July 9, 2010
I’m an avid reader of the obituaries in the New York Times. Lives lived. Lives lost. I like reading about people who have done remarkable things. People who have left their mark on some small corner of the world. Dance. Art. Science. Math. Service. Religion.
Very few came from remarkable beginnings. Along the way, fate, ambition, intellect, soul, whatever, intervened to put them in a place where they could change lives. Usually for the better. Sometimes not. Obituaries are like a vacation slideshow. Most often, they reflect the good. Only in extraordinary cases do they balance the good with the not-so-good. We don’t, as they say, speak ill of the dead. The man was an ogre. Or a narcissist. Or whatever.
All of this came to mind as I read rememberences of George Steinbrenner. What good could be said was related to ecomomic viability of his New York Yankees. He created a billion dollar dynasty out of a $10 million investment. How he got there? Not much respect. Too many people offering too many views of man hell-bent to win. Not in a good way.
George, you know by now you can’t take it with you. Is this the legacy you wanted to leave laid out bare in the Gray Lady? Even the obit writers couldn’t find much nice to say. Bless Fay Vincent for trying.
Makes an ordinary guy stop for a moment. How do you want to be remembered?