Two years ago, I watched an editor spend almost a week digging through a year's worth of newspapers to assemble a list of notable deaths before the year was up. Last year, I basically duplicated that kind of last-minute effort.
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One of the most interesting things I found during a year of close reading of the obits. These ran on back-to-back days. Both would be odd images for an obit — they're actually one photo, just cropped to the wrong person the first day.
In 2013, I started collecting obituaries on Jan. 1, in a manila envelope that soon grew fat. By the fall, I'd turned up a few beautiful obituaries written by families, and a collection of odd and endearing nicknames that families deemed worthy of inclusion in their remembrances.
Coupled with my recent reading of "The Dead Beat," about obituary writers (a book I've wanted to read for a couple years), I was primed for an end-of-the-year send up on the art of obit writing.
Here's what we delivered: two short narratives about families approaching obit writing and a lengthy round-up of notable deaths with an emphasis on unsung locals.
:: What to say when words don't come easy
:: When a nickname fits, it follows to the grave
:: Tennesseans who changed the world
Labels: obituary, Tennessean
by Tony @
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