Gerard died peacefully in the small hours of the morning.
He left instructions to me for two last posts of his that he wanted me to publish here. I will probably do that tomorrow. I also will be posting a few more essays of my own about Gerard, but I will keep his two last posts pinned at the top of the page. Therefore you’ll need to scroll down past them to get to any new ones.
Thank you for all the loving and beautiful words expressing loving and beautiful thoughts for Gerard.
Comments on this entry are closed.
Oh, I am so, so sorry! You have my sincere condolences. May the Divine bless you and keep you. I will also check in at your site. Again, you have my sympathies.
An image I took years ago that I send along when informing others of
a friend’s passing.
-Rest now, G v D L.
That about sums it up. Lovely.
We will so need him. Today more than usual.
After watching the Tyre Film tonight my heart just cries out to hear Gerard. I can only imagine what he would have said, but oh, I do so wish I had–we had– the steadying words from the living man who guided us through so much of the past recent evil times we have experienced.
Sorry to be so selfish. God in peace dear guide.
Well meet again, Jerry.
East of the Moon, West of the Sun.
Beautiful. I am not ashamed to say I cried. Rest well Gerard, rest in peace, when you meet your uncle, that Name in the Stone, may he say to you, “Gerard, welcome. Well done. Well done, indeed.”
Listening to this lovely tribute to our beloved blogger, I got that old familiar throbbing at the top of my brain when I hear a piece of music that touches my heart and soul. Thank you for this. So fitting for so fine a man as our Gerard.
John, thank you for posting that wonderful song.
Why do all good people have to leave us. I know the answer, but Gerard was a prime reason for me to arise each morning. I will never forget him or his followers on American Digest.
I wish Gerard’s family and close friends and care givers everything goodness can bring.
Gerard is not gone. He is just in a different place . . . Rest Well Friend-
Thank you for posting it.
Deepest condolences to Gerard’s family and especially to you, Neo. Everyone needs a friend such as you.
I am sorry. Thank you for letting us know. I look forward to reading Gerard’s and your posts . Wishing you a night of deep, restorative sleep sometime soon. Take good care of yourself.
He rallied for Jewel, my mother, when she died. I would like to return the favor in any way that I can. I am glad that they can finally meet in Heaven.
Madam Scherzo is missed very much. She died too young.
Hello Julia. I visited Madame Scherzo today. I’m very pleased it’s still in place and there’s still countless images your mom collected that can be pondered, appreciated, cherished. She was one of the brightest energies. Gerard had a magnetic energy field that attracted beings like Jewel. So many others here have been part of a great celebration of higher awareness. Gerard’s passing reveals a deep void. What an amazing man he was. I’ve never spent so many hours online anywhere. The void will absorb and then reveal, produce, exemplify and circulate once again the finest aspect of humanity. Good folks here, bar none. It’s been a great privilege to participate among a group of such quality. Every time Gerard tapped me with an “HT” for offering something here I felt like the teacher nodded in my direction. To your mom, to Gerard, to Neo… to everyone, it’s been beautiful.
I have been thinking about Jewel, Gerard and Remus all week. Very good people that will be missed.
The folks who have been commenters here for a long time and read Gerard, remember Jewel, your mother. She was a wonderful and sweet lady.
There is more than memory beyond the circles of this world.
My heartfelt condolences and prayers
I can’t believe it’s over. RIP good sir.
Hugs and prayers from afar. That we all should have a dear friend like you beside us at the end. Try to get some rest.
Rise and Shine
From the blind of time rise,
thy soul be now restored
to dwell in Paradise
in the bosom of our Lord.
I’m sad now. In mourning.
GvDlune was a blogger’s blogger, and the best there is at it. A poet of great skill, and an honorable man.
Certainly well loved by this reader and all of the many who post and read here.
Condolences to his family and close fiends.
I’ve never posted here before, but I have periodically read the blog for the past several years. Mr. Van der Leun lived a far more interesting life, and possessed a great deal more wisdom, than I could ever hope to have. I’ll leave it to those of you who knew him better, but Godspeed, sir. May you rest in the arms of our Heavenly Father.
It occurs to me that Gerard has returned to Paradise. Peace to his family and Neo and all who loved him, even all of us who never met him.
