Submitted on 2011/01/18 at 10:48 pm
Tad and readers, John Ross, Arcata’s legendary author, activist, journailst, and poet, passed. Some of you Arcata old-timers may remember him. John Ross was a great man.
An obituary of John Ross’ life and times was thoughtfully prepared by Counterpunch’s Frank Bardacke and quietly referenced below. It underscores Mr. Ross’ keen awareness of the impermanence and suffering inherent in this world, a subject he frequently wrote of.
Mr. Bardacke describes this best: “…bags of misery and compassion under his eyes, offset by his wonderful toothless smile and the cackling laugh that punctuated his comical riffs on the miserable state of the universe. He was among the last of the beats, master of the poetic rant, committed to the exemplary public act, always on the side of the poor and defeated.”
“His tormentors defined him. A sadistic prison dentist pulled six of his teeth. The San Francisco Tac Squad twice bludgeoned his head, ruining one eye and damaging the other. The guards of Mexico’s vain, poet-potentate Octavio Paz beat him to the ground in a Mexico City airport, and continued to kick him while he was down. Israeli settlers pummeled him with clubs until he bled, and wrecked his back forever.”
There’s more. I encourage you, the dear reader, to please give it a read; Mr. Ross, our traveling Humboldt ‘investigative poet’ and first rate journalist, would have liked that.
~peace, Mr. Ross. skips
If you knew Mr. Ross or would like to read a sample of his first rate journalistic work about a famous Humboldt case here back in 1982 (“Virgil Payne and Many Others: Homegrown Racism”) visit the Humboldt Herald below. You can also add your comments if you like.
Thanks, Tad. Tad, You would have enjoyed Mr. Ross very much. Both of you were very alike.