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Oliver Mannion

You forgot Phil Slackmeyer, dad. He died of old age.

El Jefe

Interesting a son should offer that reminder ... :) Of course I could count on any of my daughters for the same.

I think Andy's the closest we've gotten, in terms of emotional impact, to fate catching up with Ray. For authentic and, in a literal sense of the word, pitiless realism Ray would slowly ebb into being a "lost soul" still around but bouncing around the stockade a little too much till the service cuts him loose in recognition of twenty years in the meat grinder and the prison system catches up with someone its brother-systems broke. Toggle would be the loss, the literal, dead, loss. But Trudeau has a soft spot for kids, his own and his "own." So I suspect as you do that Toggle will be part of the core of Doonesbury:TNG. Back in the world, when I was still teaching in the middle of the last decade, I went to two funerals as guests of students, one for a brother and one for a high school ex-boyfriend who'd remained close, that say otherwise. And it's not new to Trudeau or any of us: my mother's first fiance, from whom she split her freshman year in college, died in the Ia Drang in '65. My parents are a soul match but she -- who'd lost a beloved uncle on the Gothic Line in '44 as well -- appreciated the closure when I found him on the Wall on a high school trip. Some things are too much a part of the physics of our human world. I'll grant Trudeau a little more than the genuine odds.


My guess is that Trudeau is peering to the horizon of winding the strip down and trying to come to a logical conclusion that doesn't include Mike in a rocking chair.

Ralph H.

Good post. More than most writers, far more than anybody who hasn't experienced war or military life, Trudeau understands and has great empathy for veterans. I recall a long-ago episode in which the late Lacey's late husband, who had served in the Navy in World War II, was ranting about the incompetence and slaughter at Salerno, and I was thinking, "how in hell does he [Trudeau] know anything about that??" Somehow, without having ever worn a uniform, Garry Trudeau has undeniable military cred.


Ralph, I don't disagree with your assertion that Trudeau has military cred, but many artists and writers do. Tennyson never served in the military, but his "Charge of the Light Brigade" certainly evokes the futility of that action. Picasso's "Guernica" is horrific, and he painted it despite having no military experience.

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