Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The confessional obituary

This obituary, which appeared in my hometown newspaper on July 15, has been getting some national attention. Val Patterson, the man who wrote it, confessed to a theft of a safe from “The Motor View Drive Inn” (more accurately, it was called the Motor Vu Drive-In (theater), now long gone. Patterson also confesses why he was really not a Ph.D despite having the diploma: the university made a mistake, and Patterson didn't even know what the initials Ph.D stood for. Yet things worked out for him, anyway.

It's also a testament of love to his wife, and that's the part of the confession that moved me the most.

This should be preserved as a document, misspellings and all, of a life lived to its fullest, cut short by smoking. Val Patterson sounds like he was quite a guy, quite a character. If we all had to sit down right now and write an obituary for ourselves, what would we find to say?

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