My profound sympathies to Gerard’s family and to you, Neo. The volumes in my heart that I want to write are too painfully jumbled to be coherent. Rest in peace, dear Gerard. We will miss you.
And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?
He is in Heaven that is all I need to know.
I will miss him. An morn. He was a great friend.
It does not make it easy,but he new the Lord. For that I take comfort.
His last words to me were “See you soon” just a few short days ago.
It was not to be, but I know that I will.
Dust in The Wind.
Rest well my friend and see you soon,your brother in Christ,Geoff.
I am deeply saddened by this news. We are all poorer for his passing.
Vaya con Dios, -Karen-
I’ve lurked for years.
I’m sad at his passing. I’m glad that I had found him.
Such a talent…may his memory be eternal!
I am so sorry. I will miss him.
My sincere condolences to Gerard’s family and friends. Gerard my friend, to paraphrase, your word was a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Fair winds and following seas, Mr V.
God Bless you Neo, for being there.
Thank you Gerard.
So where do we go now? The internet is empty.
I will miss his posts. Rest in peace, dear Mr. Van der Leun.
Gerard and you have been on my mind all day today, most particularly as I watched the sunrise and the beautiful sky in the east. His was a lovely soul and I’m thankful he shared it with us. Please take good care of you.
With a heavy heart I came to say we will miss this beautiful soul.
In Paradise now with his departed loved ones.
Rest in Peace Gerard Van der Leun.
You did well.
Condolences to you Neo, his brother, family, his friends and all readers here. We have lost a good one.
We shall meet again.
Rest well, Gerard, happy in the Father’s house, surrounded by the love of all the beloved family and friends who have gone on before you. God bless you.
God bless and comfort all who mourn your passing, especially those who have cared for you and watched over you in these last difficult days.
Ach, at peace now, seeing his mom and pop and the rest that went before him, all the familiar faces renewed. God’s blessings. I hope you can get some rest now, Neo, and that peace finds you too, in its unmistakable and unexpected way. Thank you for letting us all know. RIP
I’m so sorry. My deepest condolences.
Last week I lost my best friend. Very similar circumstances, sudden aggressive cancer followed by his doctors giving up and then hospice. If you had hit me with a baseball bat it couldn’t have hurt more.
That painful last phone call. Trying to be upbeat and happy. I got him to laugh. One last time.
Now Gerard, the friend I never got to meet in person. Another scratch on the Christmas Card list.
Gerard sent me his phone number once, for some reason I never called. In awe probably. I wish I had visited him at least once.
Rest in Peace.
Da Slockit Light (The Dying Light) composed by Shetland fiddler, Tom Anderson.
For Gerard. Thank you for everything. May you rest in peace.
This is so perfect to listen to as I read these tributes. Thank you.
Thank you, Gerard. Thank you for your many years of insight, wisdom, wit, and entertainment. Not a week has passed in the last many years where I have not visited your home on the internet. I only hope now that you are at peace in your new home. God speed.
I’m sincerely sorry to hear of Gerard’s passing.
Now he’s in the most wondrous, beautiful, and blessed part of the universe, in the presence of God- far away from what the flaws and ills of mankind and society.
Ride the wind, brother.
Such sad news for those of us left behind. Particularly for you, Neo. May the comfort and peace of Christ be with you. And may Gerard rest easy, his earthly ministry fulfilled, and living on in his legacy….especially his words.
Gerard was one of a kind. May his spirit be soaring with the angels.
I wrote a little ditty that he thought was funny, and he ran it several times when the occasion called. What an honor from a writer like him! Bless him, and bless you for your help to him.
Someday . . .
the light will shine
like the sun
through my heart
& they will ask:
“What was the best part?”
& though there are
I think I’ll remember,
in the end,
I’ll be profoundly grateful to say,
“I walked with Gerard
Since we’re posting musical tributes, here’s mine. I think Gerard would approve.
Dr. John — Just A Closer Walk With Thee/Oh, Didn’t He Ramble
I’m not much into poetry, but this one touched my heart the first time I read it, and it’s stuck with me over 50 years.
Requiem — Robert Louis Stevenson
Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Thank you. Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Requiem” was also on my mind today, regarding Gerard.
