An Innovator and A Throwback, RIP…

Bill Cosby told of his grandfather’s perspective on life when he asked, “You know who died today?” Cosby’s reply always was, “No, Gramps. Who died today?” His grandfather would retort, “A bunch of people died today!”

Well, a bunch of people died today, I’m sure, but two notables stand out: John Z. DeLorean and Bobby Short.

DeLorean was a maverick, who designed the GTO and would later be known for the “time travel” machine in the Back to the Future series of movies. John Truscott, membership director of the DeLorean Owners Association, said…

Twenty years later, it’s still just as modern as anything coming out of the factories now.

DeLorean faced his demons, and most would say he won in the long run.

After the DeLorean car venture failed, he was involved in some 40 legal cases, including his 1985 divorce from model and talk show personality Cristina Ferrare � his third wife � after a 12-year marriage.

“I believe I deserve what happened to me,” DeLorean told The Associated Press after the divorce, which followed his drug trial.

“The deadliest sin is pride,” he said, proclaiming his faith as a born-again Christian. “I was an arrogant egomaniac. I needed this, as difficult as it was, to get my perspective back.”

Bobby Short was legendary for his devotion to the Cafe Carlyle in New York City and the “great American songbook.”

As times changed and popular music shifted from Sinatra to Springsteen to Snoop Dogg, Short, a three-time Grammy nominee, remained irrevocably devoted to the “great American songbook”: songs by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, the Gershwins, Billy Strayhorn, Harold Arlen.

“I go back to what I heard Marian Anderson say once: ‘First a song has to be beautiful,'” Short told The New York Times in 2002. “However, ‘beautiful’ covers a wide range of things. I have to admire a song’s structure and what it’s about. But I also have to determine how I can transfer my affection for a song to an audience; I have to decide whether I can put it across.”

DeLorean and Short, in their own way, had an obsession with design. Their creations, while different, are tributes to the great spirit of beauty. RIP, indeed…