Sunday, January 20, 2013

1444. Richard Evan Thomas Brooks



It's so cool to think that there's no word count for epitaphs. I spend a lot of my time writing  - books, magazine articles, newspaper articles...blog posts - and spend most of that time trying to be concise. I haven't gone the Twitter route yet for various reasons, but for certain work-related projects I am in charge of some social media.

In the early stages of this project, I have examined brevity, but I found a stone today that challenges that idea. First Lieutenant Brooks was not so much quickly remembered on his tombstone as described. "...Loving, proud husband and father...enjoying, as well, much success as a student, an athlete and entrepreneur."

I love the "as well"! If someone read his obituary, which like most everybody's, is now online, you might think his greatest contributions on this earth were connected to, oh, I dont know, his chemical engineering degree from Northeastern University, or his college basketball career (he's in the Northeastern Hall of Fame), or designing the chemlab at Polaroid, or his Doctorate of Humane Letters from Fitchburg State College, or his Small Business Person of the Year Award, the SBA he received in a ceremony from President Bush, his volunteer work around Cohasset...something like that. But nope, that was the "as well."

Family first. Everything else second. Boy, does this have me thinking. And smiling.

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