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LAST POST: So Long. See You All a Little Further Down the Road [BUMPED UP: scroll down for new posts]

When my body won’t hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Will I be ready?
When my feet won’t walk another mile
And my lips give their last kiss goodbye
Will my hands be steady when I lay down my fears, my hopes, and my doubts?
The rings on my fingers, and the keys to my house
With no hard feelings

When the sun hangs low in the west
And the light in my chest won’t be kept held at bay any longer
When the jealousy fades away
And it’s ash and dust for cash and lust
And it’s just hallelujah
And love in thought, love in the words
Love in the songs they sing in the church
And no hard feelings

Lord knows, they haven’t done much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold

When my body won’t hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Where will I go?
Will the trade winds take me south through Georgia grain?
Or tropical rain?
Or snow from the heavens?
Will I join with the ocean blue?
Or run into a savior true?
And shake hands laughing
And walk through the night, straight to the light
Holding the love I’ve known in my life
And no hard feelings

Lord knows they haven’t done much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold
Under the curving sky
I’m finally learning why
It matters for me and you
To say it and mean it too
For life and its loveliness
And all of its ugliness
Good as it’s been to me

I have no enemies
I have no enemies
I have no enemies
I have no enemies


BTW: I’VE NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU, JUSTINE, MY DAUGHTER. No hard feelings. Remember me, from time to time, to my granddaughters.]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mike Hendrix January 28, 2023, 3:13 PM

    May the good Lord bless and keep you, Gerard. You will be sorely missed. This weary, dreary old world won’t be the same without you.

  • Mike Seyle January 28, 2023, 3:28 PM

    Lord, but that brings the tears.
    But fine. Keeping this up for two years I guess needs some cash. Who do we send checks to?

    • Anne January 28, 2023, 3:55 PM

      Good Man Mike!

    • ThisIsNotNutella January 28, 2023, 9:39 PM

      So the daughter was a stone cold redacted until the end?

      Great. Just great.

      • CT January 29, 2023, 6:04 AM

        There is no judgment to be had in this scenario. Gerard shared 90-some percent of everything he thought and felt with us; that is why we feel that we know him despite never having met him. He was never obligated to share 100% with us, and had good reasons for not doing so. To his daughter he said exactly what I would have expected him to say. The truth is that life is messy; it is complicated. I think we all have loose ends in our lives and relationships that (in our dreams) will somehow get resolved while we are alive. “Happily ever after.” I do. Especially original family relationships. I have had to accept that some things will never be resolved. And my final feeling on that is that all involved have “lost”, lost the ongoing good and enrichment that a good relationship would have provided. Therefore this is a part of our grief: the finality of this.

        • Kay B January 29, 2023, 7:55 AM

          CT – Beautifully stated – thank you. As someone who has an understanding of relationship brokenness and relinquishment of contact, I would add that no one knows the full story except those who lived it, and their perspectives will not be identical. The finality in this life is indeed grievous, and judgment is best withheld.

          • Boat Guy January 29, 2023, 3:18 PM

            You added all that could and should be added. Bless you.
            Once again; Vaya con Dios GvDL

        • theduchessofkitty January 29, 2023, 7:53 PM

          Yes. Exactly.

    • LadyBikki January 30, 2023, 4:00 AM

      I’m waiting for an answer, too.
      I sent a donation to Gerard that I know he didn’t receive before he passed.
      I’m hoping it can be deposited and used…
      I also know this can be addressed later, as I’m sure Neo has other, more pressing things to deal with.

  • Joe Krill January 28, 2023, 4:50 PM

    Gerard was 100% genuine, unadulterated real. Not a phony molecule in his body. I honestly wish we had more Americans like him. May his spirit be soaring with the angels of God. He gave us his best and we all loved it.

  • Anonymous January 28, 2023, 5:23 PM

    I hope someone can someday show his daughter all the good that came from her father.

    • hooodathunkit January 28, 2023, 7:55 PM

      It’d be nice, but I think it’d take a big change on her part, which’d also be nice, but unexpected.
      Cynical me, but we can hope.

    • biff February 16, 2023, 9:47 AM

      Like what? Specifically.

  • Glenfilthie January 28, 2023, 5:41 PM

    See ya on the other side, Gerard. Thanks for all the great posts.

