The Least I Could Do…

An actress who appeared in a short film I made this year recently suffered a great personal loss when her father died.  When I heard the news I offered my condolences and all that, but, as ever, what can you really do for someone who’s suffered such a profound tragedy? Most gestures are merely that, after all, and if you try too hard to be supportive it can come across as being more about you than the person who’s actually affected.

And then I read the news items on this man’s passing.

You see, the man in question was, amongst other things, a pilot, who had once set a gliding record and had also undertaken a number of adventures at an age where most people have not only retired from work, but from life. For instance, in his 70s he purchased and then flew a Soviet-era helicopter from Russia to the Bering Strait to Alaska, and then to Oakland. Stuff that made it into newspapers.

News. That was it.

The man had been newsworthy. Newsworthy enough that I realized I could write a wikipedia entry on him. Since I could cite news articles as references the piece would likely not be flagged for deletion. It seems a cruel thing that not everyone’s life would be considered noteworthy enough to even merit a biographical blurb on an online encyclopedia, but his was.  I wrote it so that even when all the obituaries are gone and forgotten from the newspapers, there’d still be something about the man and his accomplishments floating around out there on the web.

And, best of all, anyone finding that article on wikipedia will have no idea who wrote it or why. That’s how it should be. It’s not about me, it’s about him and his family.

Here’s the entry:

Wikipedia Article on Thierry Thys.

But don’t tell anyone who wrote it.


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