A toast to the ghosts

Vital Speeches editor and publisher David Murray's writer parents live on through the ghostwriters who surround him.

Ghost Writers

My writer mother died almost 30 years ago at Thanksgiving,

My writer dad almost 10, around New Year's.

When they died, I comforted the people who tried to comfort me in the old way—

By assuring them my parents would live on through the people who knew them.

What I could not have known

Was that they would live on through people who didn't know them.


In my travels I meet a lot of people—lively, warm, writer people—

And my parents show up all the time at these palavers.

I quote Dad in a hotel bar—"an empty cab pulled up, and Wolf Blitzer got out"—

And he gets a bigger laugh than he ever did in life.

Women who my mom would have loved

Read what I've written about her and whisper,

"I think I'd really get along with your mom."

You already do, my friends.

And it's an astonishing pleasure for me. —DM


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