Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dearest Jean of Fenceberry -

I'm paid to be a journalist; to say the right words no matter what the situation. I'm supposed to cut through the bull and deliver the truth.

But the truth as I see it right now is a horrible, unfair thing. I shrink from it. The truth is that a marvelous, honest, straightforward woman has been taken from us. All too soon. And any words I type are going to have a very hollow sound.

But let me move past pathetic self-consciousness. Let me honor the memory of Aleta by telling the truth as Aleta has always told it. Honestly. Simply. And with just a dash of vinegar.

Few people would call Aleta a hero by the standards we use for the category. As far as I know, she didn't run into burning buildings to save people. She didn't don a unifrom and rush into battle.

But the integrity of her life has made her a hero to thousands of L&G people all over the world. She has nurtured us by spreading truth far and wide. The burning building is her community at the crossroads. And she donned the uniform of a caring citizen and went forth to do battle against the demagogues and homophobes who challenged us. She fought back with the potent weapon of words. Educated, thoughtful words. That is all too rare in these duplicitous days.

I am proud to have been an ally to her. Her premature passing wrenches my heart. My only solace is that in these final weeks she fully knew how much good she accomplished in this world and she knew how many people are grateful that she passed this way.

Love and strength to Jean. Blessings eternally to Aleta. You both must know by now that your blessed union and your good deeds are a lasting inspiration to me.

Gratefully,

Jay Blotcher
High Falls, NY

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