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Seattle Weekly: Editor's Note on Andy Stephenson and his memorial service

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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:25 PM
Original message
Seattle Weekly: Editor's Note on Andy Stephenson and his memorial service
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 04:50 PM by Nothing Without Hope
The previous two Seattle Weekly articles about Andy Stephenson, both excellent and written by George Howland Jr., are linked to in the first paragraph of this Editor's Note by Knute Berger.

http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0529/050720_news_...

Internet Martyr


The life and cruel death of Andy Stephenson.

by Knute Berger (Seattle Weekly Editor-in-Chief)
July 20 - 26, 2005

In the past couple of weeks, we've covered the lifeand what turned out to be the last daysof Andy Stephenson, a Seattle voting activist who died amid a blazing online controversy after a battle with pancreatic cancer. (See "A Fight to the End," July 13 { http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0528/050713_news_... }, and "Cancerous Campaign," July 6 { http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0527/050706_news_... }.)

The Internet made Stephenson a national force. The onetime candidate for Washington secretary of state became known for his work with voting watchdog Bev "Black Box" Harris of Renton and Web sites like Democratic Underground, which helped turn him into one of the nation's leading voices for voting reform. He was an advocate of verifiable paper ballots, distrusted the promoters of electronic voting, and worried about the corporate takeover of our elections system. He helped expose deceit and incompetence among those promoting electronic voting as a kind of panacea for accurate elections. According to one of the eulogizers at Stephenson's memorial service in Seattle last Saturday, July 16, Stephenson felt the same about paper ballots that Charlton Heston felt about his gun: "You'll have to pry my paper ballot from my cold, dead hands," he once proclaimed.

(snip - much more in the original)

The beautiful thing about the service was the tangible reality it evoked. The Internet bullshit was confined to cyberspace. In real space, there was a room full of the livingfriends, family, his partner, and his mother, and activists from across the countrygathered to celebrate Stephenson's life with memories and hymns.

In death, Andy Stephenson was no longer an Internet abstraction, someone who could be obliterated the way you would annihilate a character in a video game. He was a nonvirtual, three-dimensional person, a vital spirit, a good-humored and passionate man, whose death left a big hole in many people's lives and, some say, our democracy itself.

kberger@seattleweekly.com


Will Pitt's eulogy is mentioned in the article; its full text is here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: This is the eulogy I gave for Andy

Another earlier DU thread on Andy's memorial service is here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: The Andy Stephenson Memorial Service Thread - Info

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks
:cry: :hug:
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks for posting.
I miss hearing his voice so much.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. YVW. Of course. I wish I could have heard it, or his famous singing.
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 04:47 PM by Nothing Without Hope
I did get the most wonderful thank you note from him- so full of positive energy and imagination - several months ago.

I've PMed sfexpat2000, flyarm, merh, claudiajean, goodboy and Will Pitt about this Editor's Note. You responded so quickly to the post, I don't need to PM you! If you know of other people who would want to know, please spread the word or let me know whom I should tell.

(edited to add two more people)
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. Thanks for doing that....
flyarm is taking a break from DU and Will is spending several days in the woods...so the PM will be especially welcome. I think most of the others are still around and will see it.

:hi:

Andy was an extremely good friend.
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. What a great article
Thanks for this.
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. thank you for posting this
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. kick n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. kicking for Andy
and for all of us.

:kick:
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goodboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
8. let me kick it one time too...Thanks, NWH! (nt)
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. kick n/t
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. Kick!
For Andy. :-)
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. Wow -
very nice. I had put off reading Will's eulogy until now, so thanks for that link too...

:cry:



O8)
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hiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. Thank you so much
for posting this for all to see.
Peace
Hiley
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. Thank you, NWH. Excellent article. Spread it far and wide! Nominated.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. Kick
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. Props to Knute Berger
Great job.

No, that's not good enough.

OUTSTANDING job.

But enough superlatives. Andy's life says all you ever need to know as far as dedication, commitment, and spirit are concerned.

Andy Stephenson lives on in all of us.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. It is an excellent article.
And it's suddenly gone silent over in Freeperland. I wish they were human being so they had the capacity to feel shame. I weep reading this.



The Internet, though, has a darker side. For every well-meaning Web minuteman or citizen journalist fighting his way to the truth, there's a sniper eager to shoot him down, or a lynch mob waiting in the wings. Stephenson became a target, especially for some on the far right who chose to attack him at his time of greatest vulnerability. The folks at the Free Republic Web site made great sport of it, as did others. It's not surprising, in a way: A lot of Web activistsright, left, and way out thereare fueled by paranoia. Many are inflated with a sense of being on the leading edge of a coming apocalypse that can only be forestalled by their efforts. Passion and rage often mix with fear. The best of them fight with the facts. The worst are character assassins.

