On Jumping without a Parachute

I haven’t posted for a long time.  Fervor and the repair of self are selfish demons that demand nourishment.  In short I have had nothing to say, or if I had something to say I lacked the will to say it.

In my 81st year I am experiencing a passage, one at the opposite end of birth.  Although I am reasonably healthy, the end is in sight, not actually in my vision, not that I can feel the creeping hand of death, not that I am steeped in fear, but I am vaguely aware of this event called a “passage.”

We do not talk about death, about the end, about the various beliefs surrounding death that bounce around the world like headless chickens and over which people kill each other.  One with a bandana over his head and another with a cross hanging around his neck argue, “It is all right that I kill you because you don’t believe about death the way I do.  And I will kill your children too and not even get my hands bloody because I can kill them by pressing a button in some secret building in America, the land of the free.”  But I have strayed.

We do not talk about death because we are too afraid of it. Perhaps if we talk about it, it might come knocking at our door.  In a way, it is like getting into an airplane without a parachute.  The plane is crowded, shoulder to shoulder with passengers all of whom will be required to exit the plane before the plane lands.  Some read their Bibles, and some pray.  Some make bad jokes and drink a lot of whiskey and some pretend they are not in the airplane.  We are all in this plane together, yet we do not love each other or offer much comfort one to another.  Instead we rob and lie and cheat and threaten each other and we pick the pockets of the poor and watch the old who suffer incomprehensible pain and refuse to help them off the plane as they beg, but insist instead that they suffer all hellish pain to the end.

In this age of science we create ridiculous fantasies on the same level as the Easter bunny and Santa Claus, about life eternal to be endured with angels who have wings in a airy place of joy and endless harp music.  And we scorn those who question such beliefs.  Adult thinking about life or death is not permitted by the spiritual leaders we turn to for wisdom and comfort, for if we do not think like children our spiritual leaders cannot control us with fear and fairy tales. But they too are in denial of the truth:  They too have to exit the plane.  Jump!

I dreamed once that I was walking along the edge of a precipice and slipped off.  In a panic I grabbed the only object available, a small bush that was growing over the edge.  Below me was a canyon many thousands of feet deep and below that the canyon’s rocky bottom.   As I clung desperately to the bush I could feel its roots slipping away.  I had a choice, as we always have choices.  I could either hold on to the bush and scream panic out into the empty landscape until the roots gave way and I fell, or  I could let loose and enjoy the trip down.  I have always wanted to fly.

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129 responses to “On Jumping without a Parachute

  1. There is always a third option Gerry, you could just “hang onto” that branch (quiety, and enjoy the view, breathe in deep the fresh air) until the branch breaks on its own,…then you would have no choice but to fly. Hang in there Gerry, old man, my friend, hold on to that branch as long as you can, …and dont be so anxious to take that final one-way flight! We LIKE having you around!

  2. Welcome back.

  3. Or instead…. your attention may be drawn to the sight of a perfectly ripe strawberry on the branch that you are hanging onto and you reach for it..

    • i’m sorry if i didn’t explain myself well enough. i meant no offense. it comes from a fable of a monk being chased by a tiger, jumps off a cliff to excape and grabs a tree on the side of the cliff, looks down and sees another tiger waiting and is distracted by a strawberry…i think it’s a great way to live..

  4. Gerry it is our blessing to hear your words of wisdom again. If there is a point to life, it is, that there is no point to it at all. Life is an onion waiting to be peeled. There are still many layers remaining on your onion. And In the end, we all cry like babies, even the bravest of us all. May your remaining days bring you the most cherished memories of your life. Thank you for all you have done to help the common man.

  5. Don’t go, Gerry…We need you.

  6. I like the time phase before appearing @ delivery, this time!

    Seeing as how mankind has not formally learned how to create life from a rock, alone, upon this session I pronounce my name, more truthfully, as technically suggested by my present captors, Adam was my first and last name and… I AM RESIDING as David Dan Getman.(entitled by the “government presiding.

    the short and sweet truth is Uncle Clarence Getman dubbed me “skipper”.

    I do skip a lot of heresay testimony.

    Let me here from you all that read with an open, unbiased conversation.

  7. Bill Frenette

    My Dearest Friend Gerry, I will bring a parachute for you, for my personal selfish motives. You have brought me laughter and tears through your books, as in “Give Me Liberty” when you talk about the respect to be given to children because they have been the closest to God. I have replayed in my mind the three times we talked over meals in Leavenworth, Wa. this past March. Yes I’ll admit that I want to spend more time with you, talk more with you, as I am sure there are countless people who wish the same. I am unable to find the words to describe how you have changed my life. I would like the opportunity to try, which brings me to your birthday celebration which you have in August I believe. Send me an invitation and I’ll be there. Until we meet again, May God watch over and protect you and all your loved ones. Your friend forever. Bill Frenette. In your last sentence “I have always wanted to fly.” You will fly because Angels always have wings.

  8. Vicki Godbehere

    Our days are numbered before we leave our mother’s womb; let it be known we left this earth a better place. I believe you did; I read your book Trial by Fire – and found it very poignant – especially after just completing my paralegal certification at 54 years of age as a platform for a third career path. I so enjoyed seeing how both sides of the law “work” – and I believe you have left good here on this earth.

  9. I cannot read between lines, but I seem to be old enough to understand the comments On Jumping Without a Parachute and reread by me and this response made by me, in writing, on July 5, 2010 @ 9:45 PM Amarillo Texas 77080 in the … David Getman et ux at 9615 Railton street.

    (713)934-8635 an admirer of Gerry Spence, the remarkable speaker.

  10. sheldon berger

    be4autiful article…hope and pray you are not slipping away from us…you are an exceptional human being…

    shel

  11. Glad to read your thoughts again…you have been missed.

  12. “Ain’t it funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’ – for a little while?”
    Stephen Bruton

  13. hi,jerry..yes we all have to face God someday,me and you both…to give an account for what we did here in are earth suits,sor of speak….I love the way you fight for use underdogs,whom the world rejects…..im a believer in jesus Christ…hes the most loveing person you will ever meet….you can meet him while your still here alive “”he says anyone who comes to me,i will not condem…i enjoyed the way you fight for the people,i pray that jesus touchs right now and brings you healing to your body,while you read this out loud….the Lord still has 1 big battle for you to fight……he wants you to take on the government for doing experiments on us citizens with out there consent…mind control experiments and such…there people all over the country who are being attacked with chip implants now….they need your help….i am one of them….this is torture…..God wants you to fight for freedom….and expose these criminals im praying for you everyday now……we need you…brian murphy

  14. Hey Man:
    Wrote you about 10 years ago after the “Give me Liberty!” book.
    Loved it. Told ya so. I figure you’re good for about 20 more years, lord willin, and, it’s all about will mate. Keep up the talking to us. We always need you.
    Greg

  15. Martin Jerisat

    simply Amazing!

