Flutterby™! : RIP Brad

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RIP Brad

2010-01-04 22:55:07.066876+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

Holy crap. I hope this isn't true:

Brad Graham, longtime public relations manager at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, has died at home in St. Louis. There are no details yet. He was 41.

Brad was one of the early webloggers, his "Break Bread with Brad" gatherings brought together a lot of people in that culture, I probably met as many people face-to-face at those gatherings as I did at the Dave Winer organized ones, and his continued role in the weblog culture, on various IRC chats and mailing lists, was one of sanity and humor. He hadn't blogged in a while, but he was active on Twitter.

I'm mostly straight, Brad is a hypothetical reason I stuff that qualifier in there.

Damn. He'll be missed.

[ related topics: Weblogs Dave Winer Theater & Plays ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-06 19:34:42.694928+00 by: Dan Lyke

Jeff Jarvis on NPR remembers Brad, and St. Louis Post Dispatch's Judith Newmark on his impact in their theatre scene.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-05 16:15:12.054148+00 by: Dan Lyke

One more, in Brad's words, oft-quoted:

My favorite animal at the Zoo is the lesser kudu. You have to admire an animal with a name like that, laboring as he must in the shadow of the greater kudu. It must be like having an older brother who excelled at sports and academics in school, to whom you have always been compared and found lacking. A few months ago, I was visiting the Zoo at lunch with a friend and discovered the area where the lesser kudu is ordinarily found was empty.

I hope he made a break for it. I hope he made his way out into the world, free of expectations, shedding labels, determined only to be the best damn kudu he could be.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-05 06:28:51.521996+00 by: Dan Lyke

Further from the MeFi thread: cinnachick tells an anecdote that ends:

He was the glue that kept the blogosphere together and I am immensely grateful to him for that.

And patricking's remembrance:

brad was the most wickedly, deliciously homosexual man i have ever been graced to meet. everything about him was a small orchestrated motion towards his greater goal: to wring the greatest celebration he could from the world.

Yeah. That.

And over on twitter:

How to describe @TheBrad? How about: we shared exactly the same sense of humor, plus he had about seven more.

I guess part of the reason this has hit me so hard is that he was my age. And, viewed on the broader scope of the world he may or may not have viewed himself as successful, I don't know if he was finding his goals, or worried about the future, but he touched so many lives, and managed to make the world so much a better place because he brought people together, distracted conversations just as they were getting contentious in ways that gently showed the participants that they were angry with themselves, not each other, and managed to draw out everyone.

Rafe has a farewell, if you're reading this and have some thoughts on his life, please add 'em here. Don't assume that I've seen them.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-05 03:20:52.509586+00 by: Dan Lyke

Buncha good stuff in the aforementioned MeFi thread, including Danelope on Brad as goodwill ambassador:

Brad served as a fine Ambassador to Gaiety for at least one naive straight kid emerging from the right-wing Christian stupor in which they were raised.

He was the first gay person with whom I recall interacting (despite having been an altar boy for years; INORITE) and, by way of blogging and late-night #blogIRC sessions, did more to humanize the Dreaded Homosexual than Holy Mother Church could withstand.

So, in a way, Phelps is right; the queers ARE out to convert your children. Here's hoping their good work continues where Brad, unfortunately, has left off.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-05 03:16:43.816069+00 by: Dan Lyke

Too many good quotes, but thanks to Eric Wagoner for reminding me about 90 percent of life:

A friend told me that his father had died this morning. It's one of those situations where, usually, we don't know what to say. I knew exactly what I wasn't going to say: "I'm so sorry."

Nearly everyone said that to me when my own father died several years ago, and my black humor response — springing from a coping mechanism and slightly screwy worldview I've been honing methodically since grammar school — never went over as well as I hoped it would.

"Don't be sorry," I'd say. "After all, you didn't kill him."

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-04 23:38:24.896032+00 by: Dan Lyke

From the St. Louis 2008 Sexiest Cybergeek contest:

Of his many accomplishments, the one of which he is most proud is once being referred to as "the most dangerous Sodomite in Missouri" by the Rev. Fred Phelps. He continues to disavow having coined the word "blogosphere."

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-04 23:27:34.307443+00 by: Dan Lyke

And, from that thread, a MeFi pun/Tom Swiftie thread in which Brad went overboard (search for "bradlands")

#Comment Re: made: 2010-01-04 23:24:48.498128+00 by: Dan Lyke

MeFi thread