Eulogy for Madiba

Thursday I went to meet somebody for lunch at a restaurant here in Los Angeles.  I got there a little early, it was a sunny day, and this restaurant has a very pleasant outdoor bar.  So I sat down at the bar and ordered an iced tea.

The bartender was a friendly dude.  We joked around a little.  When he came back with my iced tea I was staring at my phone.

“Would you like to hear some world news?”  I said.

“Fire away.”

“Well, Nelson Mandela died.”

He thought about this.

Hasta luego, brother,” the bartender said.

He went back to work for a bit.

I kept reading my phone.  A little while later he came back.

“What else are they saying about Mandela?”

“Well, it says here he was 95.”

“Huh,” said the bartender.  “So he kicked it for a long time.

(photo: “Long lines of people outside the polling station in the black township of Soweto, a southwest suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 27, 1994. Photograph by Denis Farrell/AP.”)


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