Towse: views from the hill

June 9, 2007

What do YOU want to be remembered for?

Filed under: factoid,people — Tags: — Towse @ 7:00 pm

Obit in today’s Chron: Edwin Traisman — french fry innovator.

Seems Traisman bought the first McDonald’s franchise in Madison, WI, in the late 1950s. At the time there was a problem getting the fresh potatoes to make fries. (McDonald’s fries at that time were made fresh in each location.) Ray Kroc asked Traisman to help work on the problem of making tasty frozen fries and a “Method for Preparing Frozen French Fried Potatoes” (a Traisman innovation) was patented in 1962.

But wait. There’s more.

Before becoming a McDonald’s franchisee, Traisman was director of food research at Kraft where he was instrumental in the development of Cheez Whiz cheese spread, instant pudding and other food products.

Cheez Whiz AND McDonald’s french fries! Where would we be today without Traisman?

May 17, 2007

RIP Terry Ryan, the author/daughter of the Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio.

Filed under: writers — Tags: , — Towse @ 11:10 pm

Author Terry Ryan, 61, dies in S.F. home

I’ve been sorting through boxes of books lately. Came across Terry’s book just a couple days back. I hadn’t realized she was ailing.

Survived by her nine siblings and Pat Holt, her partner of almost a quarter-century. Pat and Terry were married on Valentine’s Day weekend, 2004. The state nullified that marriage.

That wrong can never be righted now. Here’s to the day things change for those who carry on the good fight.

And here’s to Terry, may she be remembered fondly.

May 4, 2007

[OBIT] Wally Schirra — Mercury, Gemini, Apollo astronaut

Filed under: people,science — Tags: — Towse @ 5:29 pm

When Wally Schirra Said, “Go to Hell”

Well written, well done, Jeffrey Kluger of Time Magazine.

May 2, 2007

Bob Pastorio: Restaurateur, raconteur, friend

Filed under: writers — Tags: — Towse @ 2:22 am

A couple weeks back, Carol linked to a profile written by Charles Culbertson, a friend of Bob’s.

I just got around to reading it. Culbertson really caught Bob’s essence. Very nice.

April 28, 2007

Margaret Dorothy Killam Atwood

Filed under: people,writing — Tags: — Towse @ 10:11 pm

This week the Globe and Mail published the obit for Margaret Dorothy Killam Atwood, who died last December, aged 97.

What a wonderful homage to Margaret Atwood’s mother, written by the daughter.

The obit begins,

Someone said to me recently, ‘You must have had an unusual mother.’ True enough.


[from SG’s cosa nostra blog]

Update: with any luck the new link won’t ask you to pay for the obit text. …

January 23, 2007

RIP Barbara Seranella (1956-2007)

Filed under: writers — Tags: , — Towse @ 6:04 pm

Received a note from my SinCNorCal cohort with word that Barbara Seranella died Sunday while awaiting a liver transplant.

Sad news for those who’d known her.

More information at her site.

Life’s too short for some. This is, as one of her titles said, an unacceptable death.

Less than three weeks ago, I blogged that her New Year’s message showed such spirit.

We all had hoped …

January 19, 2007

RIP Robert Anton Wilson

Filed under: SFF,writers — Tags: — Towse @ 6:32 am

RIP Robert Anton Wilson

[via pnh at Making Light]

January 8, 2007

[OBIT] Momofuku Ando

Filed under: people — Tags: — Towse @ 5:59 am

Chron obit today for Momofuku Ando


Ando, age 96, who died of a heartattack Friday, invented Ramen, the first instant noodle.

I have some Ramen in the bin in the kitchen for those days when I have time for nothing else or can’t think of anything else or am feeling too drear and nothing sounds good, which sometimes amounts to the same thing and sometimes doesn’t.

RIP Momofuku Ando. What a brill idea you had, and carried through. American college students thank you.

Ando gave a speech at the company’s New Year ceremony and enjoyed Chicken Ramen for lunch with Nissin employees on Thursday before falling ill, Japan’s largest daily Yomiuri reported. [from the SFChron obit]

December 26, 2006

The Godfather of Soul: James Brown

Filed under: music — Tags: — Towse @ 2:49 am

Who would’ve thought after all the years and all that living that James Brown would die on Christmas Day of congestive heart failure/pneumonia in a hospital at age 73?

This was certainly not the way I would’ve ever figured he’d leave this earthly realm. He always seemed more a “bang!” than a whimper-exit sort of guy.

Spin your copy of “I Feel Good” and wish the man a speedy journey. I think he would’ve been amused to see the news reports and obits pour in: Siberian News Online,, Sky News Australia, the Telegraph, BET, PBS, Newsday, Bostonist, Irish Times and fourteen hundred plus others.

December 19, 2006

Augie Doggie’s Doggie Daddy’s dead

Filed under: people — Tags: — Towse @ 3:58 am

Joseph Barbera died, age 95.

Tell the Gatekeeper we voted you a free pass for the happiness you gave millions of rapt cartoon watchers over the years.

Thanks for hundreds (thousands, more like) of hours spent with Baba Louie and Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, the prehistoric Flintstones, Bam-Bam and Pebbles, the futuristic Jetsons and all the rest of the gigantic gang of characters you and William Hanna created.

I can’t imagine my childhood without them.

Update: Sour Grapes reminds me, Don’t forget Tom and Jerry.

As if I could. A quick tour of YouTube gives us Tom and Jerry – The Cat Concerto (1946) and, in the spirit of the season, Tom and Jerry – The Night Before Christmas (1941)

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