How Printer Companies Are Locking People Into Loyalty

Feb 26, 2021

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

All this week, we are remembering some of the more than 500,000 people in the U.S. who've died of COVID-19 through the music that gave their lives meaning. We're calling our tribute Songs of Remembrance. Deb Kalish wanted to remember her partner, Paul Kleinheider of Chatham, N.J. He was hospitalized early in the pandemic, and once the hospital figured out how patients could connect to the outside world on Zoom, Deb called Paul that way several times a day and played him the songs he loved, especially "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIMON AND GARFUNKEL SONG, "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER")

DEB KALISH: We met through friends many years ago. We were - have been together for 14 years. Our first date, we got along really well. And at the end of the date, he said, I'm turning 60 next week, and I'm having dinner with my two best friends. Could you join us? It wasn't the kind of thing that you could say no to.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) When you're weary...

KALISH: Paul was a war baby. He was born in the U.K. His mother was from the U.K., and his dad was an American soldier. He came to the United States when he was a year old. I believe they struggled. Paul talked about at one point living in a house without electricity and with an outhouse. He went to a two-room schoolhouse. So his beginnings were tough.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) And friends just can't be found.

KALISH: Paul struggled in school. He often thought that he might have been a bit dyslexic. But in those days, I don't think they were even aware of that disability. He always likened the difficulty as a child not to the fact that they may not have had a lot of money or they may not have had, you know, a large house, but he likened it to education and how important it was to start as soon as one can and to receive, you know, all the nuances and all the training that preschool provides to give children a step up in the right direction.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) When you're down and out, when you're on the street...

KALISH: So when his wife passed away, he and his younger son started a scholarship for children in preschool because he understood the earlier a child starts, you know, school and starts being educated, regardless of where they're coming from, how important that is just to move forward in life.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) And pain is all around.

KALISH: I chose that song because it was always very important to Paul. He loved the song. And I always felt that his bridge was education. He saw it as a gift.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.

KALISH: I joined a grief group when Paul passed, and it was helpful. It was helpful. I think there was strength in numbers, as odd as that may sound. It helped. It helped just to be able to talk about the things you were feeling and know that someone else could understand. And I think the most important thing I got out of it was when the leader, the leader of the group, said, you know, you did the best you could at the time. And that's an important thing for people to remember.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) Sail on, silver girl. Sail on by.

SHAPIRO: That's Deb Kalish remembering her partner Paul Kleinheider, who was 74 when he died of COVID-19 in May of last year. You can visit our tribute NPR's Songs of Remembrance at npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) See how they shine. If you need a friend, I'm sailing right behind. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.