David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Forever Is, but Not Here

I hope I do not offend here by juxtaposing the solemn with the relatively trivial. The space-time continuum seems to have juxtaposed them for me, as it often does, and I, at least, am unoffended. In any case, you really should read the sonnet (not mine).


A week ago last night, at a Monday evening event at the American Fork Library, over ice cream, of all things, I chatted with Dr. Gary Hatch, a regular reader of this blog and a Facebook friend who has regularly distinguished himself by the wit and intelligence of his status updates. These are not major bullet points in the account of a person's life, I suppose -- and, yes, sadly, it is time to consider the highlights of his life. My daughter, who knows his son, told me Sunday that Gary died suddenly the previous night, a few decades too early by my calculation. It took me mere minutes to confirm the sad news, a few minutes more to learn the details.

He was others' teacher and colleague, but never mine; from this I conclude that his impact on others was more profound than on me. But one did not have to know him especially well to see that the aforementioned wit and intelligence are part of a set, which included -- I think I should rather say includes -- charm and decency and gentle goodness.

I suppose Facebook updates from the other side are too much to hope for.

Gideon Burton, Gary's colleague, a poet, and my fellow BYU student years ago, has written a sonnet you should read.

Relative Trivia

On a far less consequential but still slightly sad note, I just discovered (because I've been so busy in recent weeks) that "Bishop Higgins'" blog, which has been on my blog roll here for quite some time, has come to an end. You can still read it, but its author, who has finally identified himself as Justin Hackworth, is no longer writing there. Here in the relentless heart of Mormondom one treasures any artful exercise of the priceless gift of laughing at ourselves.

Still unanswered is the nagging question of how I, of all people, turned up in his blog in July 2007. I even taunted "Bishop Higgins" a little back then and invited him to lunch, but never heard back. Maybe now that he's released he'll have more time.

We'll get back to politics tomorrow, I suppose.

David Rodeback comments (10/5/2010):

A well-written obituary about Gary Hatch is now available online.

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