There's a nice obit in today's Albany Times Union for Betty Flood, following up on Carl Strock's memorial for his friend Marv Cermak, another octogenarian reporter whom only death this December could stop working. I knew neither Betty nor Marv well, but found both gracious when I occasionally bumped into them, and have nothing to record against their legendary status in the annals of Capital Region journalism.
The news gives me an excuse to run again this New York Times photo by Nathaniel Brooks from March 10, 2008 (March 11 for the print version). That's me in the bottom left, listening to Betty in her small Cuyler News Service office on the third floor of the Capitol, waiting for Gov. Eliot Spitzer to comment on the prostitution story the Times had just broken online (which would result in his resignation a couple of days later).
The LCA (Legislative Correspondents Association) television couldn't pick up the NYC station which was going to carry the Spitzer appearance, but Betty's could. Standing to the right is AP reporter Valerie Bauman, and the guy looking in at the middle of the doorway is Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, D-Bronx.
My latest news story in The Ballston Journal is about Frank Darling, a World War II veteran approaching his 100th birthday, who was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. My uncle Joseph Gaffney, of Brooklyn, the 19-year-old son of Irish immigrants, was killed in the same battle. They both served in Patton's Third Army, although Darling's 7th Armored Division had been transferred by then to a different American command. The battle is also famous for the stand in Bastogne by the 101st Airborne Division, which was for a time surrounded by the German advance and then relieved by the Third Army. In more recent years, my daughter and son-in-law served a combined five tours in Afghanistan. Three of those deployments -- two of his, one of hers -- were with the 101st.
The wife and I went to a performance of Mozart's Requiem tonight, along with a few unrelated short religious pieces, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville.
On Sunday, Nov. 13, the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society with the University of Albany Chorale will put on a repeat performance at 3 p.m. at UAlbany's Main Theatre. Tickets are only $10 (half what we paid) for the general public, and $5 for students, staff and seniors, which is as good a deal as it gets. Thanks to all these singers and musicians.
I especially appreciated the excellent program, with the Latin text and English translation enabling you to follow along. I'd never realized that requiem means rest. I did know this was Mozart's last work, but not that it was finished by his pupil, Franz Xaver Sussmayr, who also died young.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.