Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hello Family, Good-bye Friend

As of last night, this is what our street looked like:

This snow arrived on Sunday.  It's beautiful to look at, and lots of fun for sledding.  It does present a problem, however, when you try to go somewhere, especially when your car is one of those buried in the snow.  My parents' car is in the picture above.  They couldn't leave until today.  My father-in-law didn't drive here, but Nature's Christmas gift was also wrapped with a flight cancellation notice.  Our week is not exactly turning out as we planned.

I'll write more about that in the next post.

In the midst of all the holiday preps, celebrating, and scrambling to find food to feed our guests during their extended stay, I've been dealing with some sad news: a good friend of mine passed away last week.  Peter Freundlich and I were coworkers at CNN here in New York, and we kept in touch in the years since both of us were let go.  Peter was a brilliant, creative man and the finest writer I knew.  He was highly accomplished in the news business, having been Charles Kuralt's personal writer and the head writer/producer for CBS Sunday Morning.  When I met him, I was far less experienced, only five years or so out of college.  I was also three decades younger than he was.  Even so, he treated me as an equal, and we always enjoyed each other's company.  I met up with him several times this past summer and fall, after learning he had cancer.  Our conversations ranged from politics to parenting to our favorite television shows, and he even gave me some expert advice on my recent writing ventures.  The time often flew as we enjoyed sitting back and having a drink.  I had hoped for us to get together a couple weeks ago, but Peter asked for a rain check.  A week later, I learned that he was gone.  He was only 64.

Peter's last works were for a blog he launched after his diagnosis.  He wrote about his experience as if he were kidnapped and taken to a far-away place called Cancerland.  The blog was witty, creative, and often poignant.  You can take a look at it here (the link goes to the first month's entries, since that's the best place to start).  Since its launch, more than 25,000 people viewed Peter's blog.  I know he helped more than a few people get through their own illnesses or the illnesses of loved ones.

Peter is also a hero to those of us who were ever fired or laid off.  Nearly a decade ago, before I met him, Peter did something to his former bosses that most people would only dream of doing.  He was particularly proud of this moment.  Fortunately for us, it was videotaped.  Watch and enjoy:

Good-bye, Peter.  I'm going to miss you a ton.

1 comment:

craig said...

this is a great tribute, Dave. very sorry for your loss and for all those whose lives he touched.