All the pain and hurts and joys and sorrows of this life are behind him. It is we who are left behind, especially Neo, who must go on without him
In a funeral mass years ago, a Catholic Priest explained in the most eloquent terms how we, the living, go on. The place in our heart where the love lived for the one who was lost is now empty, and it hurts. Fill up that place, by showing love to others. This is especially for Gerard’s brother, his daughter, his family, and of course….Neo.
Thanks to Ghostsniper, who has downloaded and saved this site, so that it will endure. Tell others about Gerard and his writings. His thoughts and ideas still matter
Go with God, Gerard,
You were always my favorite.
My sweet dessert, as it were, after the horrors of the day.
That may seem corny to some, but it is truly how I felt about him.
Words cannot express the grief we share with you with the passing of Jerry.
He shall be sorely missed.
Gerard wrote with the knowledge and eloquence few have. He is and will be missed.
“Neo,” can we send you something at the Mangrove address?
Thanks beyond measure for attending to the updater duties. I’m sure it was at times a heavy load you were carrying, for us.
First Jeff Beck and now Gerard. The giants of my imagination are fallen. Perhaps some Tennyson will serve:
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have cross’d the bar
May God accept him lovingly into His heavenly realm.
I see Gerard welcomed in the arms of his loving mother and joy in heaven. Thank you for being there for him, and for us.
Very sad to hear – Gerard will be missed. His writings gave me a lot of enjoyment over the years – most recently with his ode to his brother, “I Had a Fortress Once in Paradise”, which I’ve forwarded on to various family members. I will miss his voice.
Thank you also Neo for keeping us informed how Gerard was doing and now helping wrap up his affairs. I’m glad he had someone who cared deeply about him for all these years.
These two—they dwelt with eye on eye,
Their hearts of old have beat in tune,
Their meetings made December June
Their every parting was to die.
Their love has never past away;
The days she never can forget
Are earnest that he loves her yet,
Whate’er the faithless people say.
Her life is lone, he sits apart,
He loves her yet, she will not weep,
Tho’ rapt in matters dark and deep
He seems to slight her simple heart.
He thrids the labyrinth of the mind,
He reads the secret of the star,
He seems so near and yet so far,
He looks so cold: she thinks him kind.
She keeps the gift of years before
A wither’d violet is her bliss
She knows not what his greatness is,
For that, for all, she loves him more.
For him she plays, to him she sings
Of early faith and plighted vows;
She knows but matters of the house,
And he, he knows a thousand things.
Her faith is fixt and cannot move,
She darkly feels him great and wise,
She dwells on him with faithful eyes,
‘I cannot understand: I love.’
Thy voice is on the rolling air;
I hear thee where the waters run;
Thou standest in the rising sun,
And in the setting thou art fair.
What art thou then? I cannot guess;
But tho’ I seem in star and flower
To feel thee some diffusive power,
I do not therefore love thee less:
My love involves the love before;
My love is vaster passion now;
Tho’ mix’d with God and Nature thou,
I seem to love thee more and more.
Far off thou art, but ever nigh;
I have thee still, and I rejoice;
I prosper, circled with thy voice;
I shall not lose thee tho’ I die.
Tennyson. In memoriam
So sad. So very sad.
Gerard is my Christian Brother, but of almost equal significance, Gerard was my friend. I will not waste words and energy on worthless earthly emotion, for I know Getard is with Jesus the Creator now and Gerard would not come back down here even if he could. Gerard miss’s nothing this world has to offer. See you soon Brother
Gerard is my Christian Brother, but of almost equal significance, Gerard was my friend. I will not waste words and energy on worthless earthly emotion, for I know Gerard is with Jesus the Creator now and Gerard would not come back down here even if he could. Gerard miss’s nothing this world has to offer. See you soon Brother
That the loss feels so very personal even to those of us who never met him says everything about the man.
Profound condolences to Neo, his family and all who loved him. God bless you all and God bless Gerard.
Au reservoir (Gerard will get this reference).
Did not have the pleasure of knowing Gerard for very long, but his generosity, brilliant wit and warmth made a lasting imprint on me.
Very, very sad to learn of this news.
May he rest in peace.
I posted a video of this hymn a few years back for Gerard when he was putting his life back together after the Camp Fire (the state’s official name for it) destroyed Paradise in 2018. The following is a different recording but the words are the same. The text of “All My Hope on God Is Founded” is Robert Bridges’ 1899 translation of a seventeenth-century German hymn (“Meine Hoffnung stehet feste”) by Joachim Neander. The tune,”Michael,” was composed by Herbert Howells in memory of his son who had died of polio in 1935 at the age of nine.
