Watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher is dead at 76.

Comedian Gallagher, famous for smashing watermelons onstage with a hammer, passed away Friday morning at age 76. The prop comic’s longtime manager confirmed his passing in a statement to TMZ.

According to the report, the comedian died of massive organ failure while at a hospice in Palm Springs, California. Gallagher had reportedly been sick for quite some time, having suffered multiple heart attacks over the years, starting in 2011, when he collapsed onstage in Minnesota. He also suffered a cardiac episode the following year, right before he was supposed to perform in Texas.

Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr. was born on July 24, 1946, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He also lived in Ohio and Florida before enrolling at the University of South Florida, where he earned a degree in chemical engineering — and then, apparently, never looked back.

The funnyman broke into the mainstream after a stint on the Johnny Carson show in 1975, followed by a string of comedy specials for the Showtime network. He quickly became one of the most recognizable comics in the US.


Gallagher’s signature stunt was the “Sledge-O-Matic,” in which the performer used a giant mallet to pulverize vegetables, fruit and other objects to comedic effect. Initially starting as a spoof of the Ronco Veg-O-Matic commercials, it quickly became the entertainer’s most legendary bit and a major subject of parody.

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Jerry Lee Lewis, rock and roll legend, dies at 87

Rock ‘n’ roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis died at his Mississippi home Friday, representative Zach Farnum said in a news release. He was 87.

TMZ reported Wednesday that Lewis had died, but then retracted the report and blamed a bad tip.

Nicknamed “The Killer,” the electric showman was one of the first stars inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was known for his boogie-woogie style with 1957 hits “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire.”

The rock pioneer was born in Ferriday, Louisiana, on Sept. 29, 1935. In his biography, he recalled learning to tickle the ivories at age 9, with his father mortgaging the family farm to buy him his first piano shortly thereafter. His first public performance came at the age of 14, at the opening of a car dealership.

He attended Bible school in Texas, where he was reportedly expelled for a bad attitude and misconduct, including playing rock ‘n’ roll versions of hymns.

Rock 'n' roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis died Friday after a false report of his passing earlier this week.
Rock ‘n’ roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis died Friday after a false report of his passing earlier this week.
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The rock pioneer was born in Ferriday, Louisiana, on Sept. 29, 1935.
The rock pioneer was born in Ferriday, Louisiana, on Sept. 29, 1935.
Getty Images

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Loretta Lynn, coal miner’s daughter and country music queen, dies, age 90.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music, has died. She was 90.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Lynn’s family said she died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

“Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the family said in a statement. They asked for privacy as they grieve and said a memorial will be announced later.

Lynn already had four children before launching her career in the early 1960s, and her songs reflected her pride in her rural Kentucky background.

As a songwriter, she crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman, a contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material from which even rock performers once shied away.

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Another Shootist goes to his reward

In Memoriam: Ed Head
The long time Gunsite instructor and Shooting Illustrated columnist passed away after a brief illness

Ed Head

Ed Head, Shooting Illustrated field editor, retired United State Border Patrol senior firearms instructor and former operations manager, rangemaster and instructor at Gunsite Academy, died last week. He passed away surrounded by close friends and family.

Head served in the United States Air Force as a member of the branch’s military police from 1972 to 1976, specializing in nuclear weapons security and was captain of a weapons and tactics competition team. After leaving the service he joined the Border Patrol in August 1977 and assigned to a San Diego, CA, duty station. There he oversaw operations of a patrol group comprised of 19 supervisors and 160 agents at the Imperial Beach station.

He went on to complete the Firearms Instructor Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, where he received a distinguished Master rating and returned to California to assume firearm qualification and training duties for the Imperial Beach and Chula Vista Border Patrol stations. Later he became sector firearms instructor for the entire San Diego Border Patrol Sector—with 2,500 agents—and founded the San Diego Law Enforcement Combat Shooters Association, winning the club’s first championship. He retired from the Border Patrol in 2001.

In 1988 Head attended his first Gunsite Academy classes. There he earned an Expert rating in several courses and went on to receive the Instructor rating from the facility in 1992. From 2005 to 2010 he served as the facility’s operations manager and began teaching from the day he arrived. The last students he eagerly shared his depth of knowledge and experience with graduated in May, when his cancer forced him to withdraw from the active instructor roster.

