retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• We got email last week suggesting that MNB had erred in not taking note of the passing of Nello Ferrara, the inventor of spicy-hot Atomic FireBalls and lip-puckering Lemonheads, and the chairman of the Ferrara Pan Candy Co. Ferrara died last week at age 93.

The Chicago Sun Times, in reporting Ferrara’s death, noted that he’d lived an interesting life. As a young lawyer, he worked on a U.S. Army war crimes tribunal in Tokyo, and often saw General Douglas MacArthur, who he described as “pretty stern.” And, he sang a few duets with Frank Sinatra, a result of his work building the Villa Scalabrini nursing home, where Italo-American residents sometimes would be entertained by Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jimmy Durante.

• Jeffrey Zaslow, a longtime writer for the Wall Street Journal and the author of "The Last Lecture," about Randy Pausch’s final days, and the co-author, with Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, of their memoir, "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope," died over the weekend of injuries suffered in a car crash in northern Michigan. He was 53.
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