Dave Barry's last column for at least a year, and possibly ever, was published yesterday.
More than anything else, it was my father introducing me to Dave Barry when I was, I want to say, 12, that cemented my dream of writing for a living. Dave's stuff was witty, irreverent, absurd, poignant, disgusting, lowbrow, and brilliant. He taught me that not only could one make a living writing, one could also have fun doing it. I own, in some form or another, all of his books, and have received day-by-day calendars of his as gifts twice (including, strangely enough, last year).
I haven't read his columns much the past few years, simply because I haven't been reading newspapers much. But whenever I went to my folks' place for a bit, there he was. I remember just a few weeks ago showing my dad a column he'd written about dogs, one of his best topics, and sharing in the laughter.
He's going to keep writing, and I'll buy whatever he puts out, but it's still going to hurt a little, knowing that he won't be there every Sunday morning to remind me of the simple joys of the absurdity of the universe. Which would be a really good, albeit long, name for a rock band.