I awoke about 3am on Sunday morning Australian time, and unable to get back to sleep I got online to find sj, an old agonist bulletin board friend informing me that Stumpy had died.
A recent popular tag on Facebook was “Have you ever realized how lucky you are to have friends from all over the world at your fingertips? People you have never met offline, but are so happy to see daily online.” Stumpy was such a human, a man who loved the richness of life although burdened by ever increasing health problems.
“G’day m8” was how Stumpy would greet me in chat over the past six years. Stumpy always took a wide view of the world and universe and shared both his personal difficulties and exuberant enjoyment of his online discoveries with me.
He loved “playing with words and expanding my vocabulary,” his own website stumpysfindings provided a rich tapestry of thought provoking information, from world events, photography, and word definitions. Sadly due to illness his original website rego was not renewed, but he continued on @ Blogger.
During a foray of posting on myspace he wrote
“Although I have led a wonderfully rich but hollow existence, highlighted by a strange affinity for the news, that all must now move to a much slower and constrained rhythm because of Primary-progressive MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Having real limits placed on a boundless spirit is a bummah but I am not complaining. My physical activities may be much less ‘grand’, but I still have a life full of friends and discoveries. Did someone just say ‘discovery’? http://www.rethinkingschools.org/just_fun/games/mapgame.html I doubt my mental atlas will ever be complete with all those silly Chaos-stan places. ”
Words, Words, Words were Stumpys love, I especially remember desuetude DESS-wih-tood noun : discontinuance from use or exercise : disuse
Many knew him as Stumpy but in Taiwan in an earlier part of his life he was ‘Lei Ch’uan Sheng.’ Stumpy reflected: ” Being known as Mr. Lightning (Flash?) isn’t bad but functionally I was called other things.”
In 2006 Stumpy wrote
“Although degreeless and now forced into retirement by disability, I had a wonderfully rewarding career in journalism. The way I used to describe the profession is that being a journalist is like being a license to find out as much as you can without being held responsible for retaining any of it. I have written story after story centered on something as arcane of landfill requirements, been escorted into a Mafioso’s private office (much like Tony’s at the BadaBing), covered murders and fires and interviewed a range of both famous and interesting personalities… all without any specific certification or training except, perhaps, for a love of reading and the beauty of written word. Bottom line? Learn as much as you can about as many different things as possible.”
DailyKos was where Stumpy found an online home after Agonist. An online memorial service will be held later this week at DK: details thanks, dk.
Once again “life has changed not ended.”