I know the hymn was sung at the committal of Elizabeth II in St. George’s Chapel last September– but a good song bears repeating, and it’s as fitting for Gerard now as it was when he and Olive fled the fire that destroyed his house in 2018:
All my hope on God is founded;
He doth still my trust renew,
me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
calls my heart to be His own.
Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God’s power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.
God’s great goodness aye endureth,
deep His wisdom, passing thought:
splendor, light and life attend Him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
from His store
newborn worlds rise and adore.
Daily doth the almighty Giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
His desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at His hand;
joy doth wait on His command.
Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, His Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.
Very misty here this morn. Our loss.
RIP Gerard. Thanks for sharing
The word condolence comes from the Latin “condolere,” meaning “to suffer together.”
The many stories and expressions of admiration and love for Gerard in these posts — which someone rightly called vigils — give a richer meaning to the offering of our condolences, to Neo especially, and to each other.
Although the pain of parting will never go away, suffering is eased by being shared.
I’m very sad. Sorry to see Gerard go. But I will be forever grateful and filled with joy that such an amazing man shared so much with us. Something wonderful indeed. Godspeed Gerard.
We are all diminished.
I cry because Gerard is gone. Yet I should be joyful that he lived. I thank God for Gerard. I thank God for Neo. I thank God for the commenters here. We will all meet again one day. I will be the old guy with long hair and a bicycle.
The internet is silent now.
Rest in peace, good sir. You will be sorely missed.
I am both deeply saddened, and disappointed.
I hope Gerard’s passing was peaceful.
I can’t believe he’s gone.
I can’t believe this blog is done.
American Digest became an addiction.
Now there is less reason to even be online.
I’m thankful for knowing Gerard.
Thank you for being his messenger Neo.
Drop me a note on my blog. I’d like to trade an email or two.
Couldn’t find an eddress, replied to the “Overview” post.
Gerard will now live the words of Isaiah 40:31 eternally. May you, Neo, his Chico church family, and all his friends from these pages be as blessed by his passing, though we mourn, as we were by his life and his words.
Dear Neo and Friends
Condolences to all, our dear friend Gerard has gone home and is at peace. We shall miss him. We shall crave the wisdom of his musings. Thanks to ghost, we will have a secure archive to which to repair and find solace. He and Remus will have a grand time catching up and discussing the follies down here.
Neo, special condolences to you. Thank you for all you have done to love and support Gerard. If not for you, he would have been taken from us those many years ago. Thank you.
Best to you and best to all. May we try to muddle through in the spirit that would amuse and encourage our dear Gerard.
From my Dad’s eulogy in 1980, some of the most haunting words that ever existed.
There is never a life without sadness,
There is never a heart free from pain.
If one seeks in the world for true solace,
He seeks it forever in vain.
So when to your heart comes the sorrow of losing some dear one you’ve known,
Tis’ the touch of God’s sickle at harvest since
He reaps in the field’s He has sown.
Memory Eternal Gerard. May your soul reside where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing.
This place, this Clownworld created by a culture gone mad, got colder and darker today.
Thank you for updating us, God bless you.
For Neo, who loved the man.
For those of us who loved his mind.
Gerard has slipped the surly bonds of earth and dances the sky on laughter silvered wings.
It is well with his soul.
I’m so sorry…
Geh mit Gott Gerard.
When running through the handful of blogs I read daily, the pace quickened toward the end, as I approached Gerard’s blog. I saved it for the end because I wanted no distraction, no pull from another blog. His site was one to savor, for his input, for the commenters’ input. What a delight to sit with people I felt I knew, over a cup or two of coffee each morning. It was breakfast on a silver platter. The platter has been removed, but I have a strong feeling that the People of the Site will remain as images and voices in my mind regardless, with Gerard as Head Person. After all, a man doesn’t forget where he buried the gold.
Well said, Mike.
I can picture he and his brother hugging each other as they meet again.
That thought comforts me.
Into thy hands, O merciful savior, we commend the soul of thy servant Gerard, now departed from the body. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech thee, a sheep of thine own fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of thine own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of thy mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.
My world is suddenly sadder.
