:: Let’s start with the tragic.
Maybe you saw the obit of 45-year-old Lara Gail Taylor. It was one of those obits that jumped out at you because of the photo. There she was — just her face — with a big smile, pretty hair and glowing eyes. (Online, you could see her hair was red.)
She was 45, had a son — apparently she was divorced or widowed — and lived in Amarillo. The obit was in The Star because she had been born in North Kansas City and formerly lived in Parkville.
The first sentence of the obit left me totally confused: “Lara Taylor…passed away unexpectedly about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2016, in a tragic head-on collision involving two BNSF freight trains near the town of Panhandle, Texas.”
My first thought was, “What the hell was this woman doing in the vicinity of a freight-train collision”? Was she a bystander? What? It just didn’t compute.
Obviously, I was thinking stereotypically because a Google search revealed she was a crew member on one of the trains. Two other crew members also died and a fourth escaped by jumping off one of the trains just before the impact.
A memorial service is being held Tuesday at Harmony Vineyard Church, Kansas City, North.
:: The strange.
In last night’s 6-2 win over the Phillies, Royals’ starting pitcher Danny Duffy not only dominated the Phillies but he drove in a run with a weird bunt that looped over the head of the Phillies’ starting pitcher and landed in the grass in front of their shortstop. Describing the play in his game story, The Star’s Rustin Dodd compared the ball’s flight to “a delicate lob web from just off the fringe.”
I think Rustin has been spending too much time on the Internet because the words he was looking for were lob wedge. That’s a club you use to pop the golf ball up and over a hill or sand trap.
:: The heroic.
The terrorist attack at a Bangladesh bakery took the lives of two police officers, six attackers and 20 hostages — all foreigners…The attackers didn’t want to kill fellow Muslims. (Among other things, the attackers lectured the hostages on religious practices and told the kitchen staff to pray regularly and study the Qu’ran.) They did kill one Bangladeshi man, however. He was Faraz Hossain, a student at Emory University in Atlanta. Hossain was with two women wearing Western clothes — one from India, the other from the U.S. The terrorists offered Hossain the opportunity to leave, but, courageously, he declined and chose to see it through with his companions. He was among those found dead on Saturday morning, after the 10-hour siege.
:: The fascinating.
By far the most interesting story in today’s papers is The New York Times’ story about President Obama’s late-night work and correspondence habits.
The story opens like this:
“Are you up?”
The emails arrive late, often after 1 a.m., tapped out on a secure BlackBerry from an email address known only to a few. The weary recipients know that once again, the boss has not yet gone to bed.
It seems that almost every night that he’s at the White House, Obama has dinner at 6:30 with Michelle and his daughters and then withdraws to the Treaty Room, a private office down the hall from his bedroom, where he works for four or five hours, under a portrait of President Ulysses S. Grant. Among other things, he reads staff reports, works on speeches and reads 10 letters — letters from the public and chosen each day by his staff.
The story says he also “watches ESPN, reads novels or plays Words With Friends on his iPad.”
He doesn’t rely on caffeinated drinks to keep him going. Usually it’s just bottled water.
Now, you would think that working four or five hours would require lots of snacks. Not for this reed-thin chief executive. His nightly indulgence is seven lightly salted almonds. Never more, never less. Seven.