Instapundit notes the upcoming 50th anniversary of the death of Hank Williams, which he places "in or near Knoxville". Actually, as the very long story to which he links shows, the evidence is ambiguous, and it is not known whether he died in Tennessee, Virginia, or West Virginia, and whether in the last few hours of 1952 or the first few of 1953. The doctor who declared him dead in Oak Hill, West Virginia, said that he might have been dead as long as six hours, and that was at 7:00 AM. The Hank Williams stamp that came out around ten years ago gave him the benefit of the doubt and listed 1953 as his date of death. (For whatever reason, I have found that putting Hank Williams stamps on job applications for tenure-track Latin professor positions doesn't seem to help, even when my return address was in Tuscaloosa.)
He was last seen definitely alive in Knoxville on New Year's Eve, but the place, date, and even year of his death are irretrievable. As a big fan, I can see why the InstaPundit would want to claim him for his own fair city. Then again, some of the suppliers of the various substances that contributed to his death were in Knoxville, too. The PossumBlogger will be sorry to hear that the chauffeur who was too oblivious to notice that his passenger had died was an Auburn man, in fact a freshman.
Kingsley Amis once wrote that Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913?) would probably be the last major literary figure with a question-mark on his date of death. If we extend the category to include musicians, Hank Williams should get one, too, though for entirely different reasons.Posted by Dr. Weevil at December 12, 2002 11:33 PM