  16. Mickey Hayward

    Oh wise one; in 1991, my 17 year old son was killed in an accident between two cars (he was one of three passengers who died). I am in pain. I sought guidance from spiritual leaders. There was none that I could comprehend. My son had died. It was not a good thing. There were no sound explanations, nor redundant quotes, from any one, nor in any book, which could comfort me. My son died. Thomas Paine wrote THE AGE OF REASON and he was scorned and vilified. He, like you, was a wise man. Until we are willing to let go of the bush we have not really lived.

  17. Hello my old friend. This talk of your passage touches a tender place in my heart. You once told me that you believed Providence brought us together. I believe that too and I am grateful beyond words.

    I pray that same Providence be with you in your passage. That it be with you as you enjoy the trip down and that your landing be truly Heavenly.

    Thank you Gerry

    • Just discovering your website (and yourself, sorry…), linked with Wikileaks and the war logs.
      Someone was wondering “Who is going to come to (Julian) Assange’s and his source’s defense now?Who will take the place of W. Kunstler, etc? ” and someone else answered “I would nominate Gerry Spence but at 81 he to is waning. Maybe he will rally for this one. ”
      This is the story.
      Can I translate into French “We, the New Slaves” for a little blog ?
      Regards
      Didier

    • I can’t believe that you defended the Weaver family. They murdered a hero in Bill Deegan and you have the nerve to degrade somebody who is a here to this country, in Bill Deegan. This is a man who has scholarship funds in his name and you have tried to disgrace him in his death. This is why lawyers get a bad rap. And our media(William Shatner) goes on national television and lies, much like you have done for your whole life. Disgraceful.

  18. I have long held the belief that I must meet my God without an intermediary and that this life is a pit stop on the highway through infinity. I have no death wish but confess to a mild curiosity…

  19. Hi Mr. Spence

    Always nice to hear from you; I hope I can write as well at 81! Concerning death I learned many years ago that all any of of really have is this moment in time. Here today and gone today; like you say enjoy the ride the best as one can.

    Dad taught me that when we leave this world, we leave much like we come with nothing but the lives we touched along the way. Your writings have touched me in knowing that I”m not the only one who understands freedom, but, cares for it, protects it, and fights for it.

    I hope that the universe gives you many more years as to allow you to touch that many more lives and teach them about being free. I really missed not seeing you while in Jackson Hole; was hoping to find my place in this world having lost dad.

    I lay here pondering what will happen next; just got out of surgery last Wednesday and am sore:( What the hell it took me more than a year just to get fix. Perhaps I’ll join you along the ride down, maybe, we can grab some large root from an old tree and hang out for a while 🙂

    Stay good and kind to yourself

    Love “Light” and Energy

    _Don

  20. I read a book several years back called “The Myth of Tomorrow.” Basically the premise of the book is us human beings are “wired” to be in denial about death; however, we can choose to accept the fact that we are all going to die. The theme of the book was positive: if we live life with the bird of death on our shoulder, where it always is perched, and be cognizant of how close it is to us at any age, we will live more mindfully and more in the present moment and not worry about yesterdays so much and don’t be too concerned about tomorrow, it might not ever come. Thanks for the thoughts Gerry.

  21. Gerry, you can calmly hold on to the bush, enjoy the scenery, then the trip down when the roots give way.

    I’m ready for another book…

  22. I am not afraid of my own death; I am afraid of not living my life
    I fear the death of those I will miss living without, especially my 12 yr old Labrador. That is why I try to live every day with him like it is our last, so that when he goes, I have no regrets and I gave him the best life possible.

  23. Robert Joseph Glaser

    I appreciate you and am a believer in God’s plan; and that can co-exist. I also have considered my end – with faith in His Word. I applaud your life and accomplishments and therefore thank God for you. I wish I could have known you and been a part of your experience, but we all have our own paths to trod.

  24. diane trudeau

    I am so glad you are okay-I was the Judge Fairbanks victim(one of many). Have you read any of Donald Hall’s books? His “Unpacking the Boxes” deals with aging and is very moving and honest -he is 82 this year. I wrote him in March-my very first ever “fan” letter and he sent me a very nice note in response. He knew all about Fairbanks as he lives very close to Lake Sunapee where I spent 30 summers. His book “Life Work” reminded me of you. Stay well! diane

  25. Jerry,
    I take you don’t believe in Jesus Christ? or when you die, do you think that’s all folks. I also believe in Angels, but this is the bottom line in your case Jerry, your a good man and you mean well, so when you die another door will open up and you will be welcomed. Just remember me when you get upstairs, put in a good word so I can win the big Power Ball Lottery. 🙂
    Take care,
    Owen

  26. Mr Spence its great to know there are ppl like you in this world,,,i havent disagreed with what yopu have to say yet,,,i am very glade i joined your blog,,, keep up the good work

  27. Death is a topic avoided in today’s world. I recently read a book on the social conduct in America during the 1700s and death was a constant reality due to environmental causes; infant deaths; etc. and in this reality, life was very precious.
    thank you for addressing this part of our “soul’s journey”. I believe the after-life is how we imagine it and fear of death makes that transition so much more difficult. If we accept the fact we all die at some point and we’re not doing anything different than the next fellow except the method, it’s not so fearsome and we just shed these clothes (this body) and continue on.

  28. What!! Gerry Gerry Gerry
    if anyone left could change these passengers your the man. Michael Jordon aint no JFK, Tiger ain’t no Palmer, a Dan Quail ain’t no LBJ,
    Tom Hanks a/no John Wayne, presidents an staff smoke an mirrors specialist an chaneys. Electorial vote my ass. If a golfer shoots a 68 its hours of ouuuuing an ah’n on ESPN, in comparision
    your shooting 33’s in the legal arena consistantly an never a ESPN top ten mention, Oswald walked
    after the Spencen, ya off this flight crap yet feeling amped up? Your needed now in a biggr arena than ever, get a chisel an hammer an Spence that dam Mayan 2012 calender. j. messina ps trial atty wa, says hi, didn’t know we were pals, got a hammer!

