In his recent Online column, Garrison Keillor has a great quote:
My goal is to live long enough so that nobody who comes to my funeral remembers me.
Sounds like a good goal to me, and better than most. Then, he continues on:
It’ll take place at a mega-mortuary called WalMort, where a recorded choir sings “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and the eulogy is by my last cleaning lady who talks about how good my aim at the toilet was, right up to the end.
Also sounds good to me, and also better than most. That’s how all funerals will probably be, and the trivial things we will be remembered for, not for the accomplishments we are most proud of.
His article was on Memorial Day, and he had this observation:
Rich people pay millions to put their names on buildings but usually the names are carved up over the entrance and nobody looks up there—we look down at the steps we’re climbing.
He also says why he did not join the military which were my reasons exactly:
I didn’t care to go to Vietnam; I preferred to forget about loyalty, reverence, bravery, obedience and the rest of the Boy Scout Law and devote myself to dreaminess and books and long conversations with interesting women. So shoot me.
(Korea was the war I didn’t care to go to, the war before Vietnam. I was working on a government research project at the RCA labs in Princeton, NJ, and Joan Maher’s father was on the draft board. He confirmed my request for a deferment.)