“In addition to being an outstanding writer, Ed Head was a truly great man,” said Ed Friedman, editor in chief of Shooting Illustrated. “He served our country with distinction, both in an official capacity and by training untold thousands of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and our Constitution. His experience as the Operations Manager at Gunsite Academy made Ed an easy choice to write our ‘Skills Check’ column, which he did for more than a decade and helped make it one of the most popular departments in the magazine. My friend Ed will be sorely missed by everyone at Shooting Illustrated and in NRA Publications.”

“Ed was a stalwart at Gunsite for decades,” Ken Campbell, Gunsite Academy CEO said. “He trained countless good people and many are still alive as a result. We have lost another great one in the training industry.”

Head is survived by his wife of 36 years, Jean. A memorial service will be held at the Canyon Bible Church, 2900 West Gunsite Road, in Paulden, AZ. Details were not finalized at press time, but will soon be available on Gunsite Academy’s website.

Len Dawson, Hall of Fame quarterback who led Chiefs to Super Bowl win, dead at 87.

Len Dawson, the legendary quarterback who led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory, has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 87.

Dawson’s family released a statement to KMBC-TV, where the retired NFL star worked as a broadcaster.

“With wife Linda at his side, it is with much sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved Len Dawson. He was a wonderful husband, father, brother and friend. Len was always grateful and many times overwhelmed by the countless bonds he made during his football and broadcast careers,” his family said in a statement.


Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, Last Living World War II Medal of Honor Winner, Dead At 98.

Sad news: Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last living Medal of Honor winner from World War II, has died at age 98.

Williams was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on Oct. 5, 1945, from President Harry S. Truman for his “valiant devotion to duty,” the Woody Williams Foundation said.

“Today at 3:15am, Hershel Woodrow Williams, affectionately known by many as Woody went home to be with the Lord. Woody peacefully joined his beloved wife Ruby while surrounded by his family at the VA Medical Center which bears his name,” the Woody Williams Foundation wrote.

Williams, who was born in Quiet Dell, West Virginia, served for 20 years in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserves and then worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 30 years as a veterans service representative.

The U.S. Navy commissioned a warship called the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams in his honor in Norfolk, Virginia, in 2020.

I had previously honored Williams for my 2019 Veterans Day profile.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945.

Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machinegun fire from the unyielding positions.

Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out 1 position after another.

On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon.

His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective.

Cpl. Williams’ aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Sometime in the next decade or two, the last living World War II veteran will die, and that epoch-changing conflagration will pass out of living memory.

I counted Bob among my friends

Obituary for fatboy

Robert “Bob” Mills passed away unexpectedly December 12, 2021 at his home in Sequim, Washington. He was a stoic man who could be intimidating at first meeting but made friends everywhere he went. Bob had many interests — hunting, bicycling, ham radio, cooking, wine, and Irish whisky, but most of all he was a world-class story-teller.

Bob was born on January 22, 1946 in Barstow, California, and grew up in Rockford, Washington. He attended Eastern Washington College where he met his future wife Audrey Saldin, and after graduation in December 1968 he was commissioned as an officer in the US Army. Bob and Audrey eloped in January 1969.

He spent 1971 – 1972 in service during the Vietnam war. After returning home Bob’s career started working for the Department of Justice and those opportunities took the family first to McNeil Island, Washington, then a decade in California before returning to Seattle, where he would work until he retired in 2001. After he retired, Bob and Audrey built a home on the hill in Sequim where Audrey could get her water views, overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

While in Sequim, Bob worked for a local bike shop, conducted training for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and was active with Clallam County emergency operations as a ham radio operator working from the Sequim Fire Department. He was named Volunteer of Year 2011 by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents Dale and Betty Mills, and his wife Audrey. He is survived by his daughter Margaret Keppeler (husband Paul), his son Richard (wife Leah), and grandsons Reece and Sawyer. All will miss him deeply.

Bob will be interred in the Rockford Memorial Cemetery next to his wife and parents.”

Howard Hesseman, Star of ‘WKRP in Cincinnati,’ Dies at 81.

Howard Hesseman, a prolific character actor who became a beloved TV mainstay through his roles on sitcoms “WKRP in Cincinnati” and “Head of the Class,” died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles of complications from colon surgery he had undergone last summer. He was 81 years old.

Hesseman’s death was confirmed to Variety by his longtime rep Robbie Kass.