  29. Thanks! Keep telling it like it is.

  30. Joseph Montelon

    Mr. Spence, I recently watched ruby ridge, and was totally impressed by joe don baker’s depiction of you. i also read some of your biography, and could not help but be impressed by all your legal feats. it’s to bad your retired from the courtroom. you are truly a champion of justice.

  31. To quote a song, “There’s no one like you!” I have followed you in the shadows reading your books and relying on your case in my hand delivered newspaper business even asking for your help today before I read this.
    I am not a family member, or a close or distant friend…but know that I like so many others you don’t know agree the WORLD appreciates you!
    The kids who work for me hear me quote you often and the Miller v Laramie case to lawyers and police to keep our First Amendment alive. Even the kids know of you and know their jobs are because of people like you defending the small guy for the First Amendment.

    Hope you can help us…but you are always a hero here at The SmartShopper!

  32. Is there any reason why you have not gotten your pilots license? My Uncle Andy is 85 and hard of hearing, but
    working to get his back. My friend, Big John Brazo is also in the same age bracket.
    He still has his. Clint is 80 and Redford in his late
    70’s- They have theirs.
    No more excuses. Make it a goal- Go for it.

  33. Sally Hoffman

    Mr. Spence,

    I own all of your books and know and truly appreciate that you write from the heart. You connect with us readers on a very personal basis, poring your very soul into each book you author so we as the recipients of your words feel a close bond with you.

    Your books have made me laugh and cry, feel deep sorrow and great joy, made me think and ponder and question so many aspects of our legal system and about life in general. You are my inspiration for wanting to became a people’s lawyer and although we have never met, I consider you a dear friend.

  34. Flying is great, and the bottom just a quick delay in the action,, Enjoy The High Dive. I Love flying too.
    You have always been an encouragement to me these last 20yrs since I started trying to make sense of The Legal World, Lets all learn to fly, The Co-Pilot will land us where He will and have further instructions from there.

  35. The nicest thing about the end of the story is we don’t have to give a shit any more. Finally we are truly free. Its one of the well earned joys of growing old.

  36. I am not a religious person. Not in the least. But from the beginning of time, man has felt instinctively that the end of one’s life did not mark the end of one’s existence. Unfortunately, and as you have pointed out, some have exploited that instinct for purposes of exerting power and control over others; thus the invention of religion.

    And yet there is some undeniable magical quality in each person that makes us all unique and different from everybody else. Some might choose to call that uniqueness the soul, but from my perspective it is unimportant for it to have a name. The point is that in the end we are more than flesh, bones and blood.

    I think often about death, but not so much out of fear as with the realization that death gives life its value. And yet I feel that I will survive my death, in some way, in some manner, in some form. What happens next will be an adventure.

  37. Wanda Mouscardy

    Hello Sir,

    Welcome back…and you’ve come back packing a wallop! 🙂 For some of us, anyway! I AM GUILTY!! I must say, I get a twinge of that feeling you say people get when they speak of dying. I think that if I talk about it, it might happen to me or someone I love sooner…and then I go on to other thoughts. Well, it is what it is. Afterall, we are all just here for a visit…we must go HOME at some point, right!?!

    You just keep sharing your wonderful wisdom, I am happy for the enlightment. Thanks!

    peace and love…wanda

  38. Well, Gerry,
    Those demons are always around us! Having the end in sight is a state of mind, isn’t it? I remember a line from an old pal…”It’s not when I die, it’s IF I die!” I’ve used it a bunch (without crediting the author) and it almost always raised eyebrows. I’m twenty years your junior and have that end in sight, that vague awareness of this event called a “passage”. The body is getting somewhat creaky and slower and the memory isn’t what it was.

    I can just see you in that “airy place of joy” with the fringed coat and the harp, singing HALLYLOO! Not!

    Your blog posts and Twain’s LETTERS FROM THE EARTH help us to keep the faith…where it belongs!

    Thank you!

    -DJ

  39. Gerry: I am your age, and you have been my favorite lawyer, since you got sober. I would like to send you a very personal note. Please e-mail me. Rod

  40. Gerry: I wish you much happiness and immense satisfaction. Flying is better than Frying, I presume. Free fall is better than caged life..

    Regards
    Barrister Syyed Iqbal JAFREE 11 92 345 426 6785

  41. Tribes revere their elders.
    Larger groups of people
    , towns, cities, nations and religons can be hornswoggled into believing any ho-ha. But if that same big leader was in a tribe and started wearing gold epaulets and a riding crop they would assign to him the role of village idiot.
    George Bernard Shaw, less a gasbag than people think, once observed that the big joke is that humans are such an imperfect species that it takes each individual a great many decades to work out all their imperfections and just as they become wise they drop dead.
    In this tribe you are our elder. Please don’t screw this up by going “flying”.

  42. Frank Zukiewicz

    Dear Mr. Spence,
    I know how important it is to live in the moment and as trite as that might sound it has helped me endure each painful minute as long as I can turn my attention to others. After all is that not where true living evolves,
    in our interactions with all of Gods other creatures? I have come to understand my short comings and will continue to reach out and marvel at this miracle of
    life for the short time left
    me. Your life has touched
    and given strength to more than you know and as an admirer I wanted to say thank you! As a symbol of decency,dignity
    and all that makes life worth living, your writings
    have guided and sustained me. Love and Peace for eternity …your
    friend always.

  43. Okay, Okay, – so old your social security number is 1! – so old you owe Jesus a nickel.

    We are just glad your back = Laughter is a medicine with no side effects.

    A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around ~ Carolyn Birmingham

    Nobody ever died of laughter ~ Max Beerbohm

    Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter ~ Mark Twain

    You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake ~ Bob Hope

    Gray hair is God’s graffiti ~ Bill Cosby

    You know you’re getting old when everything hurts. And what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work ~ Hy Gardner

    I’m so old they’ve canceled my blood type ~ Bob Hope

    The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age ~ Lucille Ball

    When you become senile, you won’t know it ~ Bill Cosby

    When I was young I was called a rugged individualist. When I was in my fifties I was considered eccentric. Here I am doing and saying the same things I did then and I’m labeled senile ~ George Burns

    I’m very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch ~ Woody Allen

    I’m not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You’re as old as you feel ~ Elizabeth Arden

    We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing ~ George Bernard Shaw

    Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act ~ Truman Capote

    I can’t understand why I flunked American history. When I was a kid there was so little of it ~ George Burns

    If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself ~ Eubie Blake

    You know you’re getting old when all the names in your black book have M. D. after them ~ Harrison Ford

    You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there ~ George Burns

    I don’t plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet ~ Rita Rudner.

    Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternative ~ Maurice Chevalier

  44. Mr. Spence,
    I do not know you, but I have always had immense admiration for you as an attorney and as a human being. I was going to admonish you for your uncharacteristically tepid closing argument, since your “client” deserves far better. You at one time said that your clients benefited from their advocate’s ability to humanize them and cause them to be loved. If one loves the Law, one cannot help but love Gerry Spence. You have to appreciate, as I am sure you do, that those of us not in the legal profession, who, by circumstance or lack of intellect, never got the chance to champion the right side of so many arguments in any real way. Like you have. You are our voice. Bon chance, thank you, and don’t let go!

  45. If we spend our lives knowing we have never hurt anyone or any living creatures , intentionally or not ,but tried to alleviate suffering, I don’t see what there is to even think about, whether one is religious, spiritual, or like Einstein, agnostic. (Same thing as spiritual in my book.)

    If we have done the above and find ourselves thinking about it to distraction – maybe we are too isolated and need some uplifting, funny company!

    (Just a humble thought)

  46. hoarsewhisperer

    I hate to tell you Gerry, but there is a big difference between falling and flying. If there wasn’t? Then bungee cord jumpers wouldn’t bother to learn how to tie knots.

    Yes, I think most of us are afraid of the unknown, in whatever form. It’s probably healthy.

    I prefer to think of death as the visitor that has always been with us. The companion that secretly joins us at birth and is with us our entire existence, only to tap us on our shoulder at some usually unknown moment.

    Death gets a bad rap. It’s mystery and inevitability, combine and it’s human nature to deal with it by not looking or looking through prisms of belief and mythology.

    The “Grim” Reaper? Nah, not for me. I prefer the journeyer that has always really been with me, just waiting to tap me on the shoulder. I can only hope that when I feel that tap, either expected or unexpected that I’m ready for new journey, and to leave this one behind.

    Dyin’ ain’t flyin’ though Gerry. It’s a twist in around a blind bend in a journey.

    What does it mean when Gerry Spence has nothing to say, or lacks the will to say it? Come on Gerry! Try to buck up. Avatar wasn’t THAT bad.

  47. Death is a precise moment when a ‘human being’ simply stops ‘being.’

    The only thing that lives on are the works and deeds, having made for a better or worse experience among the living … for the dead know of nothing, not even the fact they are dead.

    Mr. Spence, I’ve admired you from afar and wish for your continued good health and longevity.

    Your wisdom, spirit and inspiration will live on long after your earthly passing.

    Peace be with you.

  48. Bill Thompson

    It’s funny, but in my experience, death is only discussed by old people and life insurance salesmen. I was happy to read some of your prospective on the subject. Best of luck and be dedicated to enjoying yourself.

  49. Love your post. But we must remember to ask the old question–are birth and death really happening to us? We are trapped inside our heads perceiving the world from one fixed reference point. It is not that we are failing to look “death” square in the face–we are failing to acknowledge that death may not be a real thing. Of course we all appear to “see” others die, friends, family, but we “see” that from the same reference point–our own eyes. Does that ever die? Your guess is as good as mine. I agree–can’t turn to “spiritual leaders” for an answer. But let us ask the hard questions:

    ‘Now that death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies . . . But with the death of the body am I dead? Is the body I? . . .

  50. It is thru the passing of my 34 year old daughter that I have come to realize, that Gerry! Death is not final it is the glorious acknowledgement of our spiritual being , Congradulations!!!

  51. Welcome back! I missed your always insightful and caring blog posts.

    As for your future passage, I think before trying to fly, you should first try to reach 100.

    Wise citizens and champions for the downtrodden such as you are too few and far between for you to leave us any earlier.

  52. John Wheat Gibson, Sr.

    Your dream is the ancient koan: Basho was walking along a narrow mountain trail, when ahead of him a tiger approached on the path. Basho escaped by clinging to a vine that was hanging over the side of the mountain, but below him was a gorge several hundred feet deep. The tiger sat down patiently to wait for his meal. As Basho clung to the vine, a black mouse and a white mouse emerged from the side of the mountain and began to chew on the vine above him. Near him, on the vine, a cluster of grapes grew. Basho plucked a handful of grapes and popped them into his mouth. Delicious!

  53. Women usually experience the exact same symptoms around 50, so lucky you.

    Consider it male-
    menopause.

    It passes.

  54. The night after I read this I dreamed that I was in a rickety tour bus being driven on a twisty mountain road in a Third World country. The bus, naturally, went over the precipice and was headed for the bottom of the canyon thousands of feet below. I knew we would all die and I grabbed the hands of those on either side of me and told them to say their last words and not scream, but that life would be over very soon. I prayed very hard. I expected to see the bright white light we read about, but I just went through a gray curtain and ended up sitting up in an old Japanese sedan in front of a strip mall.

    Maybe that’s our vision of Hell. Old Japanese sedans and strip malls.

  55. When you do go, people will know, you left a very nice dash; http://www.thedashmovie.com/walkthetalk
    Thanks.

  56. Hi Gerry, I read your blog on July 5th. I had to ponder on it awhile because I could not decide if it was, well, really good or really bad. Good would be that you have made peace with yourself, the world, life. That you are ready to leave this world and pass into the next. And that is why you have had nothing to say. I guess that is not bad, but on the other hand, it could be not good because getting old means not being passionate any more about things that matter, those things that used to raise a fire do not, that the battle for justice is just too tiring. If that is true then I do not want to get old. I want to die with my boots on, like Mary Mead did, doing something that stirs my soul and fires me up and that I love before I have nothing to say. No waiting for the fall, without a parachute, wondering where I will land, but full of fire, fighting for what is right until the suprise landing, of knowing it will be somewhere better than here.

  57. Mr. Spence – I truly regret that I didn’t discover your blog until now. I have been a fan for quite sometime. Damn! Why did it take so long to find you? Looking forward….

  58. I am so glad to read of your adventures in the world of sleep. I have them, my dog Tahoe has them too. His legs fain a run and his bark muffled . Chasing a rabbit no doubt. If I awaken him he seems as though it is all fine, so I let him sleep and dream of those fields of rabbits and so little time. What fun it is. With Love and good to hear from you, Del

  59. Gerry, at 31, I was sure I would live forever so there wasn’t any need to approach life with any degree of mindfulness . Then at 32 thyroid cancer helped change that view. Sometimes a bad diagnosis can be a blessing. Age, much like disease, carries its own fatalistic implications. And, just like a disease, you have to fight it or it will lull you into believing that it has power over you. Strangely, I’m probably no closer to being dead today (at 60) than I was 28 years ago when the doctors were talking to me about 5 year survival rates. And at 81, neither are you. What’s really important is that no part of us dies even one day before we’re actually dead. My advice to you — start planning your 90th B/D bash, then we’ll talk about age.

  60. I have been a long time admirer. A great gift of wisdom has spilled out of your writings over the years.

    Your post regarding death, however, was a bit of a mystery.

    I detected shards of cynicism, perhaps a product of our culture’s inability to consider the issue of the afterlife with rigor.

    Perhaps we tend to cover our cynicism with a brave attitude rather than pursue knowledge.

    Perhaps it is not the final transition that mystifies, but rather our failure to learn our true nature in life that creates mystery regarding the transition.

    Conversely, if we know our true nature, we know the nature of the transition.

    Perhaps the best guides can be found within the Buddhist tradition.

    Buddhist teachings mirror Christianity but are often presented with more clarity.

    With Buddhism, you also have the advantage of a few who are trained to guide the party through the actual transition.

    Might be worth deposing an advanced Buddhist. Or at least submitting interrogatories.

    Trained Buddhists are accustomed to debate so your courtroom style would not be offensive.

    Anyway, your wonderful post seemed to beg the question, perhaps invite discussion, but maybe not. Maybe it was closing the door and deciding to not look outside until it was time to jump. Not sure.

  61. Gerry,
    what a beautiful post.

    We never know when our time comes. Much of it depends on our will to live.

    I grew up by my grandparents who live overseas in a mysterious small country in Europe where the word “mother” is one of the most loved sounds and creatures.

    My grandpa loved me very deeply. He passed away last December.

    He had always had a heart problem. For over two decades half of his heart didn’t function at all, and the other half functioned only partly. His heart had grown up to twice the size because of the hard work it had to do to keep the entire body alive.

    His doctors couldn’t believe their eyes, they couldn’t believe how such a heart could keep going, could keep a man active, walking, eating, laughing, crying… alive.

    Every time they asked him what was keeping him alive, he responded: Love.

    The tremendous love he had for me kept him going as he wanted to see me grow, develop, find a good woman to accompany me in this journey just like he had found my grandmother, succeed, be someone.

    Love… such a mysterious, invisible force, yet so real and powerful!

    His time came, too. His heart beat its last few beats of slow music.

    In his last moments, as he was leaving his blessings for all of us, he took my grandmother, his lifelong friend of over 50 years, kissed her and said: “It is very beautiful there. I can see it. I can see my sisters. They are waiting for me. I will wait for you, too”

    He was never a very religious man. Never been to a church or a mosque. Only believed that God helps those who help themselves. His message, I believe, was clean of any such influences. His big heart had spoken again, the truth – for him.

    No matter when your time to depart comes, remember that you will be remembered as a warrior for the truth, your truth, and as the missionary for awakening our minds, and opening our eyes.

    Your little warriors – your books, your deeds, your words and ideas – will be here fighting your war long after you are gone.

    Respectfully,
    Nick

    • Thank you Nick.

      Your grandparents were great role models for you, and others. I try to be a role model for myself. If any of it slops over, that is the big payback.

      Gerry

  62. All this, in deeds, is very interesting and exceptionally illuminating read.

    Death and Art, it seems to me now, have one shared
    commonality : both stop your ‘being’ and initiate your Becoming.
    (Both, thus, are timeLESS!!).

    Syyed Iqbal Jafree
    MA Illinois l973 , LLM with Honor Paper Harvard 1966
    11 Omer Plazza
    1 Mozang Road
    LAHORE-Pk-54000
    Pakistan
    PHONE +92-345-426-6785

    {[Cheers!]}

  63. Gerry, while I am sure you would not remember our meeting, (twice), you have been a great inspiration to me and the main reason I went to law school. Currently poor as a church mouse, but happy in Colorado helping those who have little or no voice. I am learning with each case and hope to attend TLC within the next year. I miss JH, but I feel right now I am where I’m needed. Much appreciation for taking the time to talk photography and poetry with me at UW at your book signing, and taking the time in JH to acknowledge my questions. You have touched many more lives than you know. You certainly have had a hand in creating a new group of compassionate lawyers dedicated to bringing justice home.

    • Lawyers who don’t care
      Will be caught in the snare
      Like a demented hare
      Who thought the carrot was there.

      Am I a poet or what? Love to see you at TLC.

      Thanks for your letter.

      Gerry

      • You are a poet and dont know it, but maybe your feet show it,…are they “Long-fellows?”
        Lol
        Be of Good Cheer My Friend.

      • Gerry,
        Best book I have ever read and experienced was Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

        After reading your book; “How To Argue And Win Every Time” I now have a new favorite…
        Have never read anything so enlightening, educational and entertaining EVER! and that’s the Truth
        🙂
        Brilliant. Happy to have found your blog.

      • Thanks loads. To be compared with Dale Carnegie is something!

        Gerry

  64. Mr. Spence:

    Although you state “I am reasonably healthy”……… one cannot help but notice your board is becoming totally about death. (Now Housing for the Dead!) Therefore, I am ordering the following:

    1. Dr. Kev is no longer allowed to live in your guest house – too depressing for anyone.

    2. You are to immediately initiate/put back up on your blog: “Testing Our Humor Quotient” to balance the unsettling situation of spending too much time with Dr. Kev.

    3. I have submitted my own “joke” to get you started.

    These are orders, Mr. Spence.

    Shortly after a British Airways flight had reached its cruising altitude, the captain announced:
    ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain.Welcome to Flight 293, non-stop from London Heathrow to Toronto. The weather ahead is good, so we should have a smooth uneventful flight.
    So sit back,relax and…… OH, MY GOD !’

