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One Thing Leads to Another

Melanie here… 

I thought I was going to write about Healthy Money Summit that the Shift Network was putting on this last week, but I haven’t finished listening to the audio collection from the week-long collection of speakers, so I found that another event that came across my radar screen was more worthy of my sharing.

My friend Kathy has an interesting job in the outskirts of San Francisco, working as a manager of a unique cemetery.  It’s a cemetery that was featured briefly in the television show Six Foot Under when one of the main characters was buried under a tree, simply in a shroud.
Kathy’s company manages one of the few environmentally friendly, “green” cemeteries in the country.  Rather than using coffins and headstones, her cemetery looks more like a park, without any indication above ground that human beings are buried there.  Quite a departure and quite environmentally conscious.


As a result of their unusual approach to honoring the dead and having green values, unique and famous people show up at this cemetery to bury their family members.  That in turn brings out unique and famous people in attendance.

Kathy told me that the son of Larry Brilliant died at 26 of a rare form of cancer this week – and the funeral and burial was bringing out such luminaries as Al Gore and someone known as Wavy Gravy.  I must confess, while I certainly know who Al Gore is, Larry Brilliant’s name was vaguely familiar to me and truly I had no idea who Wavy Gravy was.

Yet in many ways, Larry Brilliant and Wavy Gravy have contributed fully to making this world a better place.

Wavy Gravy is really Hugh Romney,  who at Woodstock in the late 60’s was a member of an entertainment/activist commune known as the Hog Farm.  Today he runs art programs for children oriented towards clowning and bringing joy into the world and raises money for worthy organizations such as the Seva Foundation.  He is also known for the distinction of having a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor named for him:  Wavy Gravy.

Larry Brilliant is the Executive Director of, an arm of the Google corporation dedicated to giving 1% (at least 90 million dollars) of Google’s earnings to worthy world causes.  He is an endocrinologist who worked on the World Health Organization’s smallpox-eradication program; founded the Seva Foundation, a nonprofit that helps eliminate curable blindness in the developing world; works as an adviser to the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Omidyar Network, and Kleiner Perkins venture capital; cofounded The Well, a pioneering online community.  How sad to think that a man of such stature has lost his son at such a young age.

With Kathy’s sharing of this event, I found myself avidly investigating the backgrounds of these luminary figures and learning about things I didn’t know about or hadn’t been in my consciousness for some time.  I’m glad to know about and all the good that is going on through the Seva Foundation.  I’d like to think that by sharing this information with you and giving you the opportunity to read about these people and these organizations that I’ll be alerting you too to some good in the world – goodness knows we need it.

And may Larry Brilliant’s son rest in peace.


About Two Smarty Pants Creative Geniuses

We are two smarty pants, blabbermouth, seekers of wisdom out to share what we find with you. blah,blah "What I want for myself, I want for everyone." - Golden Rule Jones

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