tidbits vernon 220 may 01 2015 famous last words online

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    May 1 - 6, 2015 Issue 00220

    by Kathy Wolfe

    What thoughts go through a persons mind in their last moments on Earth? This week, Tidbits recalls the famous last words of these well-known folks.

    Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti was enjoying a wildly successful career when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006. One year later, Pavarotti proclaimed his final words, I believe that a life lived for music is an existence spent wonderfully, and this is what I have dedicated my life to, and went to sing with the angels.

    Frenchman Nostradamus was an apothecary who published several collections of prophecies, which have rarely been out of print since his death. Followers of Nostradamus credit him with predicting many major world events. There was one event he predicted very accurately his death. On July 1, 1566, he told his assistant, Tomorrow at sunrise, I shall no longer be here. Indeed, it was true.

    In 1960, James W. Rodgers stood before a Utah firing squad awaiting his execution for the 1957 murder of a miner. His answer to the usual question, Any last requests? was, Bring me a bullet-proof vest. Rodgers was the last person to die by the firing squad in the U.S. for the next 17 years.

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  • Page 2 TidbitsVernon.com Cosita Publishing For Advertising Call (250) 832-3361 Once a grammarian, always a grammarian!

    The famous French grammar expert Dominique Bouhours lay on his death bed and spoke, I am about to or I am going to die: either expression is correct.

    And speaking of all things proper, as Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was being escorted to the guillotine to be executed for treason in 1793, she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner. This very polite lady expressed the apology, Monsieur, I beg your pardon.

    After being diagnosed with cancer, legendary movie critic Roger Ebert wrote to the faithful readers of his blog that he would be taking leave for his treatment. The final words of his farewell were, fittingly, Ill see you at the movies.

    Who knows what Apple Computers co-founder Steve Jobs saw when he passed from this life to the next? His sister Patty reports that at the moment that pancreatic cancer claimed the life of this creative genius, he looked over her shoulder and proclaimed, Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.

    One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Pete Maravich, had a magnificent ten-year career with the NBA. A severe knee injury forced him to retire in 1980. In 1988, while playing a pickup basketball game in the gym at a Pasadena, California, church, Pistol Pete collapsed and died at age 40, less than one minute after saying, I feel great. An autopsy revealed that he had been born without a left coronary artery, necessary for supplying blood to the hearts muscle fibers. The right coronary artery had been compensating for the heart defect his entire life without his knowledge and it finally gave out.

    Many famous men had kind words for their beloved before they passed into the Great Beyond. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who penned the stories of Sherlock Holmes, died in his garden with his wife at his side. After suffering a massive heart attack, he looked at her and said, You are wonderful. The last words of actor John Wayne, dying of stomach cancer, directed toward his wife were, Of course I know who you are. Youre my girl. I love you. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi died just three days after his 30th wedding anniversary, and the last words whispered to his wife Marie were, Happy anniversary. I love you.

    Theres a difference of opinion on the last words of actor Humphrey Bogart. Some sources hold to the belief that he spoke, Goodbye, Kid. Hurry back, to wife Lauren Bacall as she left his bedside in the hospital to go pick up their children. When she returned, he was comatose and never regained consciousness. Others claim his final remark was, I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.

    Baseball great Joe DiMaggio wasnt with the one he loved when he passed on in 1999. Although married to actress Marilyn Monroe for just nine months in 1954, he carried a torch for her for the remainder of his life. After her death in 1962, Joe had roses sent to her grave twice a week for 20 years. His final words were, Ill finally get to see Marilyn.

    Showman Flo Ziegfeld brought musical

    revues, Broadway productions, and films to the world of entertainment, including his legendary Ziegfeld Follies, which ran from 1907 to the early 1930s. Ever the theatrical producer, his last words from his deathbed were, Curtain! Fast music! Lights! Ready for the last finale! Great! The show looks good, the show looks good!

    What was on the minds of U.S. Presidents as they prepared to face the Great Beyond? First President George Washington seemed fulfilled with his life, if his last words in 1799 are any evidence: It is well, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go. Grover Cleveland remains the only U.S. President to serve two non-consecutive terms as the 22nd and the 24th chief executive. Well-known for his honesty, integrity, and fight against political corruption, it seems fitting that his last words, while in the throes of a gastro-intestinal disease, would be, I have tried so hard to do right. Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, I have a terrific headache, just moments before he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945.

    Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy had no idea that their last words would in fact be their last. As Lincoln and his wife sat in Fords Theater watching the play Our American Cousin, Mary Todd Lincoln, worried about the opinions of the women seated next to them in their theater box, whispered to her husband, What will Miss Harris think of my hanging on to you so? Abes last words before being shot by John Wilkes Booth were, She wont think anything about it. As Kennedy rode in a Dallas motorcade in 1963, the wife of Governor John Connelly commented to him, You certainly cannot say that the people of Dallas havent given you a nice welcome, Mr. President. His answer of, No, you certainly cant, were his final words before his assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Ever the poet, Emily Dickinson, author of more than 1,800 poems, pronounced her last words in 1886, I must go in, for the fog is rising.

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    photographic equipment to document the trip. He found the gear to be enormous, heavy, and very expensive. Eastman never took the trip, but was inspired to research the invention of improved methods of taking pictures.

    For three years, Eastman experimented in his mothers kitchen, seeking an easier way to develop negatives. He developed gelatin emulsions that led to his patent of a dry-plate coating machine. He founded the Eastman Dry Plate Company when he was 30. Continued experiments led to a patent of rollable film to replace glass negatives.

    Eastman introduced the Kodak camera in 1888, inventing the name that would be familiar for decades to come. He explained the name, The letter K had been a


    GEORGE EASTMANFolks have been taking pictures with a Kodak camera since 1888. Follow along and learn about its inventor George Eastman and his contributions to the photography industry.

    Born in central New York State in 1854, George Eastman had a difficult childhood, with his father passing away when George was eight. His sister contracted polio when he was a teen. Georges mother took in boarders for the familys financial survival, and at age 14, George quit school to go to work, first as an errand boy at an insurance company, and later as a junior clerk at the Rochester Savings Bank.

    At age 23, an invitation from a friend changed Eastmans life forever. He was invited on a vacation to Santo Domingo, and bought

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    Page 4 TidbitsVernon.com Cosita Publishing For Advertising Call (250) 832-3361

    favorite with me. It seems a strong, incisive sort of letter. He tried several combinations of letters, waning a word that started and ended with K.

    The first Kodak camera cost $25 and came with 100 exposures. The user would send the camera into Kodak for the film to be developed. The advertising slogan was, You press the button, we do the rest.

    The following year the company developed a type of flexble film that helped establish the motion picture industry and Eastmans success continued to surge.

    The Eastman Kodak Company was founded in 1892, bringing convenient, easy-to-use cameras to the common man. In 1900, Eastman introduced the first Brownie camera, intended for children and priced at $1, with film selling for 15 cents a roll.

    In 1902, Eastman began building a mansion in Rochester, New York, a 35,000-square-foot, 50-room house with the latest in heating and electricity,

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