Tuesday, December 06, 2005

gerry hostetler's "it's a matter of life"

have you read gerry hostetler's obit column in the charlotte observer? the column is called "it's a matter of life." each column is an obit, but gerry wraps her own observations and commentary around and through them.

for example, she starts her dec. 5 column (about fritz littlejohn, the newsman who made the decision to air army-mccarthy hearings on television) this way:

If you thought the gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Watergate scandal was mind-blowing, you should have been around in the mid-1950s. You would have seen its grandaddy when the groundbreaking Army-McCarthy hearings were televised.

Francis Newton "Fritz" Littlejohn, whose controversial decision it was to air those hearings, died Nov. 24. . .

she gives us a history lesson:

Television was coming into its own then, and viewers were riveted to the little black and white screens. At issue was whether Sen. Joseph McCarthy's former chief counsel, Roy Cohn, had pressured the Army to give special privileges to inductee and former consultant on McCarthy's staff G. David Schine.

most of her subjects are everyday folks from north carolina. (littlejohn started his journalism career as a sports reporter for the charlotte observer.)

her nov. 30 column is about a woman, who died in a two-car collision in the same area where her daughter was killed nearly 20 years ago.

gerry's leads it with:

Sometimes, just when a family thinks it's had all it can bear, along comes another tragedy. This proves that life is not always fair, neither to the living nor to the dead.

yet gerry doesn't fall into the let's-be-morbid trap. she tells the story of a woman who enjoyed life and brought joy to the lives of others. she writes of a woman who shared a common love of hunting for indian arrowheads with her husband with whom she collected about 1,000 perfect arrowheads.

you can access gerry's recent columns at It's a Matter of Life.

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