Monday, June 8, 2009
Another life cut short by a drunk driver sparks a tribute that ignites cyberspace
How many more times are we going to read the same story: local kid with promising future dies when drunk driver smashes into her car. The latest local victim is Carey Curtis, a 26-year-old emergency room worker at Kern Medical Center. She had two children, lived in Shafter and was on her way home after a night shift when the accident happened. Beyond the tragedy of Carey's death is the curious and very modern way that death in mourned these days. I was on Twitter, following my pal radio host Rachel Legan over at KGFM 101.5, when Rachel sent out a note saying Carey's friends were posting farewell messages on Carey's MySpace page. (view it all here) View for yourself but the page is not unlike any young woman's personal profile, lots of personal stuff about friends and music and longings. The postings today after her death are simply heartbreaking. Wrote one friend:
"HEY GIRLIE... I LOVE YOU. Its CRAZY how short life is. I just talked to you friday night about how much our lives changed since we were younger, and just one short day later I find out that life has changed dramatically overnight. I was so proud of you for getting ready to go back to respiratory school. Do me a favor girl... keep in touch k... my mom's up there... she'll look out for you... I'm gonna miss you Carey...
PEANUT BUTTER FILLS THE CRACKS OF THE HEART!
This is stuff that will just about break your heart, particularly if you have children of your own. In the old days, there'd be a story in the paper, a mention on TV and radio, perhaps an impromptu roadside memorial. Now the expressions of pain and joy and loss are expressed in cyberspace: on Twitter and MySpace and Facebook and on and on.
* ... MEA CULPA: Speaking of the press, I owe KGET TV an apology for an earlier post in which I accused the TV station of failing to report on its own substantial revenue problems and forced two-week furloughs for its employees. John Pilios, longtime news director over there, called me on the carpet and insisted they ran a piece on it last Friday at 5 p.m. I sure didn't see it and he conceded they didn't run it at 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m., and failed to post it on the KGET website. One thing about John Pilios: he's a man of his word and after he dressed me down, he made sure the story was posted on their website. But by any account, I got it wrong. Mea culpa.