My Friend Tedd
by Jim Taylor

Yesterday a long-time friend died. He was a good man .. a gentle man … an artist at making grips for pistols. He was a man who loved his country. He was honest and trustworthy, faithful, and kind. He had major physical issues most of his life and faced them without complaining or becoming bitter. He was determined to live life and he embarked on adventures that many a man without his issues would hesitate to undertake. Life is gonna seem more empty than ever without him.

Say everything that needs to be said with your friends and loved ones today! Forgive those who have hurt you and ask forgiveness where you know you have made mistakes. None of us are assured of tomorrow and it is best to live without as many regrets as we can.

I am going to miss Tedd. His humor. His wisdom. His unique character and personality. I have hope that he is enjoying a reunion with all those friends and family who have gone before him. And I hope he is keeping coffee hot on a fire by the big gate so that on the day I arrive, we will share a cup and pick up where we were interrupted.


Sad news. Tedd Adamovich passed away this morning with complications from Covid.

Tedd was a good, good man, a fine grip maker and long time Shootist. He gave us so much over the years, including his wisdom. I will miss his humor, his politics and his intelligence. Some of him lives on in the books that he wrote.

But not enough. He was my friend.

Tedd took over ‘Bear Hug Grips’ when Kermit ‘Deacon’ Deason passed away back in 1994, renaming them ‘Blu Magnum Grips’.

Chip McCormick, Legendary Gunsmith and Innovator

A true industry legend, Michael “Chip” McCormick, has passed away.

I can think of no other man who has changed the industry in more ways than McCormick. Most people know him for his industry-leading 1911 magazines, but few are aware McCormick was responsible for many other innovations that transformed the gun world. An intensely private man, he quietly invented many things we take for granted today. He took the drive that pushed him to two World Speed Championships and focused it on inventing and manufacturing.

Before CMC (Chip McCormick Custom), there was no such thing as the now ubiquitous drop-in AR-15 trigger. Gunsmiths would put together a trigger with parts, often from a kit. McCormick created a single-unit trigger that installs in minutes; literally a “drop in.” Of course easy installation was not good enough for McCormick, he made it crisp, clean, with no creep….Match grade. Now dozens of imitators crowd the market, the market created by Chip McCormick.

Before Kimber, the 1911 had to be fitted from oversize parts. If you saw one in the gun store, it was usually a basic government model that the owner would have to customize. McCormick conceived of the “spec” 1911 with all parts being within specific tolerances so the gun could be assembled, instead of fitted. McCormick approached several companies, but they turned him away. Kimber’s Leslie Edelman saw the potential and quickly struck a deal for Chip to create a production gun. Unlike anything else on the market, it was fully accessorized with beavertail grip safety, extended slide release and ambidextrous thumb safeties. Not only was the Kimber handgun line born, but so was a new way of building the 1911. Now the production 1911 is the industry standard, as are fully accessorized guns.

When we think of the 2011, the first company that comes to mind is STI, which has since become Staccato. Few know the true origins of the company. It was Chip McCormick who conceived of the modular gun based on the 1911. Even with his vast experience, he lacked sufficient knowledge in plastic molding. McCormick had several other companies, so he also lacked the bandwidth to take on such a project. A team was assembled, including Sandy Strayer and Virgil Tripp. McCormick invested money and made agreements to buy parts to help fund the fledgling company. Strayer and Tripp took McCormick’s concept, developed and patented it, creating what we know as the 2011.

While he never said it, I believe the innovation that McCormick was most proud of was his RPM magazine. McCormick’s mind was always going and he often didn’t sleep. On one particular sleepless night he put his mind to thinking about the problem that vexed him and all 1911 enthusiasts. Of course, that of which I speak is out-of-spec feed lips. John Browning just didn’t leave enough room. Though McCormick didn’t get any sleep that night, he did get inspiration. Staring at his ceiling he figured out how to turn them back on themselves, making smooth, amazingly strong lips. That was revolutionary enough for most…but McCormick wanted to create something truly different. The RPM follower is unique as it is a two axis leaf spring, pushing up and sideways. This innovation is important because when the magazine is emptied, the follower sticks out of the top of the magazine tube and twists counter clockwise. The results are that the slide always locks back when empty. I can still remember the satisfied smile when he explained how it worked. It was a simple, elegant solution and that was McCormick’s way.

