him deceased. NHCSO is investigating the death, but has not released any additional information, and could not confirm cause of death or if foul play was suspected.

A True Hero’s Homecoming: Retired USAF Colonel, Congressman Sam Johnson


The news media condemns itself, as does our political class, once more, with their relative silence. A true American hero, whose virtue was proved in the skies of two wars, the hell on earth of the worst part of the Communist Vietnamese torture chambers, and in the halls of Congress that so often corrupt, has been called home. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, retired Congressman Sam Johnson went home on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at the age of 89. There is a famous photograph of Colonel Johnson reunified with his wife, Shirley, after seven years of captivity. At the end of May 2020, I believe they were reunified a second time. We do not know what Heaven is actually like, but we may well imagine these two people embracing again in bodies not ravaged by this fallen world.

Sam married his high school sweetheart, Shirley in 1950, shortly before graduating from Southern Methodist University. They remained faithfully married for 65 years until Shirley was called home before Sam. Shirley Johnson’s obituary confessed their faith:

During Sam’s captivity, Shirley’s faith in the almighty God became more real. Prior to the POW years, she and her husband had faithfully attended church. In the blink of an eye, God was comforting her, and her faith blossomed so that she was reliant on God for the answers to her life’s tribulations. This undying faith stayed with her the remainder of her life and became a hallmark of her quiet strength, gracious manner and gentle personality. [. . .] Sam and Shirley remained inseparable, enjoying seeing new places and learning about new cultures. They found the greatest joy however, spending time with family and giving praise and thanksgiving to their Lord and Savior.

Jim Lehrer, RIP


Jim Lehrer died Thursday, peacefully in his sleep at 85. He got his three-score years and ten with change back, a life lived in full. Lehrer was best known as half of PBS’s “MacNeil-Lehrer Report.” It debuted in 1975 and was an example of balanced reporting through at least the mid-1990s (when I drifted away from watching it).

Lehrer was also an entertaining author. I read and enjoyed several of the novels he wrote back in the 1980s and 1990s, notably, Kick the Can. He was an example of what news reporting and journalism should be and is no longer.

For your enlightenment, I offer Lehrer’s Rules of Journalism, cribbed from Instapundit:

‘It Was Worth It’: A Personal Tribute to Sir Roger Scruton


Sir Roger Scruton

At a certain age on the path to adulthood, we begin to realize not just that our heroes are human, but that they are mortal. In the last five years, we have said goodbye to Harry Jaffa, Kenneth Minogue, Rene Girard, Bernard Lewis, Gertrude Himmelfarb, and Forrest McDonald, among brilliant others, and I have watched each go with an increasing sense that I was seeing my pantheon of intellectual greats fade rapidly.

Robert Mugabe, Retired Tyrant, Dead at 95


mugabe“Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.” Ecclesiastes 8:10-13

Robert Mugabe died in a hospital in Singapore, at the age of 95.

Mr Mugabe had been battling ill health, and after his humiliating fall from office, his stamina seeped away rapidly. He was hospitalised in Singapore for months for an undisclosed ailment, Mr Mnangagwa had confirmed earlier this year.

Hand Grenade with a Bad Haircut: Ross Perot Dead at 89


H. Ross Perot, the man who could have been America’s first Independent President, died today at age 89. When he ran in 1992 against the incumbent George H.W. Bush and the Democratic Party nominee Bill Clinton he received 19% of the popular vote, the highest since Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose bid in 1912.

An Annapolis graduate, he was a pioneer in computer data systems, twice building companies and twice selling them to make his fortune. And he was generous with his money while being appalled at the government’s generosity with the money of taxpayers. A special cause of his was the medical care of veterans. He personally funded the research of Dr. Robert Haley at UT Southwestern that showed that many vets of the first Gulf War did, indeed, suffer from a chemical-induced toxin syndrome.

He will be remembered for his first presidential run which he announced on Larry King’s talk show on CNN. Talking about the nation’s problems in a folksy manner, particularly the deficit and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he promised to run if supporters would self-mobilize and get his name on the ballot in all 50 states, which they did.

The Winds of War: Herman Wouk Dead at 103


He was many things. A gag writer, a sailor at war, a novelist, the grandson of a rabbi. But above everything else, he was a storyteller. Herman Wouk has died at age 103.

