Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Obituary for a Fake

Following up on yesterday's post about obituaries, I got a kick out of an obit correction that appeared today:
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- In a Sept. 2 obituary for Bill Henry, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he was the former major league pitcher of the same name. The deceased was a Lakeland resident, also known as Bill Henry, who had been passing himself off for more than 20 years as the player, according to his stepfamily and his pastor. The former pitcher lives in Texas and says he is in good health.
Here's the original, and here's an article expanding upon the error: Lakeland Man Wasn't Who He Said He Was. An excerpt transforms this tale into something truly sad:
[Elizabeth] Henry said her husband . . . loved speaking to schoolchildren about his glory days. As a surprise about 10 years ago, she even painted a portrait of her husband, using a Bill Henry baseball card from his days with the Cincinnati Reds. Henry, 79, said her husband's first and second wives died years ago, as did his two biological children, and she assumed that all of his possessions, photographs and memorabilia from his baseball career were long lost.

"I was married to somebody that maybe I didn't know," she said. (paras 27-28)
I wonder how many autographs this fellow signed.

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