    Silence followed!

    Some moments later the captain came back on the intercom.
    ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry if I scared you . While I was talking to you, a flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!’
    One Irish passenger yelled…

    ‘For f*#k’s sake ……. you should see the back of mine!!!’

  65. The best “advisors” one can curl up with and talk to about death…..(if one doesn’t die in his/her sleep) are in this order:

    1. Swiss psychiatrist
    Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross and her 1969 book “Ony Death and Dying.”

    From real case studies she proves the 5 normal stages people go through:
    1. Denial
    2. Anger
    3. Bargaining
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance

    2. Follow it up with the hilarious (tongue in cheek to women any way….the pictures will leave you in hysterics!) book “Final “Exit.”

    You will be so fully immersed in the subject it will bore you and you will want to do anything but think about it. Worked for me decades ago.

  66. Gerry,

    It’s been said before that in this life it’s not what you know but who you know. I had the great honor of knowing John Johnson and as a personal friend for many years as we worked on day-in-the-life and settlement videos together. He is sorely missed. Your writings on death and the hereafter are interesting to read. Again, dare I state, it’s not what you know but who you know and unless you know Jesus Christ as your saviour, it doesn’t matter what else you know. He’s waiting to be your best friend today.

  67. Bill Thompson

    Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.

    – Abraham Lincoln

  68. Gerry, I just re-read your blog on Jumping Without A Parachute. I think your point about the absence of love between people is something that Western Christianity has always spoken to. I am not a practitioner of any religion, and at one time I was disgusted with my morality that I did actively pursue fundamental Christianity. However (no offense to practitioners) it brought me an equal amount of anxiety as well as spiritual edification. The exclusivity of its salvation claims bothered me. But I digress. I think you hit the nail on the head with your comments about Avatar. Unless people in a position of influence or those without stop pro porting messages of violence and other similar behaviors then we’ll continually be bombarded with stimuli that breaks us down as a society. I believe in freedom of speech, and accept artistic freedom, but we have settled for a crusty old flap steak when we deserve Fillet Mignon. I can’t even listen to certain hip hop songs with my daughter (her choice) because the lyrics refer to body parts and overt sexual content. I can’t watch a simple movie like Funny People because every other phrase is embedded with such coarse language that it becomes excessive and un-funny. Any television produce can now come up with any twisted scenario, pay the (alleged) talent a minimal amount so as to reap profit (unlike sitcom actors who actually have to have talent). I hope your next dream entails you sitting with your favorite beverage, surrounded by friends and family listening to good music, eating great food, and laughing til your tummy hurts!

  69. Wendy Neugebauer

    Dear Mr. Spence: You have been kind to me in personally answering a question for me. In reading what you wrote about angels, it lead me to think that you don’t believe in God, Jesus, or our salvation. I too, was in your shoes…BUT, GOD never let up on me…I guess he isn’t giving up on you either because he prompted me to reply, when I just really didn’t want to, at least about this. Please buy the book “Evidence demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell. He was an atheist who went on a mission to prove the bible false….the book is worth reading. Please?? One last comment, after I finally got it and helped transform my children in Christ….my son…brilliant mind, much like his late lawyer father said………
    “If I have faith and believe, and there is nothing….I have lost “nothing”, but if I have faith and believe and there IS something, I have gained EVERYTHING!! From the mouth of a teenager accepting Christ.

    Blessing to you and your family….God is calling you, please don’t let this poor messenger turn you away, but rather to HIM>

  70. It was only a dream dear Mr. Spence, as flying is falling…

    “…
    There’s no sensation to compare with this
    Suspended animation, a state of bliss
    Can’t keep my mind from the circling skies
    Tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I”

  71. flying is not falling…

  72. Since I have been sick more than once, cancers and then various other things some quite scary as they come up quickly and fill me with fear-I have been thinking of trying to train my brain to be the way I want it to be for when I need it later. It bothers me to think of dying in a state of fear, so I will attempt to work on the opposite end of that spectrum. I do talk about death, esp. with my kids as my gran did with me-she had a healthy way of viewing it and did not have or express a fear of it. And she lived comfortably with the proccess of it. It was her goal to live as she felt her Creator meant for her to so that when it was time she would be okay. Her death was felt by her family not so much as a loss but more as ‘she made it’. I personally feel no-one goes anywhere but remains with us in memory-and we leave a bit of ourselves behind-so what I give to others should be of value and I should remember that what they are left with is what I have presented to them. And all I have is who I am. That’s what they get.

  73. This is my first time to read your blog. My heart was touched. It is true no man, woman or child is leaving this world alive. Living to die, dying to live. I pray the God of Jacob and Abraham, reveal himself to you. Through the saving knowledge of the scarfical lamb of God. His son Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10 is what I call the blood covenant God made for you and I. I realize this post will probably never be read, but I will still pray for you. Because I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. I truly know we are just passing through. Yours truly -Sharon

  74. Dear Mr. Spence,

    May I call you Gerry? We have spent many, many, hours together. I reading and you teaching and showing me the way. Hang on to that bush my friend and beacon, we have need of you.

    As a child, I walked along a precipice along the Red River , and I slipped and was tumbling down until I managed to grasp a little bush or clump of grass and it sustained me. Of course, I cried out for help and by and by my father found me; I can still see him as he bent to lift me… his form filled my field of vision and forced dread from my heart. Hang on to that bush Gerry.

    Intellectually, I cannot convince myself that there is anything in death. All the stories, the sacred books, when considered coldly, seem to be, as Marx said, an “opiate.” The thought of not being chills my bones. But, I have thought and thought and I have come to a comforting belief.

    I considered the religious tales to be man made because they were simply too fantastic to be true and too neatly fitted our need for reassurance and the needs of others for power. Of course, that does not exclude the existence of something beyond our understanding.

    But now, I have decided that my stepping through the coming passage to another world is no more fantastical or improbable than my entrance into this world. As I look around at nature what could be more fantastic, and if it exists here and now then why not elsewhere, perhaps through the next door.

    I comfort myself now with the belief that just as I stepped into this world and found my family and existence… I can step into another existence and find them again.

    But, “not yet, not yet,” Gerry hold on to that bush. Thank you for your books, your leadership, your courage, your guidance, and for sharing your thoughts. Most of all I want to thank you for your standing to boldly tell the truth to power. You are a defender of the common man and woman. “Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being.” Gibran.

