Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28

Today marks the arrival of Hurricane Irene, or its remnants, in Upstate New York. It is also the anniversary of Dan’s death. I like to think that he enjoys the cosmic irony of this. 
I wrote Dan's obituary. Since I had had no control of anything for three months, I took control of his obituary. Here is most of what I wrote for the newspapers: 
The cause of death was primary central nervous system lymphoma, with which he had been diagnosed in June. 
 . . . graduated from Saint John’s in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and attended Columbia University on a full academic scholarship . . . 
. . . worked from home as a freelance book editor, specializing first in U.S. history and more recently in textbooks for emergency medical technician trainees  . . . also the “quizmaster” for “Time Classroom,” a publication of Time, Inc. . . . chaired the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Claverack and served on the board of directors of the Rip Van Wrinkle Basenji Club. 
Among his many interests were running, hiking and boating. With Michael Makynen, a friend from his Saint John’s days, he canoed the entire length of the Connecticut River, from the Atlantic Ocean to Canada, over the course of two years, in weekend trips. 
. . . also a superb avocational chef, who studied with Virginia Lee, Diana Kennedy and David Lawson . . . enjoyed the arts, particularly music and dance, and was an avid filmgoer who could remember details of movies he had seen years before. Until the onset of his illness, he did the New York Times crossword puzzle daily, in ink, in 10 minutes. 
In addition to his mother and sister . . . survived by Debby Mayer, their two basenjis, Cooper and Lulu . . . and many friends who sustained him and Ms. Mayer during his illness.
Mr. Zinkus was a generous donor to several local nonprofit organizations; those who wish to remember him are asked to make a donation to a charity of their choice. 

What I e-mailed to friends was this:
He’s raising a glass with Walter . . . 
He’s reading poetry with Linda . . . 
He’s cooking and arguing politics with Joani . . . 
He’s running with Bambi . . . neither of them falters, neither of them falls. 


  1. Remembering Dan is a bright spot in this stupid hurricane, Deb. Thanks for this moving post.—Linda

  2. Well, you've moved me to tears again. I hope you are happy! But seriously, folks, another lovely, moving essay. Thank you.