Shelby Foote died today in Memphis. I heard the news today on NPR, and resisted the temptation to rewatch all of Ken Burns' The Civil War today on DVD, but just barely. If you haven't seen it, I strongly suggest it -- and those who have seen it know that Foote consistently steals the show. He was 88 years old, so it's hard to see his death as anything but inevitable, but when I read sentences like these:
Foote was born Nov. 7, 1916, in Greenville, Miss., a small Delta town with a literary bent. Walker Percy was a boyhood and lifelong friend, and Foote, as a young man, served as a "jackleg reporter" for the crusading editor Hodding Carter on The Delta Star. As a young man, Foote got to know William Faulkner.I can't help but think that another of our last and best links to the past is gone forever.