    Now, we need another book, so if it pleases you write one for us.

    Mike

  75. Letting go is not giving up

  76. Wow, a day many have looked forward to for some time. You are a fake and a liar. You teach one thing at your school and act in a totally different manner. This man even has the nerve tell you how great you are in your face and will turn around and bash you to others. He hates being around his students at the college and this is why you will see him at TLC less and less. He has no idea how to be a friend or a human being. You are a waste of air and I don’t know whom is more of a bitch your wife or yourself. When your day comes many will say good rid-dens. Nice legacy!

  77. Oh. Bad timing for me to read this, with my son flying in to Santa Barbara see us on Saturday…not to mention that he and his girlfriend are skydiving on Sunday… parachutes mandatory.

    Wise words. I wish for peace for you in all things.

  78. Death is something one “lives” every day (s)he denies the truth. Bradley Manning, who recently published the truth on Wikileaks, (Manning’s leak called the “greatest leak in 40 years” according to Daniel Ellsberg) is now in isolation in military detention in Kuwait. What shall we do with our lives if not to support those who support truth and support life?: http://www.bradleymanning.org

  79. It is an amazing journey that brought me to your blog today. Since it is 100 degrees in Alabama, I am inside the house watching the Travel Channel and saw a show about fantastic log homes, and yours was one of the homes featured. I looked up and there you were! I said to my sister, “That’s Gerry Spence. I think he’s dead now.” Much to my relief, I Googled you, and found that you are alive and well and have your own website and write a blog! I must have heard that you had RETIRED rather than EXPIRED. I am so glad!

    I will be looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.

    P.S. Love your home!

  80. Pingback: Best In Criminal Defense: July 2010 – Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog

  81. I’m confused about how this blog thing works. I submitted a comment last week, but it hasn’t shown up in the thread of blog comments.

  82. Guillermo Rivera

    Hello Gerry,

    Really, your option to fly such way is pungent. I have attempted with my mind to get acquaintance at coming down by choice or by ill fortune likes Icarus.

    According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, everyone desires happiness over misery, and happiness and sorrow in life depend largely on the state of our minds.

    So, when the mind’s potential is skillfully harnessed, we derive positive and pleasant results as your successsful career testifies.

    In same context, when we control our mind, we keep serenity to get over adverse circumstances, gain perspective and still enjoy the ride.

    Please Gerry, share with us how you nurture your strength of mind and spirit?

    What is your winning formula to have a sense of peace and fulfillment while working hard to the betterment of the world at large, both in and out of court?

    If you had your life to live over, what would you recommend to young people (by age and heart alike)?

    Following the live example of Judge Wesley Brown (104 years old) from Wichita, Kansas; you appointed this forum for life or extinction, whichever it comes first, ….and the bush (us) is not giving way to let you fall.

    Please come to this pulpit more often to exchange with us your wisdom, joy and aspirations.

    Wishing you unfolding miracles…

    With gratitude,

    Guillermo Rivera
    Thornton, Colorado

    • Guillermo:

      I am not a brave one. But I never met a person who did not have the courage to die, else we would be immortal. Death seems to me to be an appropriate completion of our life cycle, a proper closing. The more important question is what do we do with our lives in between birth and death?

      Gerry

  83. On having lived, life, death and dying: Art Imitating Life or “How to Live While Dying” – http://fora.tv/2006/12/12/Too_Soon_to_Say_Goodbye
    RIP Art. We miss you.

  84. Hi Gerry,
    Watching the Lee Harvey Oswald trial for the third time. I am a “lone nut” guy, but if anybody could have gotten a hung jury in real life, it is you!!
    Warmest regards,
    Eliot A. Kopp
    Pompano Beach, FL
    P.S. Are we stuck with the 5.5 hours, or will the full trial ever be released?

  85. Hi Gerry,
    I am really enjoying your blog. A little diversion from my obsessive gardening and subsequent canning at this time of year, and that other thing…. I liked your comment about the important question, that being, what do we do between “birth and death”.
    What do we do between birth and death…..we suffer, we love, we suffer, and who is to say that after we die, we do not look back and think of how foolish and egotistical we were to have wanted life….no matter what one’s relious belief or explanation of life….we either have nothingness, or another reality.
    Sharon

  86. Dear Gerry: when my dad was dying, I did not want to talk about the fact that he was dying. I wanted to cling to the hope that he might live. Once he tried to talk to me about the fact that he was dying, but I wasn’t open to the conversation and his efforts were wasted. I regret it. I wonder what he would have said to me. A precious moment gone forever never to be retrieved because my own denial and pain made me too selfish in the moment.

    • Vicki, We were born alone and we die alone. We live most of our lives alone unless we know something of love. But death is a once in a lifetime experience. It is a precious time. Some do and some don’t not want to share it. it’s like getting on that airplane for your last trip. You have to take it alone. Some may be out there waving goodbye. What should they say? How can they know?

      gerry

  87. I found your books via my dad / roger / who grew up in Wyoming and immediately felt connected in some way to your journey through life. Thanks for your contributions and willingness to share with all of us. lynn

  88. Dear Mr. Spence:

    I ‘ve just experienced some disappointment, including sarcastic retorts, for expressing outrage at our government’s practice of trans-national assassination, something you remarked on in your post. Looking for someone whose thoughts and concerns might mirror my own I thought of you, having laughed out loud with recognition while reading your book “Give Me Liberty” some years ago. I am not disappointed. On death I’ve come to suspect that true intimacy is largely the recognition and acceptance of our shared limitations and mortality, but the illusion of immortality fostered by our corporate culture works against this realization. The Dalai Lama reportedly meditates on his own death daily, a practice from which we all might benefit. I am extremely heartened by your example and your post.

    Thanks

    Dan Kean

  89. Mr. Spence,
    I have NO idea why but your name suddenly popped into my mind just now and I looked for a website for you and here you are! What a beautiful posting about your 81st year. Just a few years back my friend Dann Hall suggested I read one of your books which ultimately led to my reading all of your books. His mother Hazel died last year at 96 surrounded by her children, her favorite music playing, a smile on her face and her “maintain an attitude of gratitude” mantra on her lips. What an amazing role model she was – and you are. Both of you are reminders to me that at (only) 68 I can still accomplish a lot!

