Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saying Good-bye, Mansoor's "Arabness" & Cassity's Wisdom

"Where ya been, Potstirrer?" asked one reader via email on Saturday, apparently wondering if I was taking a page from the California legislature and was off on a little hiatus. I guess he was worried that I hadn't posted anything since Thursday.


Well, I spent a big part of Friday at the funeral for a dear friend, Corki Rochlitz, who passed away unexpectedly on my birthday a couple weeks ago after what was supposed to be fairly routine surgery earlier in that week. During a hernia repair that wasn't essential but desirable according to her doctor, something went wrong, she developed sepsis, suffered a couple heart attacks on that Friday and passed away at noon on Saturday, the 14th. It was a punch in the gut for her family and friends.

So, on Friday my wife and I joined a couple hundred people at a catholic church in the South Bay area for a lovely service remembering our friend. The priest who officiated was a friend of Corki's for most of their lives and he gave a lovely remembrance. Her two sons did their best to speak of their mother, with only mixed success. Later the assembled masses convened at a fellowship hall to watch a slide show of our friend's life and to chat about her among themselves.

This woman was my friend for only six and a half years. She became my friend when I was in Las Vegas tending to my best friend, Larry Moore, since we were 5 years old as he tried to recover from a terrible motorcycle accident. Many of you know that story...

During my stay in Vegas I began sending nightly emails to a few mutual friends, telling them of my pal's condition. That distribution grew until one day near the end of the first week Corki wrote a nice note of encouragement and asked to be included on the list. She was also a retired LAPD officer and seemed to know, literally, everybody in that organization. So, she began forwarding my notes to most people in her email address book and would send me feedback from those folks. She was a welcome voice of calm encouragement and compassion at a time when it was sorely needed.

Following my friend's passing I finally met Corki face-to-face at his service and we had a nice visit. We continued to email each other and, over the past half-dozen years have swapped over 5,000 messages, many telephone calls and more than a few meals. She, a woman with boundless energy and compassion, became a friend in every sense of the word. We swapped stories on an almost-daily basis about our lives, families, friends - all the highs and lows you chat with friends about. She became a huge part of my life. And now she's gone...

Once again, as I spoke with many of her other friends Friday, I was reminded just how fragile life is and how quickly unexpected turns can appear as you travel down that road. For my pal, Larry, it was an unanticipated turn in the road. For Corki it seems to have been a nick to an internal organ during fairly routine surgery that caused it to end tragically. You just never know. So, once again, I remind you to tell those you love just how you feel about them. Don't wait...


With a tip of the cap to the folks at the Orange Juice blog for the loan of this image from an article they published in April, HERE, in case you missed it, the editors of the Daily Pilot decided to publish another of my commentaries Saturday. Actually, they published most of what I submitted to them. I included the missing two paragraphs in the comments section attached to the online version of my commentary, so you can read the whole thing HERE.

I find myself wondering how Allan Mansoor will feel when he reads it...


For those of you who still have not placed my pal, Chuck Cassity's blog, "Chuckmeister Unleashed!" on your list of favorites, here are links to his two most recent entries, "The Coming Unpleasantness" and "Let's Poll the Judges". Just click on the titles and give yourself a treat. You can stop by the Hi-Time booth at the Halecrest-Hall of Fame Chili Cook-Off today beginning at noon and let Chuck know how you feel about his words of wisdom. See you there.

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