Thursday, February 14, 2008

So Long...

Lurch (John F) of Main and Central has died.

Just.... damn.

I liked John a lot. A classic old-style newsman and veteran, he wrote for Main and Central out of a fierce dedication to veteran's issues.

He was a friend, filled with a fiery passion about troop safety. His work on the body armor series at Main and Central going back years, is amazing. Everything you've ever wanted to know.

What a lousy day. I'm going to miss his writing and the notes back and forth enormously.

Main and Central

Today is a sad day in Blogtopia. We have learned, through a detective with the local police, that our dear friend Lurch has passed away. We didn't receive any details, the information is privileged for family members, but the cop was decent enough to give us that much.

I didn't know him that well, mostly through this blog and via email, but my wife and I feel honored we were able to break bread with him when he visited Long Island a year ago.

Lurch had a personality that drew one to him and the time we spent with him seemed far too short. Unfortunately, the trip he planned a few months back fell through and we're saddened another get-together is no longer in the cards.

What I know of his military service would fill a thimble, though I knew he served his nation with honor and distinction as an Army paratrooper during the war in Vietnam. Through his experience and study, he was one of the most knowledgeable people when it came to the workings of the service, strategy and tactics, and some of the best insight when it came to reading between the lines on defense issues. He was an invaluable resource as well as a friend.

Please join me in mourning our friend as well as passing on condolences to his family. I'm grateful for the time he spent with us here in Blogtopia, grateful for his insights, and grateful for the opportunity to have known him. I am proud to call him a brother in arms.

As they say in the Navy: Fair winds and following seas, my friend.

Until we meet again.
Updated Feb 24: Main and Central has put back up the original post, which they'd temporarily taken down at the request of the family to let the family properly notify people. The original post and comments are now back up, at a new location (linked below.)

In addition, M&C's Fixer brings us word from the medical examiner's office, along with a beautiful personal remembrance (by his blog partner, Gordon.) I still find myself missing Lurch. *sighs*
Main and Central (Fixer, then Gordon for the remembrance.)

I posted on the death of our friend 10 days ago and then removed them at the request of his family. There were people to be notified and they did not want them to learn of it from the blog. I saved the post and comments, as well as my blog partner Gordon's post at the Brain and have reproduced them here.


A few words in farewell

Lurch came to visit me in 2006. Please go read the post I did about his visit. There's a photo there so you can see what he looked like.

We were in contact ever since. We would chat on the phone occasionally, frequent e-mails, and we commented on each other's blogs. We kidded each other like the blazes.

Lurch was a thoughtful man. He sent me five pounds of his favorite BBQ pork, and a USS Fremont Zippo to replace the one I lost forty years ago. I burned him a CD or two. We exchanged Christmas cards.

Just the simple things friends do. Separated by a continent, we liked each other and tried to stay close nonetheless.

Memories. Good ones.

Lurch and I were just about the same age, in our early 60s. As we get older, the sandbar in the river of life that we're all standing on gets less and less secure. We see more and more of our friends getting washed away at an increasing rate, and we think of our own turn, for it is coming as surely as the sun will rise.

It does not get any easier to see them go.

Lurch was a good one, and I am proud to call him my friend.

Vaya con Dios, Amigo. I'll be seeing you.