Condolences Neo and all A D readers. R.I.P. G.V.L.
Gerard was a beautiful and good man. God speed, Sir.
It amazes me to realize the deep connections we can develop through pixels on a screen. My tears finally came when reading that Gerard’s earthly journey has ended and his heavenly one continues fovever. My heartfelt sympathy to Neo and all his family and friends.
This is what I read at my father’s memorial service in 2011. I hope it will bring some comfort.
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”.
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way”.
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
– from the poem ‘God Knows’ by Minnie Haskins
We were traveling all day yesterday, stuck in traffic around Mexico City. Tired and angry at everything, until we fell into bed. I dreamed all night of old friends, and I was amazed to wake up alive. I came to the computer for the first time since Wednesday night, knowing what I would find today. Bereft is the only word.
I am so sorry for your loss, Neo, and to Gerard’s family I send my deepest condolences.
So sad, my sincere condolences to the family. He will be sorely missed.
What a terrrific and prolific writer Gerard was. A unbelievable talent. We all should’ve had the opportunity to enjoy him as long as he with his beloved Mother.
One of his post came running through my mind as I read this sad news……
God speed, Gerard RIP
I am so very sorry for your loss, Neo, and for ours.
Words fail me. I discovered Gerard’s site a couple of years ago and made daily visits. He was gifted by God with the power to convey great thoughts and themes with words of beauty and elegance. He will be missed dearly by all of us. Requiescat in pacem, Gerard…
I have almost 50 years of wonderful memories of my dear friend. I’m only grateful he went so quickly and peacefully and so grateful to you for telling us and being with him
I was out in the mountains yesterday and felt that that was the case. I only became aware of Gerard in the last 10 years or so but was enthralled with his insights and humor. I think I saw alot of things in new ways because of that… a somber time now. I’m glad that he was with us and that he passed on peacefully. God speed to you Gerard.
Non nobis, non nobis, Domine
Sed nomini tuo da gloriam
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give the glory.”
I am sad at his passing. But he is at last in that place of pure joy. And I leave this as a thank you for Neo:
“If I Should Die Before You Do
you wake up
you will find yourself
in my arms,
I will be
will be crying.”
Rest in peace, Gerard. You were a treasure in this world. On to the next…
Neo, thank you for posting about Gerard these last weeks. Glad he had someone by his side at the end, and throughout your time together.
-And a great disturbance was felt in the Force…
I miss you Gerard. Thank you for letting me get to know you from so far away. You were the best of all the blogs I ever visited because I could see Christ in the stories you told. See you later when we are clothed in our immortal bodies.
Clearly I’m not the only one who’s been bettered from having heard your voice, farewell Gerard.
If you followed Gerards background, you’d know why he was one of the greatest assets the right blogosphere could possess. He was initially as proggressive as it gets, with all that entails for verbal IQ. He was around Berkeley as a fully grown man at the time of the of 1964 Berkeley Free Speech movement, which was the wellspring of the 60’s student radicalism. Then he was in New York as an editor for Penthouse magazine. So if he had stayed on that track, he would have been a great nemesis of ours.
You would also know that he must have been in his eighties at the time of his passing. Maybe this is why this hasnt hit me as hard as others. Gerard outlived my own father and my oldest brother by 15 years, not to mention all of my grandparents. It was his time
But somewhere along the line he had his St Paul conversion moment. Thats when you see the sociopathic, narcissistic, almost infantile center that drives this genius. Takes time, because you have to renounce your own self and the society you’ve joined and whatever status you’ve gained. But when you change, you are the Progg’s worst enemy
I can point to another conservative writer who shares Gerards background and conversion experience. She now goes by her actual name, Andrea Widberg. She is the Jewish daughter of a Polish freedom fighter who settled in San Fran and an aristocratic Dutch mother who was interred by the Japanese in WWII
As San Fran was the city that welcomed her father with open arms, she was a flaming liberal who eventually graduated summa cum laude from Berzerkly. But that was where HER ST Paulina conversion occurred. Thats where she would first hear supposedly erudite scholars damning the country that sacrificed 400,000 lives to save her father and his homeland. Thats where she would hear scholars characterizing the Japanese, who brutalized her mother and almost caused her mother to starve to death*, as innocent victims
of American atrocities. And despite this, she remained a true believer, until endless more revelations finally changed her.
