HALLIE: Quite awhile back I noticed an obituary in the paper for Victor Bonomo. Instead of a picture of Mr. B, alongside the obituary they ran a picture of a package of Bonomo's Turkish Taffy. How great, I thought, to have a piece of candy as your epitaph.
From there I free associated to items that could run beside the obits of other famous people. Lance - a bike. Fidel - a cigar. Bill Clinton - also a cigar. Hillary - a headband. Michael Jackson - of course the glove. Barbara Bush - her pearls. Madeline Albright - one of her fabled pins. And so on.
When I go, a green glass swan that figures prominently in Never Tell a Lie (and I just bought one on eBay) would be nice. Or a platter of fried chicken.
What visual epitaphs do you imagine for yourself and others?
RHYS: For me--a tiara would be kind of fun. I'd like something that would make people smile and not be sad. A plate of oysters would be too strange, although oysters, lobster and all seafood are definitely my favorites.
HANK: OH, gosh. I started think of funny things--a bottle of champagne? Some wonderful shoes? Both lovely, but is that what I'd want in my Bonomo spot? And then I thought, okay. I'll be serious. A typewriter? But no one uses those anymore. A mirror? A venti latte? No comment. A television? Well, I don't want to be defined by that, when it comes to the end. And the tv would either have to be off, which is spooky. or on, which is, sometimes, even spookier. Maybe--a ream of blank paper. And a pencil.
Hallie, why fried chicken, for goodness sake? Or--is 'goodness sake' why?
HALLIE: Love to eat it. Love to cook it. Guilty pleasure!
JAN: I had a really hard time with this one, too, Hank. At first I thought an old typewriter which was on the cover of Final Copy, my first book, and symbolized the reporter, but the truth is, I never used a typewriter after my very first job and never a manual one. I thought about a reporters notebook for a while, but now I just bring my laptop with me to interviews.
This morning it came to me in a flash, before I even got out of bed. Whenever I need to take a break from writing (okay, I'm procrastinating), I pick up my guitar. Lately, my trusty friend, Amber, who follows me everywhere (to and from the bathroom, when I get up for coffee..) and sleeps beside me when I write has mistaken my guitar case for her dog bed. I figure this sums up everything. My writing, my procrastinating, my music, and my canine best friend.
ROBERTA: This is hard. Maybe just a little stack of the books I've written. But that's a little boring...picture with family and pets? Too conventional. For a while it might have been a tennis racket, then on to a set of golf clubs...but now, who wants a pilates fitness circle as an epitaph? I think I better get going on another distinctive hobby...and meantime, if this comes up and I sure hope not, I'll go with the books:).
ROSEMARY: I think every decade it would have been something different and we're not far enough in to this one for me to answer. In the past it might have been a passport, a bottle of champagne, an ice bucket filled with white peonies.
HALLIE: White peonies! How lovely.
Interesting. Flowers. Food. Music. The blank age All things that inspire us.
So what's your visual epitaph?