Sunday, January 8, 2017

Eulogy II

Today we said farewell to my brother Paul. I elected to give a short eulogy as part of the service.

As everyone here probably knows, Paul was a smart-ass.

All of us Ferrells are to one degree or another, though, so it’s not a unique trait in the family. 

When we were kids, there was a well-known singer named Kate Smith. For the younger folks in the audience, she was our grandparent’s age, and had risen to fame in the ‘30s. In our lifetime she was mostly known for a rafter-shaking version of “God Bless America,” and she appeared on TV semi-frequently to sing it.

Paul hated her; hated her singing that song. It just got under his skin. Naturally that dislike was fodder for teasing by the rest of the family. “Oh look, Kate Smith’s on Mike Douglas today” or some such was sure to get a rise.

I hadn’t thought of that in decades, but as we were pondering music for the service and the video, the thought crossed my mind to include Kate’s “God Bless America” as one final family in-joke.

Don’t worry, the urge passed.