So the point of all this .. one of the greatest resources we have is the person, like Gerard,who has some of the cognitive mental prowess of the leftie elite, but not the dark and vicious heart.
*(A week away from dying, according to Andrea)
Gerard was 77 when he died: “Gerard Vanderleun: December 26, 1945 – January 27, 2023”
May his memory be a blessing. For his sake, I’m glad it all happened quickly. I know, you have a lot to process. I’m glad you were with him in the end
I’ve spent mornings catching up with Gerard and his commenters for the last 20 years (and with you, too, Neo); ineffable sadness greets me this dawn with news of Gerard’s passing.
I always enjoyed Gerard’s curated tour of the best (or the worst, as it were) of the web, but it was his writing that set him apart. When I learned of his illness I forwarded links to some friends of a few of his essays.
“The Centenarian,” about Gerard’s uncle, featured perhaps the best description of how we might retreat into ourselves when confronting the ruin of the flesh.
This passage sums up some of Gerard’s memories, the things worth dwelling upon when the end draws near:
“I don’t know about you, but I would figure a way out of that prison. And if that way out was only deeper in, that’s where I’d go. I’d go deep into my Palace of Memory and I’d use all my energy to construct a world inside that was made of the most vivid moments of all the years I’d lived.
“In my Palace of Memory, I’d be building the world’s worst sandcastle on the beach in Balboa as my father and uncle tossed a football back and forth on the hot sand. I’d be waking up in the back seat of our 1951 Chevy and seeing my grandparents’ faces pressed against the glass as the first snowflakes I’d ever seen fell softly behind them in the twilight. I’d be with my first wife on my wedding night at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. I’d be at my book-editing job on the better days. I’d be in a taxi in New York going downtown to Studio 54 at three in the morning making all the lights. I’d go back to a warm field in a California twilight and listen to the breath and laughter of a young girl heard once and never again. I’d sit in the sun in front of a rose-covered cottage in Big Sur. I’d be laughing on the Spanish Stairs in Rome or weaving drunk along a cliff road on the Greek island of Hydra under a bronze moon and above a wine-dark sea. I’d be high up in a hotel in Paris looking down at the Seine in the rain. I’d hold my one-year-old daughter over my head while lying on the grass in the Boston Public gardens in the spring and see her face framed with cherry blossoms.
“All those and a thousand other rooms in my Palace of Memory I’d visit over and over again until they all ran together in a blur as the train of my life, accelerating, finally left the station and leapt towards the stars and beyond and, finally forgetting all of that, I saw for a fleeting moment the mystery complete.”
The only thing missing from Gerard’s Palace of Memory is you, Neo, and yet it’s obvious that you’ve been there, too.
May God bless Gerard, and help you through this most terrible loss.
Fair winds, sir.
My sincere condolences to Mr. Vanderleun’s family and friends. I will miss his words. I believe he posted her words here once.
“…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…”
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
A really nice piece over at Ace of Spades HQ this morning about Gerard, Neo and the blog. If AOSHQ is not one of your daily stops, it should be. Good stuff! Enjoy this: https://ace.mu.nu/archives/402846.php
There’s a joke: A visitor to a prison would hear a man call out a number: “64!” And there’d follow raucous gales of laughter. Another voice would shout out another number: “35!” Again, followed by gales of laughter. The visitor asked that warden what it was about. The warden explained that the men have heard the jokes so often they just yell out the number and everyone knows the joke. Or something like that.
I read the Ace of Spades tribute and I didn’t have to click on the links — I remembered the story at each link so well. I’d read just the link text and smile. Not so much because I read the stories over and over. Gerard was an incredible story teller and they just stuck in mind.
My dear virtual friend, the welcome you have received in the arms of our Lord and Savior lifts my heart while mourning my loss, and I fervently hope we will meet in the grand Paradise of eternity when my day is done.
Blessings and peace be upon you, my fellow commenters and Neo, our guide unto the end.
Everyday, at sunrise, my earthly eyes have been filled with the blessings of your craft. Though we will miss your daily offerings, we know we will see you again in a place of Eternal Light, where sadness and pain and death are no more. Rest, Gerard, and thank you.
