Sunday, August 03, 2014


I am pretty exhausted from doing nothing, but since I am dead tired, I guess I should note a few people who have died who are worth noting here:

Former Oregon governor Vic Atiyeah, 91, died July 20. He served as governor during the years 1978-1987. I can't believe it has been that long ago. He was a decent guy, one of those Republicans who used to exist until the batshit crazies took over the national party.

He was the last Republican elected governor in the state.

A public memorial service is scheduled for September 3.

Actor James Shigela, 85, star of the film Flower Drum Song, died of pulmonary failure.

Mr. Shigeta traveled a distinctive path to stardom. He was born in the American territory Hawaii to a family of Japanese descent. His native language was English, but he first became an acting and singing star in Japan, where he took language lessons while performing in the 1950s. He served in the American military during the Korean War.

The last surviving member of the "Enola Gay" crew who dropped the bomb over Hiroshima, Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, died July 28. He was 93:

A veteran of 58 World War II combat missions over Europe and Africa, Van Kirk was told that he had been chosen for a top-secret bombing mission that could help end World War II. The payload was never specified.

Boarding the stripped-down B-29 on the island of Tinian in the northern Marianas, Van Kirk and his crewmates flew some 1,700 miles to Japan. They dropped a bomb code-named Little Boy, which took 43 seconds to detonate, generating a burst of heat estimated at 50 million degrees. At 8:16 a.m. local time, Little Boy ushered in the dawn of the atomic age, destroying most of Hiroshima in a blinding flash. A poisonous mushroom cloud rose more than 50,000 feet.

Van Kirk, who looked down at the city for a jarring moment and saw what he later likened to a pot of boiling tar, had just one thought at the time, he said in numerous interviews: "The war's over."

No comments: