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Sudden death of delegate reminds many of life's fragility.

Less than two minutes into Fred Adcock's Monday morning keynote address, Robert C. Downes, president of RCD Publications of Springfield, Virginia, collapsed on the Mayflower Hotel ballroom floor and died shortly after at George Washington University Hospital.

Our condolences go to his wife, Mary Louise Downes, and his three sons and one daughter.

Adcock resumed his presentation after asking for a few moments of bowed-head silence--as did a number of other speakers in subsequent sessions.

During the course of the otherwise business-filled conference, many delegates also revealed our common humanity in a number of ways:

* Alfred M. Goodloe of Publisher's Multinational Direct for the first time missed NEPA's annual conference after being hit by a car days earlier and thrown about 20 feet onto Manhattan pavement. The eighties-something editor and publisher survived with few permanent injuries. Many of us at the conference traded affectionate stories about the indomitable and affable Al.

* Another conference attendee, whom we didn't recognize at first, told us he lost about 30 pounds in a hard-fought battle over two years. He is now a "life coach" concentrating on the positive side of life.

* Frank Joseph, publisher of the 1979-founded Federal Personnel Guide, sold that publication to concentrate on a slower lifestyle, consulting and working on some projects dear to him.

* Another longtime newsletter associate took the bold personal step of abandoning his toupee, to reveal a handsome bare head to us all.

* Maureen McKinney, a graduate student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a love of newsletter journalism, inspired many of us with her circumspect maturity. The young woman's enthusiasm for the medium reminded us that the industry is blessed with a whole new generation of smart and ambitious journalists.

Life goes on.
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Title Annotation:Reporter's notebook
Author:Swift, Paul
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Jun 23, 2005
Previous Article:2005 Directory of Major Mailers and What They Mail.
Next Article:NEPA conference attracts 514 newsletter publishers, editors, marketers, and vendors.

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