I’m very sorry to of Gerard’s passing. My condolences to Neo and to his family. Even though we’d never met, I’m going to miss Gerard. His writing and expertly collated posts have been a daily pleasure for years. May his memory be a blessing.
Oh, Gerard, you’re now in the Presence of Our Lord. You’re surrounded by Light and Wonder beyond any human imagination. Bask in it forever, for The Redeemer of our souls has let you in.
While driving around my neck of the woods here in Texas on errands, something just told me in my heart you were already gone. All I could do was to pray. “Lord Jesus, receive him into Your Presence, Your Kingdom. Make it painless,” among a few other things. Your loved ones will be comforted. Don’t worry about Miss Olive. She will find a wonderful home. (Neo, if you’re reading this: take the kitty. It should not matter if you’re allergic. You’ll manage.)
Go on and live eternally, old man.
We will all meet again.
So sorry for your loss, Neo.
Glad that he went quickly and peacefully into the arms of the angels.
Good bye, friend.
I found Mr V’s blog a long, long, time ago.
His command of the English language coupled with his writing style made for many, many visits and his writings on American Thinker has been in my daily rotation for years.
He frequently wrote of “the human condition”. Those writings have given my personal insights into that condition and in some weird way it was like a moth to a light bulb. Through the miracle of the internet, they will persist. Than you Gerald for imparting your wisdom with words.
He is just over the horizon…there is no end.
P.S. Thanks for the Cohen song!
So very sorry
Now cracks a noble heart.
Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
God bless you Gerard, may you rest easy my good but unmet friend. Thank you, Neo, for all updates and your obvious kindness and love. God bless you and all those that have been posting here.
My deepest sympathy, Neo.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let Your perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.
God Bless you and keep you, Gerard. You’ve helped me through a lot of things and I will really miss checking in with you every morning.
Never met in person but felt affinity with a thoughtful soul. Godspeed
Lost another great muse but have some wonderful memories from all he shared with us and I had hoped he would stay with us as long as his mom. Rest in piece good friend.
Prayers your way. I will greatly miss Gerard’s writing. Definitely a high point for me was finding a new post. A fascinating man.
Sad to hear. I will miss reading his excellent stories. He lead me to many great articles. First blog I read every day.
I’ll keep him in my heart for a while.
This is an excellent addition to the song list that is developing here. Thanks for thinking of it. -Karen-
I am – was — the sender of the birthday card.
(From “First Love and Other Sorrows”
by Vanderleun on April 1, 2022):
“It has become a signal sent out from another headland about a time when, for that long ago Summer of 64, I lived in the light of first love.”
“It began, as so many adolescent loves begin, in a car in a cornfield at sunset.”
“Soon after the sunset cornfield we moved into a very small bungalow at the back of a compound of houses … In my soul I wanted that bungalow to remain alive in another’s memory, to live always in the light. “
“We don’t want our first loves to leave for a second time, but in time they do, as do we all.”
Smell of her long hair hot in the sun through the windshield,
the rattle of dried corn sheaves shaken by dusk’s breeze,
soft heft of breasts small and sweet as winter pears,
the breath rising in the dry heat parching her body.
And the fire rose up in me and I stretched her out, O lovely,
across the pale cloth and reached out
and holding held and held until gone…
gone into the smoke of the world.
— GVL 2014
Nice! I remember that post very well and it’s wonderful that you’ve stopped by Gerard’s wake today. That’s the only way to describe what’s taking place here. Everyone should read this item once again. It was one of Gerard’s best. https://americandigest.org/first-love-and-other-sorrows/
How strangely still
The water is today,
It is not good
To be so still that way.
We will miss Gerard’s wisdom on the internet.
A good man, I enjoyed his writing for years. Rest in peace.
I’m wondering if Gerard’s account “kaching” will be removed from Tumblr – https://www.tumblr.com/kaching
Words seem so inadequate, at least mine in the presence of dear Gerard. I offer instead what I think is a fitting musical tribute: Ode To Joy by Ludwig van Beethoven.
I thought this might be appropriate for today.
Sissle has the voice of an angel.
Going home. Gerard is going home.
It makes me feel both sad and joyful that so many have read him and value what he wrote. Sad that he is gone. God bless you Neo. Don’t be overcome with grief. He lived gladly, and your lives shared a secret, private joy that only you two knew.
