This may sound like an oxymoron, but I like reading obituaries. Sounds ghoulish, doesn't it?
But don't take it that way.
It's just that some people live interesting lives. When the curtain closes on them, we, who might otherwise never know the imprint they made on their time and on the lives of others, find out in an obituary.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not one of those whose hobby it is to run through the obituaries sedulously each day. I usually come across them serendipitously. Like today.
I picked up both of our dailies to read about the Bears game. The Monday quarterbacking. More like the drawing and the quartering on this Monday after such a sorry performance. Unacceptable! But that's a different kind of obituary.
That's when I came upon the obituary of Dr. Lawrence "Larry" Solomon. Who passed at the age of 83. His life narrative is beautifully encapsulated for the Sun-Times reader by Maureen O'Donnell.
What a wonderful life. You can read about it yourself on page 55. I'll just tell you why by citing a few reasons culled from that page.
First, Mr. Solomon---a perfect surname as it turns out---lived the fullest of lives. A renowned clinical dermatologist and an bibliophile extraordinaire . He loved especially Sherlock Holmes, and often replicated the latter's methods of observation and deduction in solving medical conundrums.
He was an engaging, gregarious, brilliant man. Whom people took to immediately because of his warmth and charm.
His mind must have been formidable, but his manner was easy, amiable, accessible.
Miss O'Donnell writes: "Books were a lifetime love of his. He started collecting them when he was 12. His home was lined with shelves of rare and first editions, especially mysteries and ghost stories, kept in bookcases guarded by dragon figurines ranging from Lalique crystal behemoths to papier-mache monsters from Mexico.....he was thrilled while studying in Geneva to learn that Adrian Conan Doyle---son of "Sherlock Holmes" creator Arthur Conan Doyle---was also living in Switzerland. 'Somehow, Larry got the word of it and called him, and they spent the afternoon together,' said his wife."
He spent his last days listening to the music of Bach and Mozart, his beloved books surrounding him, all the support and solace he desired.
He was someone who in a real sense had skin in the game's afoot. He may have used that line himself in all probability.
Wherever he is, may he rest in peace, that is, after rereading one of his favorite cases of the World's Greatest Consulting Detective.