  • Jay352 January 28, 2023, 7:21 PM

    And so his ship sails into the night, trailing cut mooring lines… A great mind for sure that will be missed

  • Philip Averbuck January 28, 2023, 8:03 PM

    What a beautiful soul and mind, I hoped he would give his beloved Mother a run for her 104 years. His writings are a treasure!

  • Anonymous January 28, 2023, 8:44 PM

    We know you didn’t.

  • rebecca bossert January 28, 2023, 8:48 PM

    May the Lord watch over you, Gerard, 1st time commenting, and Neo, feel blessed you knew such a “man”. He truly was.

  • Hannah January 28, 2023, 9:07 PM

    May you rest in peace of Christ.

  • David January 28, 2023, 9:27 PM

    Love hopes for all things, forgives all things. There is faith, hope and love, but love is the greatest of these things.
    Love lasts.
    We who remain will miss everything that Gerard had to say and write. So many things to remember.
    Recalling one of the last scenes in “The Alamo”, when they all contemplated their deaths in the morning, and when asked what he was thinking about, Davy Crockett (John Wayne) remarked, “Not thinking of anything….just remembering”

    For you, Neo, and hopefully for Gerard’s daughter; love lasts. As “Time” by Pink Floyd ended…”Thought I’d something more to say…”

  • AbigailAdams January 29, 2023, 5:49 AM

    Last Sunday, January 22nd, the senior pastor, Brian, at Gerard’s church preached a sermon from Romans about Paul’s letter to the persecuted church. By way of illustrating Christian suffering, Brian talked about Gerard — how they met and what happened after that. Brian talks about visiting Gerard in hospice. He nails Gerard’s “voice” as he relates part of their conversation. It made me smile because Gerard and I had many similar conversations about how hard it is to surrender our worldly (self-) importance; how tight a grip this world and its “atta boys” can have on us. It’s a good sermon, but if you want to skip to the part just about Gerard, go to about the 53:00 mark (for context).

    • CT January 29, 2023, 6:55 AM

      Thank you for this!

    • Mike Seyle January 29, 2023, 6:58 AM

      Thank you for posting that sermon, AbigailAdams.

    • David Spence January 29, 2023, 8:22 AM

      Thanks! That is truly wonderful!

    • ghostsniper January 29, 2023, 10:01 AM

      He said Gerard had brain cancer.

      • Dgdavis January 29, 2023, 8:33 PM

        Ghost, to clarify for you. My understanding is Gerard had a widely metastatic neoplasm. I strongly suspect his “brain tumor” was a metastatic deposit from wherever his primary tumor originated and thus far the information pertaining to the primary has not not been shared. My opinion as a pathologist. Primary brain tumors only very very rarely metastasize outside the central nervous system. Tumors originating from other sites/organs frequently metastasize to the nervous system. Hope this is helpful to your understanding.

        • CT January 30, 2023, 7:02 AM

          Thanks for your professional input.

    • Webutante January 30, 2023, 6:36 PM

      Thank you so much AbigailAdams for this grace-filled sermon link. When we come to Christ, God indeed heals us according to His purposes. Indeed, He healed Gerard according to His purposes. Praise God.

  • billrla January 29, 2023, 7:08 AM

    I always enjoyed GVDL’s artistic sensibility. There are some bloggers and websites that just stick with you. This is one of them.

  • Hale Adams January 29, 2023, 7:17 AM

    Cross-posted at the YouTube video of the church service that AbigailAdams references:

    Thank you, Rev. Meyers, for that glimpse of Gerard as “seen from the outside”. There are many of us who have read his blog for years, and have corresponded with him via his comments section, but those sorts of interactions can be “curated” or “tailored” to give a false impression of the true reality of a person. It is to Gerard’s credit that all those interactions always “rang true”. And after hearing your sermon and reading the posts on his blog by “Neo” (his long-time companion), I even more heartily wish that I had had the chance to meet him in the flesh.

    To Gerard, wherever you are …….. as we say in ham radio: “See you further down the log, Old Man.”

    A. Hale Adams, N3NYC

    And thank you, Neo, for being with Gerard all these years, and for being with him at the end.

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s Democratic Republic of Maryland

  • Mike in Canada January 29, 2023, 7:43 AM

    God forgive me, but in my sorrow I am secretly glad your pain is over, and that you will be free of the horrors we who are left shall endure in years to come.
    This is all that is left.

  • T.L. Davis January 29, 2023, 7:51 AM

    A valuable voice that will be sorely missed.

