Obit of the Day: “Father” of the Doritos Locos Tacos
Todd Mills was the first to admit, “I can’t be the first person to think of this,” when referring to the idea of taco shells made from Doritos. But he was the person who started a grass roots efforts to see the dream become a reality.
On August 18, 2009, Mr. Mills launched a Facebook page, "Taco Shells made from Doritos." It was his attempt to start a grass-roots movement after Frito-Lay rejected the idea of turning their famous nacho cheese corn ships into taco shells. The page went viral, with over a million page views, and was featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
As word of mouth spread, Mr. Mills was featured on several food websites. And in February 2012 he was invited to the Taco Bell test kitchens to try their new Doritos Locos Tacos.
Note: According to FoodBeast.com, Taco Bell first started experimenting with Doritos-as-shells in 2010 which post-dates the TSMFD Facebook page but is two years before Mr. Mills was contacted by the company.
Todd Mills died on Thanksgiving Day 2013 at the age of 41. He did not receive any money from Taco Bell but harbored no ill will, "I’ve never once said that I deserved any sort of compensation."
(Image is copyright Taco Bell and Frito-Lay and courtesy of aerva.com)
Also relevant on Obit of the Day:
Arch West - The “Father of Doritos”
Obit of the Day: From Mickey Mouse Club to Fenway Park
This story begins with a mugging in Boston near the Charles River. Ed Cobb, the victim, was also a music producer and his not-so-happy experience would become a song that is as iconic among the city’s sports fans as “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” and “Sweet Caroline.”
The song Ed Cobb wrote, “Dirty Water,” was recorded by The Standells in 1966. The garage band featured vocalist and keyboard player Larry Tamblyn, guitarist Tony Valentino, bass guitarist Gary Lane, and drummer and vocalist Dick Dodd. None of the band had ever been to Boston.
The song was released in April 1966 and would peak at 11 on the Billboard charts. It would be The Standells greatest hit. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland, Ohio) lists it as one of the “Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.”
Dick Dodd, who got his professional start as a member of the original Mickey Mouse Club, left the group in 1968 to pursue a solo career. He wouldn’t rejoin the group for 36 years.
In 1997, the Boston Red Sox began playing “Dirty Water” after every home victory. It was also adopted by the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. Mr. Dodd had no idea until hearing his voice on television at the end of a Red Sox game.
In 2004, without much preparation, The Standells reunited before Game 2 of the World Series to perform “Dirty Water” live in Fenway Park. The Red Sox would win the series, their first in 86 years.
Dick Dodd, who was driving a limousine when contacted by the Red Sox, died on November 29, 2013 at the age of 66.
Random note: Mr. Dodd bought his first snare drum for $20 from Annette Funicello, who passed away in April 2013.
(“Dirty Water” and The Very Best of the Standells is copyright Universal Music Enterprises, 1998)
Obit of the Day: World’s Ugliest Dog, 2007 Edition
Apparently if you mix a Chinese crested with a Chihuahua it doesn’t always turn out well. When “Elwood,” was born his breeder found him so ugly he nearly had him put down.
Instead Elwood was taken in by Karen Quigley of Sewell, NJ who saw something in the little dog that few others would - potential. Potential to be the World’s Ugliest Dog.
In 2007, Ms. Qugley and Elwood traveled to the Sonoma-Marin County Fair and took home first prize in the ugliests dog competition. (Elwood bounced back after second place-finish the previous year.)
Elwood died on Thanksgiving Day 2013 at the age of 8.
(Image is courtesy of ABC.com via WHAS11.com. It’s undated but most likely taken in 2007 when Elwood won the title of “World’s Ugliest Dog.”)
Yoda - 2012 winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog competition
Obit of the Day: Dead Together
November 22, 1963
Aldous Huxley - The British author died on November 22, 1963 at the age of 69. Huxley was best known for his dystopian novel Brave New World published in 1932. The novel has been ranked as the one of the top 100 English language novels of all-time (the highest ranking was #5 by Modern Library). Huxley was also a teacher at Eton where his pupil included Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell.
C.S. Lewis - Christian apologist and novelist C.S. Lewis also passed away on November 22, 1963. He was one week shy of his 65th birthday. A professor at both Cambridge and Oxford, where he developed a legendary friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis’ best known novels are the seven-book Chronicles of Narnia (1949-1954) and The Screwtape Letters (1942). His non-fiction works of note include Mere Christianity (1952), The Great Divorce (1945) and his memoir Surprised by Joy (1955). On November 22, 2013 he will be honored with a memorial in Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey.
John F. Kennedy - The youngest President of the United States elected to office, Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. He was 46 years old. Kennedy was the first U.S. president born in the 20th century and the only one to win a Pulitzer Prize, for his work Profiles in Courage (1957). Although the basis of innumerable conspiracy theories and research, most historians agree that Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed Kennedy. Kennedy is fourth and last president of the United States to be assassinated. Presidents Lincoln (1865), Garfield (1881), and McKinley (1901) are the others.
The three men died within 1:40 of each other: Huxley, approximately 5:20 pm GMT/11:20 am CST; Lewis, a little after 5:30 pm GMT/11:30 am CST; and Kennedy at 1:00 pm CST/7:00 pm GMT.
In 1982, Peter Kreeft published a novel that proposed a discussion between the three men about Christianity. The book, Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley, was born from the coincidence of all three men dying on the same day.
(Images: top, President John F. Kennedy courtesy of vincentisms.blogspot.com; bottom left, C.S. Lews, courtesy of wikimedia.com; bottom right, Aldous Huxley, courtesy of crikey.com.au)