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Donald Kaul: A funny sort of eulogy

Donald Kaul, a twice almost-Pulitzer Prize winner; political humorist, satirist and columnist of the Des Moines Register’s “Over the Coffee” much more than twice; and unindicted co-conspirator and co-founder of Iowa’s annual bicycle ride and small-town-pillage-fest known as RAGBRAI, died Sunday, July 22 from prostate cancer and its complications. He had suffered a heart attack […]

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Remembering Frank Iowa, RAGBRAI icon

For the first time in RAGBRAI’s 45-year history, one of the true legends of the event will be missing. Frank Iowa, the only person from Iowa City to ride in every RAGBRAI, passed away on April 30. He was born Gregson Schmidt, but his love for his state prompted him to adopt the name by which he became known around his hometown of Iowa City. […]

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Remembering Dennis Jones, Iowa City’s sound guy

Those who contribute the most to local music scenes often make the least amount of noise. This was certainly true of the late Dennis Jones, an unassuming sound engineer who could regularly be seen operating the sound board for Iowa City’s Friday Night Concert Series, as well as at hundreds of club shows, benefits and other local events over the past three decades, until his death at the age of 68 on Feb. 9. […]

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In memoriam: Basil Hadjis, an icon in the Cedar Rapids culinary scene

After decades of feeding and entertaining Cedar Rapidians, chef Basil Hadjis passed away last month at the age of 62. Owner of the Vernon Inn, Fourth Street Diner and Sweet Basil’s Pizza Pie and Basil’s Food, Hadjis was a mainstay of the local culinary scene. Most recently, Hadjis could be found at the Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee, preparing meals at the Market Grille. […]

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The record collector: Remembering Kirk Walther

Kirk Walther, owner of the Record Collector, passed away on Sept. 24 after more than 35 years of service to the Iowa City music community. As any small business owner will tell you, an owner’s DNA is woven into the fabric of their business. It is an extension of them, a reflection of their ideas, ideals, goals, vision and integrity, and, conversely, the business becomes a part of the owner. I write this about Kirk Walther, a man I consider to be the best boss I ever had, but an even better friend. […]

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Mourning the loss of a mentor and friend in theatre professor Steven Marc Weiss

The human brain is fickle. Our memories are unreliable. For instance, I can’t remember the first time I heard David Bowie’s Young Americans, or watched Gene Wilder in Blazing Saddles, and I certainly can’t remember the first time I read Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? These works of art had profound effects upon my life and these men became my heroes, my icons. I can’t remember when or why I first met steven marc weiss, but I can remember bonding with him over a shared love of playwrights and a mutual disdain for capital letters in emails (proper nouns be damned) — and our sons were nearly the same age despite the decades difference between the two of us. […]

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