A Very Sad Loss

Hello, Paradigm family. It’s with much sadness that I must inform you of a huge loss. Our beloved friend “othepeoplechoose” has passed away.

The People Choose, as you know, migrated here after Josh Marshall closed the reader’s cafe at Talking Points Memo, and through the years he has become a very close friend to several of us here. Most especially Dick Day. TPC, as we affectionately called him, shared emails and phone calls with Dick and I on a regular basis, and earlier this year he came up with the idea of flying Dick out from Minnesota so that the two of them could finally meet. TPC also invited me, and was ecstatic when Dick and I both agreed to make the trip up to Syracuse for this Labor Day weekend. TPC made all sorts of plans for us (we were to visit the State Fair, attend a concert, and have a beautiful dinner together this past Friday night). I can’t tell you how much the three of us were looking forward to this trip.

Although I did not hear from TPC after Wednesday of last week, I went ahead on Friday and made the three hour drive up to the hotel in Syracuse that he had booked for us, and once I got there I tried him on the phone several times, only to keep getting his voicemail. It wasn’t until I called Dick Day’s cell phone and found that Dick was stranded at the airport in Syracuse, waiting for TPC to meet him, that I realized something was very wrong.

Dick told me to drive over to TPC’s house, while Dick took a taxi from the airport to the hotel. I had TPC’s address and a map from Google, so I had no problem making the short drive over to his place. But when I got there, there was no one home, although the front door was open. This made me very wary, so I called Dick back, and he told me to hang up and contact the police right away. Two officers arrived shortly thereafter, and they were able to get into the house. Unfortunately, they discovered that our dear friend had passed away at home. I can’t tell you how shocked and saddened Dick and I were by this discovery. I can’t tell you how much we will miss our friend John (his real name) and how sad we feel for his family.

I was able to leave information with the authorities, and John’s sister called Dick and I on Saturday to thank us for contacting the police. What a very sweet lady she is. She was able to answer some of our questions, and we were very pleased to let her know about her brother’s writing and our friendship with him. Those phone calls with her really helped Dick and I, and we are so grateful to her for getting in touch with us.

John, TPC, thank you for planning this wonderful weekend for us, and thank you for being such a good friend. You will be missed.

Rest in peace, friend.

18 thoughts on “A Very Sad Loss

  1. Thank you so much, C. I meant to send you an email when I got home to PA this afternoon, to let you know. I’m sorry to have let you find out this way instead.

    I’m just so grateful that Dick was there, that we had each other. He was so supportive.

    We finally dug ourselves out of the hotel on Sunday and found a map that led us to downtown Syracuse, and I took some photos, which I’ve just posted. I think John would like that we saw a little bit of his city while we were there. My pictures don’t do the place justice, but I wanted to share them with you all anyway. You don’t know how much I wish this weekend had gone differently. But I am pleased that Dick and I got out there and saw a few sights before going back home. John would’ve liked that, I think.

    1. cmaukonen

      I am glad you and Dick were able to see and enjoy the city and one another. A much needed and therapeutic activity after the initial loss. The pictures are very nice.

  2. ramonasvoices

    What a shock! And how very sad. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you, Lis, to know something was wrong and then find our your worst fears were realized.

    My heart goes out to you and Dick and to John’s family.


  3. cmaukonen

    The more I read this and the more I think about it….there more it sounds like the beginning to an Inspector Morse. Stuff like this simply does not happen in real life…at least that was what I used to think.

    1. Thanks, Mike. I talked with Dick yesterday to ensure he got home safely to Minnesota. He said the trip went well and he’s currently staying with his daughter near the Twin Cities for a few days. We should be seeing him online by the end of the week.

  4. mageduley

    Holy Cow Lissy. I am glad you are safe. When you said his door was unlocked I immediately thought about how scared you must have been. TPC was such a great voice. And you and Dick very good friends. I hope you and Dick are not too traumatized. What an ordeal.

  5. Oh my… Oh my… Oh my…

    It is with such sadness that I respond. I so enjoyed the comments and postings of our friend The People Choose… I will miss him.

    Lis and Dick. It was providence that you both were there to discover that John had succumbed. What two better people to have been there to see that things were taken care of under the stressful conditions that you were faced with.

    My heart goes out to John’s family, friends and all who will miss his physical presence. We are all here for a only blink in the eye of the universe.

    In memory of our friend, from the pipes of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

    A href=”http://youtu.be/M8AeV8Jbx6M”>youtu.be/M8AeV8Jbx6M

    Larry aka/ ~OGD~

    (I hope the embedded video formatting works)

  6. I am really saddened to hear this news. I haven’t spent much time here in part because of an illness in the family that has occupied my summer, but the last post I commented on was one by TPC.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  7. http://obits.syracuse.com/obituaries/syracuse/obituary.aspx?n=john-c-kraus&pid=153485739&fhid=14322

    I just spoke with Carol, another of John’s many siblings, and she pointed me to TPC’s obituary at Syracuse.com. Carol welcomes all of us to sign in at the guest book there, so please do so. I am still reading and it will take me a while to gather my thoughts and write something coherent.

    I’ll cross post this at Dag so that everyone can view and/or comment the guest book.

    Thank you all, once again, for your comments.

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