Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rest In Peace.

Sometimes, I’ll take such a good picture of someone that I think, “This is definitely making it into the slideshow at their funeral.”

But when a true hero dies, I have no idea how to handle it.

Yogi Berra passed away yesterday, and while he had a Hall of Fame baseball career, many forget he fought in World War II – in the Navy, in the English Channel, on the day we stormed Omaha Beach. Or maybe we don’t forget so much as we never knew this about him, because Yogi was too modest to mention it.

He went on to win more World Series – ten – than any player in history, but he’s unfortunately known mainly for butchering the English language. As a big Yankee fan, I’m disappointed by this because by all accounts he was the sweetest man, a father figure for 26 years later in life as a coach.

In every screenplay I write, the character names are tributes to Yankees. In my drama The Beneficiary, Peter Holden’s name was derived from Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra. (And a less-Semitic nod to Ken Holtzman.)

I suppose one famous Yogi-ism is worth repeating – the one we’ll probably hear most in the coming days: “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

But I bet no one gets in to Yogi Berra’s funeral – it’ll be way too crowded.

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