His death came as quite a shock not only to me, but also to my kids. He was a kind of idol in our family, someone we often imitated for fun but knew we were nowhere near as talented. His performances were like no one else in his business, real works of art that could not be duplicated. His unimaginable passing at the young age of 50 makes life itself seem more fragile. I’m writing, of course, of Billy Mays, who died last Sunday.