But today, I was looking up info on Alistair Cooke (who would have been 100 tomorrow) when I found this article. Sure, it’s well-written and informative and retrospective. Did I say informative? I meant that it INFORMED ME that Sir Alistair’s BODY PARTS had been sold off by the funeral home that processed his remains. What. The.
How much news do I have to read to ensure that I don’t miss things like this?
Interesting insight from Cooke’s daughter Susan on this horrific situation:
‘Did Mastromarino apologise? “Yeah.” She shrugs. The fact that he got away with it for so long is a consequence, she says, of a squeamishness about death, which hands over extraordinary power to funeral directors. “We are really happy that they come and take [the problem] away.” There would have to be a “big cultural shift” for that to change, but for now she is tired of the subject.’
This article, by Emma Brockes, also enlightened me to the fact that evidently Sir Alistair was a hypochondriac, afraid of flying and more reasonably, wasn’t too fond of knives.
Thanks to the lofty tastes of my parental nerd-units, I watched a LOT of Masterpiece Theater as a child. I’m grateful that Sir Al’s consistently refined presence informed my cultural understanding during formative years. Now, to top it off, he is making me feel better about my claustrophobia from beyond the grave.
Bless you, Sir Al! I’ll be buying your books in the years to come.