Rest in peace: Sol Saks and Madelyn Pugh


Sol Saks and Madelyn Pugh passed away last week.



You don’t know them?



Sol wrote the pilot of “Bewitched.” His name was in the credits every week. He died at the age of 100.



Madelyn was a writer for “I Love Lucy.” Her name was in the credits every week too. She died at 90.



I felt a tug at my heart when I saw these notices, both last Thursday evening, in the Times.  I associated both of them with my childhood, and with pleasure, and television, and entertainment.



I remember hearing of Jack Benny’s death when I was in my teens. I went outside and walked, feeling very odd and solemn. This is what happens, I thought. How strange. People die.



But it’s always old people, right? Old people die. Strangers die. Not your friends or family. Certainly not you. You’ll never die.



Will you?



Some years ago, at one of the Williams family reunions, I met my cousin Joyce’s husband Mel, a very trim handsome guy – a minister! – cheerful and smiling, like an athlete on the front of a Wheaties box.



He was dead within a year, of cancer. Horrible.



We are none of us exempt. We have the falling sickness, as Rilke said; we are all falling, like leaves in autumn.



But, for some reason, it hurts me most of all when comedians, and comedy writers, die.



None of it’s fair. But this seems least fair of all.



We can’t afford to lose them.



‘Bye, Madelyn. ‘Bye, Sol.



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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