A Death In the Family

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A Death In the Family

Postby Marvell » Wed May 27, 2009 10:34 am

The long-time Foron known as Oprah has gone to that Great Talk-show Couch in the Sky.

You may think I'm joking, but I'm serious as cancer - which is what killed him.

As a Foron, Oprah was noted for his clear intelligence and intellectual heft, which manifested itself as a hyper-dry, at times byzantine-to-the-point-of-opacity sense of humor. For instance, he always would refer to me as "Herve" in reference to an old poll I posted in jest when everyone was trying to figure out who Sheppy was (I suggested 'Herve Villechaize' as one of my possible true identities, along with 'Morganna the Kissing Bandit' and 'The Blonde Bay City Roller).

I met The Man Who Was Oprah once in person: my girlfriend at the time, who is also a long-time Foron and who had successfully Joe Kleined him already, suggested that we get together for drinks at the Brasserie V. In person he was exactly like I had hoped he would be - smart, funny, and palpably humane. Later, when he had been diagnosed with his illness, we exchanged several e-mail; he faced his ordeal with a courage and equanimity that humbled me to witness.

He leaves behind a wife and an impressive number of children, all of whom I would imagine are walking in a much darker world today.

To that end - his family and friends have set up a fund to provide for his children's college education. I'm bringing this to your attention in case any other Forons want to chip in; if so, please contact me off-forum at: gcurrieg AT hotmail dot com.

This one's for you, Oprah:

I too pass from the night,

I stay a while away O night, but I return to you again and

love you.

Why should I be afraid to trust myself to you?

I am not afraid, I have been well brought forward by you,

I love the rich running day, but I do not desert her in

whom I lay so long,

I know not how I came of you and I know not where I go

with you, but I know I came well and shall go well.

I will stop only a time with the night, and rise betimes,

I will duly pass the day O my mother, and duly return to you.

-Walt Whitman, "The Sleepers"

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby jjoyce » Wed May 27, 2009 11:04 am

Find an archive of Oprah's posts here:


One of the must reads on these boards over the years.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby narcoleptish » Wed May 27, 2009 11:49 am

Sad news. It's a strange feeling to hear this and then to just stare out the window and think, for several minutes, about someone I have never knowingly set eyes on or heard speak.

Rest in peace, or any other way you see fit.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby thebookpolice » Wed May 27, 2009 12:31 pm

Oprah provided some of my all-time favorite Forum contributions. He already was missed for his de-facto Forum retirement (last post 10/08), but will be missed in a truer and more impactful sense now. My sympathies to "Steadman" and the rest of the family.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby Chuck_Schick » Wed May 27, 2009 12:53 pm

My condolences to those who knew him. I wish I had.

Not only was he one of the more entertaining forons, he was one of the few who kept me lurking during my self-imposed exile.

Big bummer.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby mrak » Wed May 27, 2009 1:30 pm

Oprah became one of my favorite Forons for being really smart and thought-provoking when he wanted to be serious, but also for his willingness to be perfectly silly when he felt like it. And for his success in finding unlikely combinations of the two.

I will miss his contributions to the Forum, and appreciate Marvell and his gf taking the initiative to get acquainted with him in real life.

Since people do come and go from forums like this, I've found myself wondering whether favorite Forons who have dropped off the site, had died - and if so, whether and how we'd ever find out.

Thanks for letting us know, Marvell.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby supaunknown » Wed May 27, 2009 2:02 pm

Sad news.
He made the DPF a better place. He'll be missed.
My condolences to his family and friends.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby white_rabbit » Wed May 27, 2009 4:07 pm

Sad news. My condolences to Oprah's family and friends.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby buckyor » Wed May 27, 2009 6:00 pm

I seem to recall that he was a fellow NU guy, there about the same time as I was, although I did not know him. My condolences.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby snoqueen » Wed May 27, 2009 6:32 pm

How sad.

Thanks for the memorial poetry quote, Marvell. Most appropriate.

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Re: A Death In the Family

Postby nevermore » Wed May 27, 2009 7:23 pm

Oprah was a Cub fan and, like millions and millions before him, came and went without knowing what it was like to celebrate a World Series championship. And, like the best of us, he took this frustration in stride:

Oprah wrote:One hundred futile years of playin' ball
One hundred futile years
The Cubs will be fine in 2009
(Shut the fuck up, Ernie)
One hundred and one futile years of playin' ball

I can handle forons doing lots of things. Being called out with two outs in the bottom of the ninth is not one of them. :cry:

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