Fake News, My Dying

February 14th, 2017

A photo from the working session in Crestline last year, alive and well then, and alive and well still.

Here’s a funny one. I recently got an email from a friend and earlier working colleague I’d not heard from in many years. We knew him from when we served with the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) in British Columbia, 1997 to 2001. He wrote with concerns for my health.

But why? Here’s what he said:

Hello Hyatt,

Greetings from your old haunt in Canada. It’s been so long. As I walk around the building here your numerous paintings remind me of our times together.

I received word the other day that your health is not good and I wanted to inquire if it was true. Please, if you are able, let us know how you are doing and how we can pray for you.



If I’m able? What’s this?

Here’s my reply (excerpted):

Hi Danny,

How great to hear from you. But I must say, along with Mark Twain, the rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated! Even the story of my illness seems to be another example of fake news.

That is, unless you’re speaking prophetically and I should stock up on miscellaneous medicines just in case.

But in fact, we’re prospering. I would be interested to know of what you heard I’m suffering, and who you heard it from.


To this he replied:

Hi Hyatt…

I’m so glad to hear that you’re keeping well. About where I heard rumors of your poor health, I received the following from our communications department:

Today I was updating our donor database to make the changes requested by our donors and I came across this bit of news.  Hyatt Moore requested that we take him off our list, giving the unsubscribe reason as “I’m dying.”

And now you know why I wrote! I thought, “The poor guy is packing it in and I had better get my farewells in before it’s too late!”

Keep up the good work and say hello to Anne!


This explained it. Here’s my reply:


Ha!  Now I know that somebody does read these things. I don’t remember asking to be taken off the CanIL list specifically, but it’s not unusual for me to do so, receiving so many mailings. These days it’s easy to unsubscribe to lists, but not without explaining why.  So the “I’m dying” has been my usual answer. Seems final enough . . . and there is some truth to it . . . just not eminent (I hope).

In any case I genuinely do appreciate your concern, had it been real. There’s much yet to do before I’m really dying.


Then finally, his last response:

Haha… You’re horrible!!! So you’re the originator of the “fake news”! Well thanks for a good laugh this morning.


That’s it. Maybe it’ll give you a laugh too.

Funny, though, how it does tie in with my blog subjects of late like Aging, and Obits. But we’re well, both of us, presently still doing art and enjoying life in Crestline, California. (More on that next time.)


  1. Joanncokas Feb 14, 2017
    12:47 pm

    Pretty interesting.😍Happy to hear you are alive and well!

  2. John Nowlan Feb 14, 2017
    1:47 pm

    In a world swirling with Fake News & real news that is hard to believe, your blog was refreshing.
    The source of your rumored demise brought a laugh too. I could hear yours from here.

    The comment re your Art work on the walls of CanIL prompted another thought. The Book ‘a day in the life of Wycliffe’ – I never saw the final product although I was sent to photograph in Spain (where WBT Canada teams were placed). Hope you may be able to locate this?

    Meanwhile, enjoy your Art & life in Dana Point.

    John N.

  3. Ginney Herbert Feb 14, 2017
    1:57 pm

    That is funny. I was a little worried myself because you haven’t posted in a while. Glad all is well.
    Say hi to Anne. Take care….and no more fake news please

  4. Kathleen Feb 14, 2017
    7:55 pm

    I was missing you too. And, praying for you.
    Thinking of you & Anne, your warm hospitality, and all the lives you’ve touched & blessed with your kindness & love. I hope & pray that you’re family is doing well. Happy Valentines Day to two beautiful Valentines. <3

  5. Kristan Feb 15, 2017
    1:08 am

    That is SO funny! I am totally stealing your line next time I unsubscribe!

  6. Rocky Feb 15, 2017
    11:01 am

    Funny, thanks for sharing that story.

  7. Alison Urbank Feb 15, 2017
    5:36 pm

    I enjoyed your post immensely, made all the more delightful because I have recently witnessed that you are very well, indeed. Especially good to know who started the whole fake news thing, too…I was wondering. Also, the clerical task that is unsubscribing ourselves is just such a “funny” addition to the multitude of mundane tasks of living, don’t you think?

  8. Jeanette Nelson Feb 17, 2017
    7:19 pm

    Scott and I both had a good laugh! p.s. I’ve written similar things to expedite getting off those ongoing, annoying email lists!

  9. Paul Merrill Feb 22, 2017
    7:23 pm

    Love it!