Buck Biggers 1927 to last Sunday
A real life Don Draper (read: 60s ad executive), Buck Biggers (an ad exec name if there ever was one) was charged with developing a mascot for General Mills cereal–some symbol that would do the seeming impossible, uniting Cheerios and Kix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix, Lucky Charms and Wheaties. “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” As would typify a corporate Madison Avenue approach to super-heroes, Underdog–the resulting creation “lacked Superman’s good judgment and common sense, and his resolution of crimes was often imprecise and messy, with considerable harm to bystanders.” No wonder Al Gore once dressed as him for a Halloween Party. Biggers leaves behind this:
Aubrey Davis 1917 to Sunday
What didn’t Aubrey Davis do? The man invented the consumer-governed HMO, finally letting patients, not actuaries, decide how to spend dollars advocated for care. He helped keep Seattle green, expanding public transportation under Seattle’s downtown and putting a tree-covered lid over the Mercer Island freeway. He’s survived by eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. But behind his success in family, health care, and transportation, he failed miserably to succeed in his fourth priority: the Seattle Mariners. Here’s a picture of the park (and its marvelous views) that he leaves behind.
Petro Vlahos 1916 to last Sunday
This guy managed to win five oscars and I’d never heard of him. Why? Because Vlahos brought us the “color difference traveling matte screen,” known to us laywomen and men as the ‘blue screen’ or ‘green screen.’ He pioneered the (surprisingly) complex chemical process that allows film colors to be separated and recombined. He leaves behind Dick Van Dyke dancing with penguins in “Mary Poppins,” the blue-skinned Na’vi living among floating mountains in “Avatar,” and TV weather reporters pointing at sun and rain symbols that only their viewers can see.
Jack Eskridge 1923 to last Monday
Eskridge probably did a lot with his life. Married, raised kids, worked a job, etc. Except that he also designed that object of love in Texas and hatred in Philly, New York & Washington: the white-bordered and blue Dallas Cowboys’s star which he leaves behind
Lee Dorman 1942 to nine weeks ago Saturday
Lee Dorman seemed like just another California beach bum, his time of leading boat cruises and managing bars coming to a close when he passes away in his sports car (natural casuses). Exvcept that Dorman was the bassist for Iron Butterfly who recorded the countercultural operetta, “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.” He leaves behind these seventeen minutes–which, if you’ve got a coffee break to spare–are totally worth watching: