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'Sorry, wrong number': One of the perils of obit writing

October 12, 2009 | 12:33 pm

Why wasn’t the family of B-movie actress Pamela Blake, who died Oct. 6, getting back to me? Over two days, I had left several messages on what I thought was her son Mike’s cellphone. The number had been provided by a former Times colleague who was also Mike’s friend.

When I call again, a live voice finally answers.

"This is Mike’s wife," she says, "but Mike’s mother is not dead. He called his mother to make sure she is still alive."

At least she is laughing as she tells me this.

I let out a huge "Oh, no!" and apologize profusely, then can’t help but giggle myself.

Turns out cellphone Mike’s mother is not Pamela Blake. I have been helpfully provided with an outdated phone number for Blake's son that has already been passed along to another Mike.  

-- Valerie J. Nelson