Bring Out Your Dead

A dashing young Don Knotts.

So this is the time when we traditionally honor those who have passed away during the year. There was a long-ass list in the Chronicle today, including some surprises — for instance Don Knotts, d. 2/24/06. You’d think I would have known about that one. Also, Desmond Dekker died on May 25, and nobody told me.

The death of Jack Palance took me by surprise, mostly because I was pretty sure he’d died years ago. Likewise, it came as a shock to see composer György Ligeti among the list of this year’s decedents. I had always assumed he was a figure from the 18th or 19th century, probably because his music appears on the 2001 soundtrack alongside such luminaries as Richard and Johann Strauss.