On the morning of August 21, 2009, my great good friend, Stan Gildersleeve, passed away in Costa Rica where he had moved to enjoy his last years at the age of 73. We only met personally one time in San Francisco a few years back, but our acquaintance through intense Internet message exchanges spanned the American presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, giving the two of us unreconstructed "Leftists" more than sufficient reactionary imperial absurdities to lampoon. I will miss him more than words can say -- but I thought I'd try a few phrases, in memoriam, anyway. I don't speak Spanish like he could, but I think he would understand my heartfelt meaning:
(A farewell to my irreplaceable friend, Stan Gildersleeve)
I lost you, friend, the other day;
I never saw you leaving.
You got away before I knew
You'd gone beyond retrieving.
Oh, how I miss you, friend;
The older brother that I never had;
A fellow spirit, wiser, sometimes mad;
Iconoclast and engineer, a blend
Of anarchy and insight wild and glad;
A life too large for death to really end.
I never got to say goodbye,
There at the final curtain.
You went your own way in the end,
As you had lived, for certain.
So, now I’ll never know
What next you’d say or do because you thought
It better to contest what fools have wrought;
That we should seek the truth, not live to show
What all our greedy, grasping hands have bought;
That we should work to save, not spend to owe.
Without you, who will call Fraud’s bluff,
And give its lies a grilling?
Your passing leaves a vacuum: huge,
Without a hope of filling.
Still, I will do my best
To live my own remaining days as well
As memories of you will help me tell
The time left on the clock: the only test
To pass before the tolling of the bell
Calls me, as well, to that eternal rest.
Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2009