Jan 2 2015

The people who joined us.


Thursday morning, the alarm goes off.

And as often happens when I am reluctant to rise and face the new day, I grabbed my iPhone and had it stream the local NPR talk station for me while I worked up the willpower to forgo sweet snoozing in favor of actual verticality.

I heard: “Thank you for joining us here on the first day of 2015!”

Oh, right, said I to myself. New Year. Yeah, worth getting up for. I started stirring my bones…

“For today’s show,” the announcer went on, “we’re going to look back and take a moment to appreciate some the people who left us in 2014.”

Wait, what? I thought.

“There was Shirley Temple Black, child actress and later ambassador to the UN; and folksinger and activist Pete Seeger. We were shocked by the passing of Robin Williams –”

But, but, I thought, but that’s sad.

“– We’ll celebrate the lives of rocker Joe Cocker, and authors PD James and Gabriel Garcia Marquez; inspirational poet Maya Angelou; film icon Lauren Bacall; comedians Sid Caesar and Joan Rivers — all people who touched our lives, made us think, made us laugh, changed our world, and moved us. Call in with your own impressions —


Radio off, thank you.

And I burrowed back down into the nice warm bedding.

That, I told myself, is absolutely not what I need. I just spent all of 2014 being treated for cancer, for cryin’ out loud! The last thing I want to do on the very first day of the brand new year is to start the whole thing off by thinking about DEATH DEATH DEATH.

In fact, I thought dozily, what really I wanted was something exactly the opposite of that.


It’s January 1, 2015, and welcome to the new year! Today on our show, we’re going to be looking back and taking a moment to appreciate some of the people who joined us in 2014.

There was Boyd Craighie, born January 1st, one year ago today in Leeds, England. Boyd will later find fame as the lead singer and songwriter for Sky VoiceBox, whose music in the 2030’s will become the soundtrack for an entire generation worldwide, inspiring billions.

And on January 15, 2014, future Nobel Peace Prize winner Lewis Hart Griffith was born in Vancouver, Canada. Griffith, later Canada’s ambassador to South Korea, will be awarded the Peace Prize 2042, in recognition of his contribution as calm voice and go-between, during the volatile secret talks that eventually lead to the unification of North and South Korea.

On March 22, Jane Luganish joined us, born in Fort Myers Florida. Luganish will win two consecutive Academy Awards in 2036 and 2037, for best NPC in an MMORPG (Sub-Zoners, and Sub-Zoners II). Later, she leaves gaming to enter traditional media entertainment, winning a third Oscar in 2043 for her heartbreaking performance as the lead in Distant Sands, the biopic of Anna Wray, first human on Mars.

And, born on June 28th, 2014: Grace Adoyo in Narobi, Kenya. In 2051, Dr. Adoyo and her team at Aga Khan University will develop the first vaccine effective against the Ebola virus, leading to the complete eradication of the disease worldwide by 2063.

On July 5th, 2014, Michael Thammed Hailey was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Hailey, after retiring from teaching science at Roosevelt High School, will enter local politics, and rise quickly, becoming mayor of Des Moines, then Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. In 2076 he becomes the fifth African-American president, after defeating incumbent Martin Leigh Salters, the fourth African-American president.

And on Sepember 12, Xi Lanying, future author of children’s books and YA novels, was born in Hangzhou, China. Xi’s works will be translated into every major language and read worldwide, delighting children and inspiring teen readers everywhere. A television series, “Ping,” adapted from her second novel, will be the longest-running television show in history. After officially retiring in 2084, she will come out of retirement in 2088 with the stunning Pulitzer-Prize-winning Chain and Song, a biography of her mother’s life in, and courageous escape from, the world of human trafficking.

And at 11:59:55, on December 31st, 2014, Stephen Alton Keogh was born in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Keogh eventually lives to be the oldest human being in history, and in an interview in New York City’s Times Square, minutes before midnight on December 31st, 3014, a news swarmbot will ask him what it feels like to be one thousand years old.

Keogh’s reply: “I can’t wait to see what happens next.”


Oh, look.  New people.  Some of them are very nice!

Oh, look. New people. Some of them are very nice!