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Sunday, April 20, 2003

One author I really enjoy is Carl Hiaasen. He is a prolific novelist and newspaperman: a native Floridian so his books have a certain appeal to a winter-bound Alaskan. He has a sophisticated style that keeps the pages turning. He is funny as hell- one reviewer calls him "the Mark Twain of the crime novel."
The book rack at AC has kept me well supplied with at least three of his novels. I the first one I read was Double Whammy, about a crooked competitive bass fisherman. Sick Puppy features a hit man who collects bootleg tapes of bizzare 911 calls- he ends up being the subject of his own tape at the end of the tale.
The latest of Hiaasen's novels is Basket Case. The hero, as it were, of he novel is obituary writer Jack Tagger. He cracks a rock and roll murder mystery, scrogs his beautiful editor, all the usual but Hiaasen is a masterful storyteller. Read some of his stuff if you like mystery novels that will make you laugh.
All of which brings me to an obituary that caught my eye in the Thursday, April 17 2003 TUNDRA DRUMS newspaper. I never knew the deceased, but this is such a wonderful obituary I wanted to share it. New York Times obit writers, eat your hearts out!

"Charlie Karl Sr.
Sept. 29, 1924 - April 1, 2003
Charlie Karl Sr., 78, passed away peacefully on April 1, 2003 at his home in Toksook Bay. He was sick for a long time and never complained and waited patiently.
He was a loving husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle,brother and friend. He was everybody's favorite.
He was a fisherman and a subsistence hunter. Every summer he went to his fish camp at Urumangnaq and Qinaruq with his family and grandchildren.
He loved his grandchildren and kids. He loved carpentry, ivory carving and mechanics. He was a simple, humble man.
He leaves his loving wife of 54 years, Maggie Karl; sons Joseph, Karl, Evon, and Marlene Karl of Deering, George, Peter and Peggy Karl, Jimmy, John, Charlie, Jr., and adopted son Gregory Carl all of Toksook Bay; daughters Mary and Patrick Sr., Julia Karl all of Toksook Bay. His brother Qaguaq Paul Carl of Newtok; 70 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents Minegqalria and Apamaralria; brothers and sisters Ayapan, Lluvagaq, Qaltayak, Nalqik, Paugyak John Carl, Ayapan Annie Kilongak, Miisa'aq Molly Kassaiuli and Tuquller Tom T. Karl Sr., His daughter Joanne Karl and grandson Justin karl.
We, the Karl family, can only say thank you very much for being there for us. You were the very best dad, husband and grandpa we ever had.
May he rest in peace."

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