While it is inarguable that McCormick left an indelible mark on the world of guns, let us also remember the manner in which he conducted himself. When he was rolling out the RPM magazine at SHOT Show, I worked in his booth and had the opportunity to observe him. Whether it was an industry titan, a fan of his products, or a competitor from his shooting days, they were all greeted like royalty. His warmth and welcoming nature was beautiful to watch.

The legacy that Chip McCormick leaves behind is truly enormous. It is hard to imagine anyone who has accomplished as much as he did. All of this done with honor, honesty and class.

Chip, you will never be forgotten.

The Unser family is legendary in Indy racing. Brother Al Unser Jr. won the Indy 500 twice and patriarch Al Unser Sr. won it 4 times.

Bobby Unser passes away

Three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser dies at 87

Racing champion Bobby Unser died in his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico of natural causes at the age of 87. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway made the announcement on Monday.

Unser was a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, taking victory at the iconic race in 1968, 1975 and 1981 and is part of the only pair of brothers to ever win that race. Just ten drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 three times and only two have won in three decades, Unser and Rick Mears.

Team Penske released a statement, offering condolences to his family and reflecting on his career.


This was my youngest Aunt on my mother’s side of the family.
She was known by her middle name Jeane instead of her first name Delia

No services are planned at this time for Jeane Skyles age 82 of Hollister, Missouri.

Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Greenlawn Funeral Home in Branson.

She passed away on March 7, 2021 at Shepherd of The Hills Living Center in Branson, Missouri.

Jeane was born on November 4, 1938 in Sheldon, Missouri the daughter of William and Mary Waters Fullerton. She and her husband moved to the area in 1979 and were the owners and operators of the Paradise Donut Shop from 1979 until 1988. She was a Registered Nurse and retired in 2000 from Cox Home Health Care. She was a member of the Branson United Methodist Church. She enjoyed playing bridge.

She is survived by a son; Michael Skyles (Sandy) of Memphis, Tennessee, two grandsons, Jack Michael Skyles and Samuel Nicholas Skyles and a great grandson Rhys Michael Skyles. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Larry Skyles, two brothers, Tom Barbato and Clarence Fullerton and two sisters, Dorothy Rookstool and Doris Ware.

Memorial contributions in her memory are suggested to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Children’s Miracle Network.

Today we laid to rest my eldest Uncle.
Ninety and Nine he was.
He shall be missed.

Arthur Hyde Barner
July 12, 1921 – February 24, 2021
Arthur H. Barner passed away peacefully at his home on February 24, 2021. He was born on July 12, 1921 in Pontiac, Missouri to Sam and Ida (Wilbanks) Barner.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years Retha (Jones), brothers Elza, Gene, Jim, sister Elsie (Alcorn) and son Richard and daughter-in-law Donna (McCracken).

Arthur is survived by son Wendell (Ellen) of Steubenville, OH; daughter Joyce Allen (Mike) of Joplin, MO; granddaughters Nichole Harvey, Brandi (Nick) Frisbee, Stephanie (Josh) Howard, and grandson Chris (Lisa) Allen; and eight greatgrandchildren; brothers Bill, Gerald, and Fred and sisters Laverne Dutcher, Mary Ruth (Si) Larsen, Danny Kaye Barner, and Carolyn McCorkle.


Rush Limbaugh – and the Importance of Being Hated

James O’Keefe——-

It is with great sadness that I learned my dear friend, inspirational figure, and American radio icon Rush Limbaugh has passed away.

I will never forget what Rush said when someone once asked him about how he handled being hated:

There’s a good reason for the media hating me.  And once I came to grips with that fact, that there’s a reason they should hate me, then it makes sense.  One of the toughest things I had to do was learn to psychologically accept the fact that being hated was a sign of success. 

Most people aren’t raised to be hated.  We’re all raised to be loved.  We want to be loved.  We’re told to do things to be loved and appreciated and liked.  We’re raised, don’t offend anybody, be nice.  Everybody wants total acceptance. Everybody wants respect. Everybody wants to be loved, and so when you learn that what you do is going to engender hatred you have to learn to accept that as a sign of success.  That was a tough psychological thing for me.

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BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70

Conservative radio giant Rush Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday. Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, Limbaugh’s wife of eleven years, announced his death on his iconic radio show.