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My good friend, Jeff Brunson of Ft. Wayne, Indiana passed away two days ago after a brief struggle with cancer. As far as I know he had only been diagnosed a couple of weeks ago. But the diagnosis was pretty bleak: cancer in his brain, his liver and his bones. He was only 44 years old.

Jeff Brunson 3 Jeff Brunson 1

Scanned photos of Jeff taken in the early 1990's--In our backyard with our new kitten & Manic journalist at work in our tiny apartment.

I met Jeff in 1990 when we were both poor college students. When he found out that I had a secret crush on him we started going out. He became my first "co-habitation boyfriend." We lived together for about 2 years until he morphed into the brother I never had and I had to end our relationship. It just felt too weird to make out with my brother. But we remained great friends. After I left Ft. Wayne, he stayed in contact with my folks and would bring his new girlfriends to their house for BBQs and euchre.

But man, the times we had when we were together were some of the best in my life. Protests, Grateful Dead shows, Pints of Ben & Jerry's Rain Forest Crunch and The Simpsons on a Sunday night.

Jeff was a major leftist activist and I was a major feminist activist and together we fought the man. He was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and he shook things up on campus with his critical, first-rate investigative journalism. So naturally, in this conservative community, the school administration and a few jealous editors had to take him out. He was forced to resign.

I myself, would have laid down and died from the devastation of having my dream taken away from me, but Jeff had the most buoyant spirit of anyone I have ever personally known. He saw this change of events as an opportunity to resurrect an old leftist rag called, "The Ft. Wayne Free Press." He published several incredible issues before funding ran out and he moved on to a variety of other projects, one of which was sponsoring leftist documentaries to be shown on a public access television station in Ft. Wayne.

Not only was Jeff a hell of a journalist, he was also an incredibly talented and funny cartoonist, a writer of fiction, a gardener, a rabble rouser, an extremely intelligent guy with a great sense of humor and a heart too big for this world.

Performance protest with Jeff. Mark Giaquinta was a city council member who was virtually in bed with the local chemical waste dump that sought expansion. We both have cigars in our mouths and I'm handing him a wad a cash.

Jeff Brunson with Curtis Family 3

Christmas 1991? Pictured from left to right: my beloved soul-mate and sister Karma, my Mom Maggie, my Dad Larry, my nephew Curtis when he was just a tiny babe, my awesome sister Cathy, my groovy brother-in-law Brian, and the one and only Jeff Brunson.



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 19th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. It's the scourge. I hate it.
May. 19th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I knew you would understand. It just sucks.....so bad. (hug).
May. 19th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
Goodness. What a loss. I'm so sorry. (seems like I'm saying that a lot to you lately) Your tribute here is very touching. And I love Jeff's face.
May. 19th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm sorry for your loss.
May. 19th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, but this was a beautiful entry.
May. 19th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
This made me smile.

I know he'd be so proud to have inspired it--and of you.
May. 19th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
I recognize the lyric in your title; I hope that somehow listening brings you whatever helps...peace, tears, the passage of time.

That's a pretty special picture, that last one.
May. 19th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss. :(

May. 19th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
Mortality is just unfair, just god-damned unfair. I already like this guy. Thanks for showing us his life.
May. 19th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
He sounds like he was a pretty cool dude. Wish I could have had the chance to know him and have a few beers with him.
May. 19th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss. Good thoughts headed your way.
May. 19th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry for your loss; may his memory be eternal. I will light a candle for him tomorrow morning.
May. 19th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
(Deleted comment)
May. 20th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
This is so great, David, thank you. I remember that Jeff liked that band and had a few of their albums.
May. 20th, 2007 07:48 am (UTC)
May. 20th, 2007 11:56 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute.
May. 20th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
My comment will differ from no others:

My condolences for your loss.

Your tribute is right on. A tight snare for a heartbeat.

God bless.
May. 20th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
I'm so very sorry for your loss. Your friend Jeff sounds like an amazing person. May he rest in peace.
May. 21st, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. You've written such a beautiful tribute here.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )