You Can’t Take It With You: Armstrong(s) Edition

by | Sep 1, 2012 | Uncategorized

Cemetary by mikecollar on Flickr.

Editor’s Note: This is our feature documenting the week’s dearly departed, which returns this week with its second edition.  (Find the first column and its pithy mission statement over yonder).

Conspiracy theorists delight!  We just saw the passing of three illuminati and two Germans, one of whom was a noble.  We also bid farewell to two Armstrongs (kinda).  And this week, most of our dearly departed are human.

Samuel H. Lindenbaum
1935 to Two Fridays Ago
I guarantee you have never heard of this man.  But you may be familiar with the tallest residential building in the world: the Trump World Tower.  This arguably atrocious monster (at least to those who can’t afford its address) overshadows the famously beautiful art deco masterpiece of the Chrysler Building.  How on Earth did New York City allow this to happen?  You’ll have to ask Sandy Lindenbaum, the lawyer who–through his intricate (and surely hard-won) knowledge of NYC ordinances–manipulated the city into permitting this beast.  He leaves this open sore on the New York City skyline.  Want to leave a mark?  Go to Harvard Law.

Harry G. Barnes
1926 to Three Thursdays Ago
Conspiracy theorists take note: here’s another white guy you’ve never heard of whose behind-the-scenes work left quite the mark. This former US Ambassador to Chile so ticked off dictator Augusto Pinochet that Pinochet cropped Barnes’s head out of official photographs.  Pinochet was right to take offense: Barnes supported and fomented opposition to his regime.  Thanks to him (even if in small part), we have a democratic Chile.

Jerry Nelson
1934 to Last Thursday
Some children he scared.  Others he taught.  Sesame Street will never be the same.  Count von Count is dead.

Lance Armstrong’s Cycling Career
1991 to Last Friday
Nancy Reagan never managed to get her ‘Just Say No!’ into Armstrong’s head (or thigh muscle).  Still, I can now proudly claim I’ve won as many Tours de France as him.  Armstrong’s career will live on in yellow, silicone-bracelet form.

Neil Armstrong
1930 to Saturday
The face of the national space program, Neil Armstrong leaves behind the multi-billion dollar government agency that got him to the moon.  Love it or hate it, this American hero was brought to you by big government.

Henry von Eichel 1948 to Three Mondays Ago
And finally another one of those secretly powerful illuminati types.  Von Eichel is the man behind the microbrew.  He ran one of the largest hops companies in the states during the craft-beer boom.  We should all pour out a Mirror Pond or Lagunitas, a Dogfish Head or another of the many gifts he leaves us.  He’s also to blame for the Bitter Beer Face which wouldn’t exist  without his hops.


Perry Petrich, SJ   /   @ppetrich   /   All posts by Perry