Sunday, January 29, 2023


nothinggold.via gerard

Another great  man with talent on loan from God has passed:

Gerard Van der Leun: December 26, 1945 – January 27, 2023

a gerard andthestranger_copy

A writer of wonderful insight and talent, a poet of penetrating and reverberating verses, story teller of innumerable ‘walking around’ stories and lover of ephemera, the arcane and kinky. How one man found the time to do so much internet cruising, digging, writing and posting I’ve never been able to understand but admired greatly.  

Many of you probably have already heard about Gerard’s death by now, the rest of you have a treasure trove of archival materials to go through as Gerard had been manning his blog for 20 plus years, starting around 9/11, I believe. Many of his pieces are priceless, timeless gems that he just freely cast out there for our enjoyment. I suspect many of us will continue to enjoy them time and time again.

Gerard was a writer’s writer, a poet’s poet, a yarn weaver’s woof and warp: and a very fine man. His integrity stands out so obviously in an age that  seems to put little value on it any more, especially in the public space.

I’ve had Raj help me collect and assemble a few of our fond memories of Gerard. It’s all I know to do. He will be so missed by so many.

Gerard was something of an unofficial mentor to me. He found my little blog in 2009 and awarded me his “Bestest New Blog of the Week”  causing a yuge boost in daily visitors. Of course I didn’t have  many at the time so quadrupling it was pretty easy but it gave me the encouragement to continue. I of course thanked him profusely and explained I was most appreciative as I was but a very small blog with a dream. He assured me “it’s not the size of your quiver, but what you’ve got it it.”

In the summer of 2010, Gerard was named Editor In Chief of the then new and exciting RIGHTNETWORK. Soon after, I received an email from Gerard asking “What sort of traffic are you seeing these days?” Curious, I responded that we're pretty tiny and we have no marketing skill in our joint portfolio. His response was “I am working on a fiendish plan. Details later. Thanks for the numbers. And remember "It's not the size of the wand. It's the magic that's in it." I imagine he had a slew of these encouraging adages that he used to lift sagging spirits. It was quite effective.

Of course RIGHTNETWORK was short lived as some of the financial backers (like Kelsey Grammer) got cold feet in the increasingly bifurcated political environment. Unfortunately my Sundance movie reviews that were to run there never came to fruition other than on my blog. But I remember when Gerard and I were discussing them I wanted to make sure he understood that I didn’t actually screen all of the movies I planned to provide reviews for. His response was classic Gerard: “What kind of a journalist would you be if you actually had to see the work you were critiquing?”

I will miss Gerard terribly.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

Moonrise at the Beach - Sam Vokey

Side Note: My eyes are no better so I thank Raj for actually compiling this post for me. I do however finally have a diagnosis and an appointment with a retina specialist a week from tomorrow. Will provide further health updates  next week.