For many of Stephenson's critics, the Web was a means to destroy him, Swiftboat-style. When Stephenson became ill with what turned out to be cancer, and when his activist friends stepped up to raise $50,000 over the Internet to help him pay for surgery, his enemies pounced. They started a campaign that questioned his diagnosis and his motives, and they poured vitriol into a sick man's wounds. According to some of Stephenson's supporters, the questions they raised temporarily stalled his friends' fund- raising, delaying Stephenson's cancer surgery. They accused Stephenson of fraud, filed complaints against him, and accused him of lining his own pockets. Even when Seattle Weekly offered proof that Stephenson was hospitalized, gravely ill, and had indeed had cancer surgery, they continued to attack. They tried to make a dying man's final days a worse hell than they already were.


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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. Yes - the people at Seattle Weekly saw the attacks for what they were
I left this part out of the OP - in fact, almost everything I left out when I chose the 4 paragraphs to excerpt are about the attacks and how ugly they were, how angry Andy's friends are about them. I decided that the title of the article showed what was there, and people who aren't too wounded by the horror of what those people did could go and read. The editor-in-chief of Seattle Weekly is clearly mad as hell about it and also concerned that in a society where people blast virtual "enemies" in computer games, anonymous personal attacks through the same medium can become dehumanized to the point that monstrous things can and do happen.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
17. Bev "Black Box" Harris
Interesting, he left out the word Voting.
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Humm...I didn't catch that.
Just Bev "Black Box" Harris of Renton...
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. .
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 06:15 PM by Stephanie
.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
20. Thanks (nt)
nt
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
21. Excellent article, thanks for posting
"In death, Andy Stephenson was no longer an Internet abstraction, someone who could be obliterated the way you would annihilate a character in a video game. He was a nonvirtual, three-dimensional person, a vital spirit, a good-humored and passionate man, whose death left a big hole in many people's lives and, some say, our democracy itself."

It is wonderful Andy's home city is writing the truth and honoring Andy as it should.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
23. kick n/t
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
24. Kick
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whosonfirst Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
26. How interesting.
thank you for this posting.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
27. kick n/t
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
28. ...
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
29. kick n/t
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
30. A DU link for those who may have missed it - on how Andy was attacked
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title; The Stalking Of Andy Stephenson

Some of the people who participated in the vicious and unending (still going on) attacks on Andy went far beyond anonymous hate posts on message boards. Andy's reputation, his medical treatments, and his friends have all been targeted.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
31. kick n/t
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
32. kick - this forum moves FAST! n/t
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
33. kick
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. kick
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
35. kick
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
36. Kick for an article that should be read!
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Thanks for helping me keep this kicked - and did you produce that
wonderful image of little Ballot rendered in paper? It's brilliant! I hope no one will mind if I steal it occasionally.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #38
47. I did! And steal away for Andy! Thanks.
The paper is the constitution.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. I thought it looked familiar!
You are very, very gifted and we are lucky to benefit.
:patriot:
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #48
53. Kick! nt
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
37. Thank you Hope for posting this.
:hi:

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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Hello merh - I hadn't seen that Symbolman flash presentation before
It is FABULOUS.
:grouphug:
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whosonfirst Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. Isn't that a nice tribute.
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 11:50 PM by whosonfirst
It's as if I know Andy.


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whosonfirst Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. dupe
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 11:53 PM by whosonfirst


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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #40
45. ((((hug))))
How are you Hope? :hug: I am sure symbolman's tribute touched you just as it touched me.

thanks so for the article. :pals:

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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. Back atcha, merh!
I am hoping that when a strong, beautiful election reform movement takes shape as a coherent, unified effort, we can incorporate the names of Andy and also of Athan Gibbs in its name. They should be with us in continuing this fight.

I am hanging in there and am glad to see you are, too.

:grouphug:
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
39. Kick for Andy
:kick:
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
41. Nice article...........
"In death, Andy Stephenson was no longer an Internet abstraction, someone who could be obliterated the way you would annihilate a character in a video game. He was a nonvirtual, three-dimensional person, a vital spirit, a good-humored and passionate man, whose death left a big hole in many people's lives and, some say, our democracy itself".
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. Yes - Andy left a big hole in so many ways.
If you haven't already read them, I strongly recommend the first two articles in this Seattle Weekly series, by George Howland Jr., as well. They're linked to in the first paragraph of the excerpt in the opening post. The first was written just before Andy died.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #44
49. I sent them to myself as e-mails..........
so i have them. Believe me I've followed this whole thing.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
50. kick
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. .
.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
52. kick n/t
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
54. kick n/t
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. .
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
56. The hate and harassment continues - Claudiajean has been arrested
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: In support of ClaudiaJean

These people will do ANYTHING.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
57. An important thread on voting activist crackdowns - including
Andy and ClaudiaJean:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: There's No BASIS for Confidence in Election Results; Activist CRACKdowns
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. Yes, an important read.
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
59. Where IS Will???????????
I have thought about him for many days now. I wish him well :hug:
Jenn
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Near the top of this thread, GAofT says
"Will is spending several days in the woods," so I assume he is communing with Nature and recharging his inner batteries. Let's hope he comes back in fine, energized form.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
61. Thanks for posting this.
I look forward to George Howland's return on Monday. I expect he may have some more to say about Andy.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. Hello Ben, we missed you!
Welcome back. :pals:
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. I had to take some time out.
:)
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
64. kick n/t
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