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Obits for the Young


In the past month, two lovely people, friends to me and many of you reader-types, passed away.
Journalist and all around good guy, Matt Beer died early this month in Cambodia where he had gone to take a newspaper job. Some of his local press buddies — Matt worked everywhere — are gathering this evening at Buzz 9 to raise a glass in his memory. Having known Matt Beer, I can safely predict that the bar will be filled with pretty girls and drunk journalists.
Wendy Marx, wife to entrepreneur and sometimes local politico E. David Ellington died yesterday at Stanford University Hospital.
Wendy was, simply, a lovely woman who had the bad fortune to spend much of her life coping with a terrible disease that destroyed her liver. If knowing her and knowing that she’s gone doesn’t inspire you to be an organ donor, it should. And I’m sure she’d use this occasion to remind me to type these very words.
UPDATE: At Matt’s wake, Salon writer Katherine Mieskowski, who he once described as beautiful (so, of course, she shows) says I should post the email I got from him just before he died. Here it is:

———- Original Message ————-
Subject: Cambodia!
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2003 21:21:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Matt Beer
Hey Chris baby,
I’m here in Phnom Penh. What an incredible place. Just like you’d imagine. Hot as hell, stinky, but incredible people. Everyone gets around on moped. I”ve hired a motorcycle taxi to get me around. I just shut my eyes. So exotic. Orange draped monks wander the streets, little begging children break your heart. Everyone stares at Americans. I’m on the Mekong River right now, at an Internet cafe. DSL speed access for one dollar an hour.
Saronged maids do my laundry, feed me and cleanup after me. Living in a great villa with AC and a bed waiting for you. Free!
I’ll write more soon. Love and kisses,
Chris Nolan wrote:
I knew you were made for the ex-pat life. Have a glass of rum, a cigar and well, Matt, be careful around those saronged ladies. I think you can look for me sometime after the first of the year.
From: Matt Beer
Subject: Re: Cambodia!
To: Chris Nolan
Thanks Chris,
This weekend, our political reporter is taking me to his village an hour south of here to visit and lunch with his family and see a small library he’s building to teach his village English.
There’s a clean, AC room here waiting for you, and I’ll keep a chair open for you at the railing overlooking the river at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 9:12 AM | Permalink

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