Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yesterday's Obituary of C.D.B. Bryan

Yesterday the New York Times reported that C.D.B. Bryan, the author of "Friendly Fire," recently died at the age of 73. Bryan's book which chronicled a family in turmoil after learning that their son, who was a soldier in Vietnam, had been killed by American forces by accident, became a best-seller and an acclaimed television production. It also brought Peg Mullen, the matriarch of the family, to prominence for challenging the US government and eventually becoming an antiwar activist. Interestingly, Mullen herself recently died. Her obituary was also featured in the NY Times and noted in this blog. "Friendly Fire" brought to public attention a phenomenon well known to military veterans, that in combat, casualties which result from one's own artillery are commonplace.

Bryan was a prolific writer who wrote on many subjects. Apparently, he also led a rather "colorful" life. He was married four times, smoked incessantly, often drank to excess, and was a commanding conversationalist. He was, in other words, a character of the first order. It should not therefore be all that surprising to learn that he has not only been cremated in advance of a memorial service to be held next year, but that his "remains are to be stored in martini shakers" in the meantime.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting cap to your series on non-violence. Some say, 'Violence never settles anything.' This is not true. Violence settles many things, but often in ways that are sad alternatives to what might have been.