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I hate to start the board out with a downer but for some reason I feel compelled to reflect on a tragedy today. A fairly young man, of some fame and notoriety, and not much older than myself, died today. He didn't apparently lose his life from any failing of his own, any tragic character flaw, any momentary mistake he may have made.

His life ended through a simple accident.

In my circle of family and friends, we have recently lost several people who fit the same description. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Those who must perceive a certain order in the universe will, of course, claim that his time had come. Others will state the obvious claim that random averages can catch anyone, anywhere.

On a board deliberately dedicated to non-financial, non-accretive, non-material things, I would like to say this:

The world is a poorer place today. Payne Stewart was a fine man, and a fine champion. His recent minor press flap notwithstanding, he stood for a dignity and historical awareness which is all too lacking in the world today. His chosen niche for that statement was surely a small microcosm of the world itself, but he took what he believed in and lived it to the best he could. May the man who dethrones his U.S. Open title next year be at least half the man he was.
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