  90. Greetings–
    You have been flying since you were hatched–I don’t know if you are needing a change in altitude or attitude.
    My husband will soon be 80 and is bringing up his age too often, even though he is active and fun. I feel you both might have the same problem. You were issued the wrong birth certificate. You are both 39.
    Keep healthy and happy–you are too special and we need all the special people in our lives right now!
    Warm Regards!
    Joan

  91. Gerry,

    Hope you are doing well. A local lawyer here in Atlanta just passed away at 93. He tried his last jury trial at 92 and continued working right up until the last couple weeks before his passing. You have many years and jury trials left in you and I look forward to reading more of your blog posts and books.

    Take care,

    Mike

  92. An 80-year-old Italian goes to the doctor for a check-up. The doctor is
    amazed at what good shape the guy is in and asks,’ how do you stay in such
    great physical condition?’
    I’m Italian and I am a golfer,’ says the old guy, ‘and that’s why I’m in
    such good shape. I’m up well before daylight and out golfing up and down
    the fairways. I have a glass of vino, and all is well.’
    ‘Well’ says the doctor, ‘I’m sure that helps, but there’s got to be more to
    it. How old was your Father when he died?’
    ‘Who said my Father’s dead?’
    The doctor is amazed. ‘You mean you’re 80 years old and your Father’s still
    alive. How old is he?’
    ‘He’s 100 years old,’ says the Old Italian golfer. ‘In fact he golfed with
    me this morning, and then we went to the topless beach for a walk and had a
    little vino and that’s why he’s still alive. He’s Italian and he’s a golfer, too.’
    ‘Well,’ the doctor says, ‘that’s great, but I’m sure there’s more to it than
    that. How about your Father’s Father? How old was he when he died?’
    ‘Who said my Nono’s dead?’
    Stunned, the doctor asks, ‘you mean you’re 80 years old and your
    grandfather’ s still living! Incredible, how old is he?’
    ‘He’s 118 years old,’ says the Old Italian golfer.’
    The doctor is getting frustrated at this point, ‘So, I guess he went golfing
    with you this morning too?’
    ‘No, Nono couldn’t go this morning because he’s getting married today.’
    At this point the doctor is close to losing it. ‘Getting married!! Why
    would a 118 year- old guy want to get married?’
    ‘Who said he wanted to?’

  93. Gerry,

    You have lived a full life and you have done the best you can under the circumstances in this phenomenon we call life. Though I am half your age, I can relate to the following: “In short I have had nothing to say, or if I had something to say I lacked the will to say it.”

    Over the years, I have written you, and perhaps out of all the people who have shared their story with you you remember bits and pieces of my story and why I share your sentiments about either not having anything to say or lacking the will to say it.

    Granted, I do not believe in the biblical perspective of how or why we are here. Then again, I also do not believe our universe or our planet was by chance and we as humans by chance came from primordial soup eons ago.

    Given the awesomeness of how we came to be…I find it logically or rationally hard to think/believe that you are at the end of your existence. You may be at the end of this aspect of your “life” as a human being…but I would be willing to bet that your life force/your energy that gave your body life will continue on existing after the body you call “Gerry” is no more.

    Brian Gilson

  94. hoarsewhisperer

    Quite frankly I don’t understand Gerry.
    ” I never met a person who did not have the courage to die”?
    All that means is you haven’t met someone you thought was immortal.
    In my opinion it doesn’t come down to courage, it’s inevitable. Whether you approach death with a belief system that allows you to meet The Grim Reaper like General Patton riding in a Tank…or whether the idea of leaving this plane of existence makes you urinate your pants…doesn’t really matter. For most people I don’t think day to day we think much about death. If we can avoid it, we’d rather dwell on the glorious minutia of being alive. And honestly, I don’t think that has much to do with courage or a lack of it, I think it’s probably the way we should be.

    As we age, and because most of us aren’t physically immortal, we probably become more aware of our inevitable, approaching end of physical life. And unfortunately some people are dealt situations from illness or otherwise that force them to be aware of mortality. But for the majority? Being alive means living.
    Do I have the courage to die? Does it matter? I’m going to anyway. If I’m aware of the happening when it happens? I’d hope my dying breath not be a whimper, but if you believe shutting your eyes for the final time is simply blinking into another existence then whimper, sigh, or blood curdling scream, or- prayer what does it matter?
    In the meantime, I think it healthy to be afraid of death. A good healthy dose of I’d rather be alive and kicking, then dead and rotting…is good. I think it wise to always be aware of our mortality, but for most of us, only from the perspective that the awareness helps us enrich our lives. I’d rather my eulogy be he lived well but died horribly then the converse. And I’m just coward enough to admit it.

  95. I know how to help put the vinegar back in your veins! How about helping a little attorney in no-where Colorado start her practise? She’s hell bent on fighting for the little guy. Are there secrets?

  96. We miss ya , George. But we still have Gerry Spence to guide us.

  97. “Come to the Edge”
    From French poet Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918):

    “Come to the edge.”
    “We can’t. We’re afraid.”
    “Come to the edge.”
    “We can’t. We will fall!”
    “Come to the edge.”
    And they came.
    And he pushed them.

    And they flew.

  98. Most respectfully asked , would you be so kind as to explain the purpose of the traditional “eulogy” (oftentimes performed by a total stranger – for money – who has never even MET the deceased!) when anyone who knew/loved/ had dealings with the deceased in his or her lifetime already KNOWS about the personn’s attributes and /or foibles?
    I’ve often wondered how much the sum of all those fees , in my mind wasted, could benefit mankind – still suffering on earth and very much alive. Thank you

  99. Gerry There are so few of you old timey good-guys left. Off the top o’ my hed, ..theres you, Pete Seger, Dan Ellsburg, and my man Lawrence, who is now in year 91! http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/2132/ferlinghetti_11_1_10/

    Long Live the Good Guys – May their Stories & Works Live on Forever
    In the Hearts & Minds of Other Do-Goodin Souls

  100. William G. Sanden Jr

    Gerry, I am an aspiring law student, I have just happened upon you by ordering your book “How to argue and win every time”. I am interested in this book because, eventually when I become a lawyer I definitely want to be at least “half” as good as you…I am very intrigued at the way you think and am wondering, are you posting any new blogs still? The preceding are all from last year. If you have a fan club I would like to join it!! Regards William Sanden Jr.

  101. “No fan clubs except my own and I am the only member.”

    Elmo feels sad. You hurt his feelings………..

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