He is best remembered for his breakthrough novel, The Caine Mutiny, and an epic pair of television mini-series The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Caine won the 1951 Pulitzer and was made into a classic film starring Humphrey Bogart as the mentally unstable Captain Queeg.

His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants who settled in New York. When his maternal grandfather joined them he took over the boy’s education in the Talmud. Although he resented it at the time his faith would become an integral part of his writing. In an age when it was fashionable for writers to look skeptically at religion or dismiss it entirely, Wouk embraced it. He would later call his grandfather and the United States Navy the two most important influences in his life.

Quote of the Day: The Fragility of Democracy


“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over a loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by Dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;

Second Banana: Tim Conway


Over the last couple of years, comedic actor Tim Conway has been in the news quite a lot and not in a good way. As Alzheimer’s ravaged one of television’s funniest minds his wife and daughter were in a court battle over his care. That battle is done as of this morning as Conway has passed away aged 85.

Born Tom Conway, he started his career in local television in the late 50s and early 60s in his hometown of Cleveland. He was writing and co-starring in comic skits that aired as filler for B-movies shown on the CBS affiliate WJW. His partner in crime was Ernie Anderson, whose greatest claim to fame was as the primetime announcer for ABC in the 1970s and 80s (“Next week on The Loooooooooove Boat!”) and the father of movie director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights). It was in these sketches that he was discovered by actress Rose Marie who was visiting the station during a promotional tour for The Dick Van Dyke Show. She secured him an audition on The Steve Allen Show and his national career took off from there. Tom became Tim in order to avoid conflicts with another, already established performer.

Despite his obvious talents he was forever the second banana. All attempts at being the lead in a series was met with prompt cancellation. His car was easily recognizable around Southern California for its “13 WKS” license plates, noting his string of mid-season cancellations. He was also the guest host on a show that was so bad ABC canceled it after one showing. Turn On (1969) was a sex-centered show by Laugh-In creator George Schlatter. Too risque for its time, some affiliates bailed during the first commercial break while many West Coast affiliates watching the East Coast feed simply refused to air it.

Sentimental Journey: Doris Day Passes at 97


Les Brown and Doris Day (C. 1945)

The most tempting cliche in noting the passing of a celebrity is that a death marks “an end of an era.” Doris Day’s era ended much sooner than she did, but she truly was the last of her kind. She was the last of the great “girl singers” of the Big Band Era, the last of the great musical stars of the Hollywood studio system and the last performer to have headlined a weekly half-hour network radio show.

Rechristened Doris Day because Doris von Kappelhoff was a mouthful and a bit of a stretch for a marquee, she began her career singing on WLW (The Nation’s Station) in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. At that time, WLW had a habit of taking local acts and turning them into national sensations. Besides Day, WLW launched the careers of Rosemary Clooney, Andy Williams, and the Mills Brothers. It was in Cincinnati that she hooked up with Les Brown and his Band of Renown. Their partnership resulted in her first number one hit, Sentimental Journey. 

Bruno Ganz is Dead and Hitler is P… Angry


Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor who helped give the world it’s first serious German-language portrayal of the last days of Adolf Hitler on film and an enduring internet meme, has died at age 77.

Thanks to the “Hitler finds out about X…”parodies that populate YouTube, Ganz’s turn in Der Untergang (The Downfall, 2004) has probably made him the most known “unknown” in the English-speaking world. He had a 50-year career in cinema but he made very few films for Hollywood.

His most famous work was probably Der Himmel über Berlin (The Heaven Over Berlin, 1987) released in the US as Wings of Desire. Ganz plays one of two angels whose job it is to watch over the divided city, when he falls in love with a human woman and longs to become mortal himself. (Peter Falk plays himself in the movie, that is, if Peter Falk was really an angel who made the transition to mortality himself.)

Member Post


Yesterday morning, Ricochet promoted to the main feed my short post about the passing of a local icon in Waterbury, Connecticut – Zeqir Berisha (Ziggy the Flagman). Last night, a local independent newspaper in Waterbury published an absolutely outstanding piece on the man which covered the writer’s almost 20 year friendship with Zeqir. This morning, […]

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Ziggy: The Passing of an Icon


Video Still Credit: Palin Smith

Known to the residents of Connecticut as Ziggy the Flagman, Zeqir Berisha passed on Christmas Day. An immigrant from communist Kosovo, Zeqir adopted and loved this country. In Connecticut, Ziggy was an absolute icon of America.