Dave Weiner grabbed my attention with his tweet:
RT @davewiner "My dad didn't wake up this morning.." http://tr.im/q3YX
That took me to the twitter page of YoungBillyMays
"My dad didn't wake up this morning.. I'm sure you'll all hear about it. It hasn't yet hit me but it's about to."
So I ask myself, "who is this guy Billy Mays, and a quick Google reveals he's the pitchman ubiquitous on early and late night TV.
The google search results show pics of Mays that I recognize.
flickr image by andrewstclairnyc
I click on his wikipedia entry and already, it reflects that he's died-- imagine how long it used to take the old print enyclopedias.
Billy Mays - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I'm writing this while sitting at a conference table at a local writers conference. Jim Donovan, the guy sitting next to me, and a friend, looks over my shoulder as I'm editing the photo I've grabbed from flickr.com, and asks me, "how did he die?"
I'm so focused on how this is more a story of a poignant "tweet," that I' haven't even let that question enter my mind.
I use google news to get a sort of answer here in the LA Times, TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead at home.
Well, not exactly an answer. I learn that Mays, who was 50, just like Michael Jackson, was found dead, no cause yet determined.
Normally, this remark might have reached a few close relatives and friends. But young Billymays has over 3400 followers, Dave Winer has over 22,000 followers. I do a twitter search on the phrase, "My dad didn't wake up this morning." Aggh. I thought I might have a scoop, writing about this, but no. The Drudgereport has tweeted it. In a short time, this young man's poignant angst has spread around the world, probably to millions, in less time than it took me to write this.
I go to Drudge and maybe I assume too soon. Matt Drudge has gone with a straight story on Mays' death.
I decide to cut here. This is a new way that hearts are touched and surely, youngbillymays will receive more "support" as he describes it in a followup tweet, than he would have otherwise. It's a bottom up call for help and a bottom response to soul in mourning. Welcome to the bottom up world we now live in. Embrace it and it will embrace you back.
Went back to check the twitter search and dozens more had retweeted it, including just one, anncurry with 145,000 followers.