This week three deaths have been reported. Even though I didn’t know any of them personally, they all had meaning to me.
George Steinbrenner. I am not a big sports fan, but I am a fan of New York City. Steinbrenner and his Yankees personified the city in my mind. Steinbrenner, his Yankees, and their city were loud, brash, often unthinking, rude, but ultimately they were winners.
Capt. Phil Harris. One of my favorite TV series is Deadliest Catch. Phil Harris was one of the crab boat captains in the reality TV series. Harris actually died in January of this year, but the episode of Deadliest Catch which showed his stroke while unloading his boat just aired yesterday. I don’t really understand the fascination with Harris and Deadliest Catch. It is basically a fishing crew throwing crab pots into the Bering Sea, then retrieving them later. I can even watch re-runs over and over. I will miss Capt. Phil.
Harvey Pekar. The anti-hero underground comic book writer. Pekar and his contemporaries, including Gilbert Shelton, Spain Rodriguez, Chester Brown, Jim Woodring, were popular and influential on college campuses in the early 1970s. Pekar’s American Splendor series remains a classic, especially those illustrated by R. Crumb. His life was one of quiet desperation lived as an obscure file clerk. His infrequent appearances on David Letterman were some of my favorites. The autobiographical move of Pekar’s life, “American Spendor,” is in my top 25 of all time.