Gotta be a coincidence. I woke up really early yesterday (the 27th) 3AM-ish MDT – all unsettled for no known reason and couldn’t get back to sleep. Losing too many lately – Gerard became a friend I never met over the years I read American Digest. Seems I have two years to relive that time. I am so sad but he must be in a better world. Maybe he and Ol’ Remus are tossing stories back and forth now. My best to his family.
I’ve read americandigest.org almost daily for more than 20 years. I’ve laughed, cried and enjoyed the music. One year I found myself in Battery Park and found the name in the stone. Gerard, I will miss you. Rest in eternal peace.
I was thinking about his books. In the years since the Paradise fire he rebuilt his library I know. A writer needs books. I was happy to send him a list of my books and happy to send him those books that he suggested he’d like to have.
In the many books I’m sure he gathered around himself since then and as a working writer, those books may contain slips of paper with thoughts scratched on them. Perhaps notes in margins and at least slips of paper bookmarking the useful veins of writers ore he would mine.
Quite impossible to keep the collection together I know. But to spend a little time, browse and sample. Like the waves hitting the shore when a great ship has passed by, so those books are the left in the wake of a great mind.
I awoke in the night, my slumber disturbed.
I lay awake, my mind racing and thoughtful.
I reached for the clock, it read 2:00.
I reached for the clock, it read 3:00.
The cat came and spoke to me and sat on my chest
Nose to nose.
A spirit has passed over going toward the sun.
Fare thee well Gerard.
It’s hard to know what say about someone I never met yet who had an effect on my thinking. He was a poet and so much more. My thoughts go out to you who knew him. I know he must have been a good friend and you bear that burden of loss. We feel it also . Know that there is a heaven and we will be there shortly. I look forward to that.
Gerard and I met in the early seventies. He married my stepsister. The marriage failed, but our friendship lasted a lifetime. On these pages he called me “the sailor”. We spoke most every day ever since..
he was the most loyal friend I will ever have, and his writings were, in my opinion, brilliant.
We had so many good times.
The sentiments here mean that you all got him.
He was my best friend.
I was lucky to have known him.
Very sorry for your great loss, Flannelputz.
Oh man, it’s just not going to be the same without you Gerard.
Happy Trails Dude.
Thank you, Neo. I will miss Gerard’s presence here on this side of the riverbank.
May his memory be eternal.
there will never be retribution for what they have done to us….
……they will escape scottfree…….no nuremburg trials, no judgement…..
no hangings, no lampposts, no shots in the dark……suck it, peasants……
i am gonna miss strange days…..
You will be missed, tremendously, by many.
Perhaps we shall meet someday – certainly hope so.
We all knew this day was coming since nobody lives forever but it still makes me sad that there’s one less light in the world to guide me. That’s what I saw in him.
He put so much into this site — it’s really an art collection more than anything else.
RIP and Godspeed Gerard and sincere condolences to Neo and to all his many friends and family.
My deepest condolences to all who loved him.
Thanks for your intelligent and insightful columns, as well as the countless links to other trenchant online pieces.
Rest in peace, Gerard. Memory Eternal.
Finally able to squeeze out a few words. https://justgrits.wordpress.com/2023/01/30/goodbyes-you-hoped-wouldnt-come-so-soon/
Neo – I’ll be sending an email in a few days.
Gerard’s writings, this site, the links to beautiful songs, the great commenters, brought me much joy the last few years. Thank you so very much Gerard. Hope to meet you some day in a better place. God bless.
My sincerest condolences to the Van Der Leune family and friends. Via con Dios.
We’ll miss you so much, old friend.
Oh no, we’ve lost Gerard….
To me it’s fitting that The Name on the Stone will be at the top, because that was the post that motivated me quite a few years ago to bookmark American Digest, and to follow his musings and adventures…and those of his other commenters and hangers-on…an every day online stop for me.
A good man and an inspiration. Requiescat in pace.
Fascinating,and comforting. Learning of the lifelong friends of Gerard,who knew him in real non-digital meatspace life.
Thanks,Flannelputz & Ginny (and others,all of you) for sharing. You’ve confirmed that his cyber self was as open and honest as we who did’nt know him personally,believed.
Give rest, oh Lord, to the soul of Thy servant Gerard. Give him a place of rest, a place of repose, where there is neither sickness nor sighing, but life everlasting.