|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
The great Jon Swift has died. That's the "blogging" angle to a personal tragedy. In reality, the voice of Jon Swift - the hilarious faux conservative blogger whose talent and passion were evident in every post - belonged to Al Weisel, a sweet and good-natured journalist who happened to be the college roommate of my once-and-future collaborator Jason Chervokas.
I didn't know him well, but Al graciously agreed to be part of my little newcritics experiment of a couple of years back and his presence at some of our New York gatherings was generous, friendly, and low key - though the humor could sometimes be appropriately biting.
Al was on the way to his father's funeral in Virginia when he suffered a sudden aortic aneurysm and underwent several surgeries in an attempt to save his life. Sadly, they did not succeed.
Heartbreakingly, Al's mother has posted this comment to the Jon Swift blog, unmasking the true identify of her brilliant son - and yes, he was a blogging super-hero to many of us.
I don't know how else to tell you all who love this blog. I am Jon
Swift's Mom and I guess I'm going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my
beloved son. Al was on his way to his father's funeral in VA when he
suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery
dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries
within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a
severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best
friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last
breath. We have all lost a shining start who warmed our hearts,
tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something
over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will
live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say. If you are
on Facebook, go to organizations and join "Friends of Al Weisel,
Unite!" It will give you just a taste of how special he was. Farewell,
Al Weisel was the political poser's worst enemy as Jon Swift, but he was also a good guy to hang around the pub with and commiserate over New York's shrinking freelance rates. Gone all too soon, he'll be truly missed by many.