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Rick Steelhammer: Diary of a week of memorable events I would like to forget

Essential reporting in volatile times.

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Monday: Started day by watching video recorded by a New York man being threatened with arrest for birding while black in Central Park. Made me hot under the collar — then began sweating through entire shirt as both temperature and relative humidity approached 90. Discovered air conditioning unit had shuffled off its mortal condenser coil.

Tuesday: Read lyrics to “Beverly Pillbillies,” a parody of the “Beverly Hillbillies” theme song that made the email circuit among employees of a pharmaceutical firm that made millions selling opioids in West Virginia. In this version, a poor mountaineer named Jed, “who barely kept his habit fed,” travels to Florida to score “hillbilly heroin.” Later, watched an even more disturbing video, this one of George Floyd’s last agonizing moments at the hands — make that knee — of Minneapolis police.

Wednesday: Learned tonight that the nation’s COVID-19 death tally had passed the 100,000 mark, with no end in sight. Watched yet another video, this of Memorial Day revelers partying like it’s 1999 at a Lake of the Ozarks pool.

Thursday: Read a report in Forbes stating that during the late-March to late-May period in which nearly 40 million Americans lost their jobs, the world’s 25 richest billionaires all got richer, averaging more than $10 billion extra apiece. Another Forbes piece showed that Jim Justice, described by the magazine as “the billionaire skinflint governor of West Virginia,” saw little change to his net worth, estimated at about $1.2 billion.

Friday: Watched video of CNN reporter getting arrested while reporting in Minneapolis, later saw video of CNN Center in Atlanta being trashed by angry crowd, including window-smashing, taser-immune skateboarder. Saw Atlanta mayor make impassioned plea for those involved with chaos in the streets to go home. Watched video on Fox News where Mark Fuhrman, whose racist comments helped torpedo the O.J. Simpson trial, was giving commentary on events taking place in Atlanta. David Duke booked?

Saturday: It’s 2:32 a.m., column still not complete. Checking Mapquest to see if I can drive to Florida in time to be a stowaway on the SpaceX Crew Dragon before the afternoon’s launch to the International Space Station.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelhammer@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5169 or follow

@rsteelhammer on Twitter.

Funerals for Saturday, july 11, 2020

Bias, Mary - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Bsharah, Mary - 11 a.m., St. George Orthodox Cathedral.

Burkhart, Charlotte - 11 a.m., Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens, Glasgow.

Cain, Dennis - 1 p.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation, Grantsville.

Holcomb, William - 10 a.m., Sunset Cemetery, Bickmore.

King, Ruth - 1 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home, Nitro.

McLeod, Julius - 3 p.m., streaming live, see obituary.

Null,  Virginia -11 a.m., Haven of Rest Memorial Gardens, Red House.

Parsons, Olivia - 5 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.

Pauley, William - 2 p.m., Kelly's Creek Community Church, Sissonville.

Surratt, Carol - 11 a.m.,  Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, Cross Lanes.

Webb, Betty - 3 p.m., Loudendale Freewill Baptist Church.