The last few days of 2022 were marked by high profile deaths, from a controversial pope to an historic tree, we said a lot of goodbyes.

Day 360. Southwest Airlines.

The airline is still alive and kicking, but it is hurting after decisions of the past ran headlong into an extratropical cyclone resulting in thousands of canceled flights and stranded travelers.

Day 361. Sheng Thao.

Before we get into all of the loss mentioned above, I announce yet another late-coming first. Sheng Thao will become the first Laotian mayor of Oakland.

Day 362. The Hardy Tree.

Next to London’s St. Pancras Old Church is a very old cemetery. In the mid-1860s, young author-to-be Thomas Hardy was given the pleasant job of exhuming bodies from one site and interring them in another to make way for rails. I don’t know how the job was done exactly (I probably don’t want to know), but when done, Hardy had hundreds of headstones and no direction for what to do with them. So, he made a rather artistic display of the headstones by layering them around the base of an ash tree. Google it, you won’t be disappointed. Some time ago, the poor tree got sick. Despite efforts to save it, it finally came to share the same state of many of the cemetery’s inhabitants.

Days 363, 364, 365. A Soccer Legend. A TV News Hero. A Controversial Pope.

We started the year (and this project) with the loss of Betty White. We ended it with the loss Pelé, Barbara Waters, and Pope Benedict. Pelé was the youngest of the bunch and no one can say that any of them led short or uneventful lives. On to 2023…

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