  • Rockne Earles January 29, 2023, 9:06 AM

    I discovered The American Digest only a couple of years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed his eclectic post especially his art and music. I will miss my his blog as so many of my other favorite blogs have gone dark. Farewell Gerard and may God hold you in his gentle hands.

  • CT January 29, 2023, 9:33 AM

    No Man is an Island

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.
    (—John Donne [1572-1631] )

    Spring & Fall: to a young child

    Margaret, are you grieving
    Over Goldengrove unleaving?
    Leaves, like the things of man, you
    With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
    Ah! as the heart grows older
    It will come to such sights colder
    By and by, nor spare a sigh
    Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
    And yet you wíll weep and know why.
    Now no matter, child, the name:
    Sorrow’s springs are the same.
    Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
    What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
    It is the blight man was born for,
    It is Margaret you mourn for.
    (Gerard Manley Hopkins – 1844-1889)
    Many commenters have said things like, “I don’t understand why I feel so deeply about someone I never met.” Others seem to be saying: “What do we do now?” While Gerard was “Still Standing”, we relied on him as a symbol (and expression), I think, of the America most of us (older ones) grew up in; not perfect, but essentially good, essentially free, and getting better! We were proud to be Americans. We believed that America was “the last best hope of man on earth” (–Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan)
    “Duty Beauty Liberty Country Honor Family Faith”

    We have been looking around us for a long time with increasing dread that the America we knew is also collapsing and disappearing. I think we are grieving both the man and our country simultaneously. That is why the grief seems (or is) doubled. Now it is up to us.

    • SK January 29, 2023, 1:17 PM

      You are so right CT.

  • greg January 29, 2023, 11:27 AM

    Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down.

  • Dirk January 29, 2023, 12:33 PM

    Rest easy, my friend.


  • CW January 29, 2023, 12:36 PM

    With both a smile and tears, we wave goodbye. Fair winds and following seas, good mariner.

  • indy January 29, 2023, 1:50 PM

    Go with God and may Justine always remember with love.

  • Terry January 29, 2023, 2:21 PM

    Praying to see you later my friend-

  • Wild, wild west January 29, 2023, 3:58 PM

    Fair winds and a following sea, Gerard. Leave a light on for us, we’ll all be along to join you soon enough.

  • Nori January 29, 2023, 4:28 PM

    Barnhardt.biz posted a great tribute to Gerard that brings up something many of us have been thinking. Did the not-a-vaxx and booster he received cause his Turbocancer? Oncologists in the U.K. and Australia have reported a disturbing uptick in “rare and virulent” cancers in the vaxxed in their countries. I checked cancer.gov/publications/dictionary of the National Cancer Institute
    and learned of MisMatch Repair deficiency,or MMR deficiency. It describes cells that are involved in correcting mistakes made when DNA is copied in a cell.
    MMR deficient cells usually have many mutations,which may lead to cancer.
    The mRNA doses were and are experimental,and they do alter one’s DNA. Everyone’s DNA is different,thus results are not the same for everyone.
    I hope and pray Gerard’s family and Neo find his vaxx cards,which will have the manufacturer and batch number. Copy them and keep in a safe place.

    My intention in bringing this up is not to cause more pain for Gerard’s family nor Neo.
    What I fear is that we’re going to be seeing much more of what he suffered,and much,much more
    “died suddenly” cases this year,and from here on.

    “What Becomes of the BrokenHearted” may become our national anthem.

    • Tom Hyland January 29, 2023, 5:57 PM

      It was very interesting to sit in at Gerard’s church and hear Rev. Bryan share his impressions of their first meeting and their last. Many thanks to Abigail for sharing that link with us. And Nori, I gotta say Gerard was one tolerant dude. I have been one of the major anti-vaxxers on this site and Gerard allowed my deep consternation towards the covid panic and the “vaccines” to be read and shared. Lots of others here are in the same camp. I remember Gerard admitting he’d been jabbed and so my constant unease this past month witnessing his rapid demise has been accompanied by my horrified impression of the vaxx disaster. I’m going to roll back through a lot of posts to read his reactions to all of this but I don’t recall him ever proclaiming regret. But he had to be wondering WTF? and would have remembered our reluctance and warnings. I think I posted a link here to the “Died Suddenly” documentary when it was released this past autumn. Sigh………………….

      • Nori January 29, 2023, 6:55 PM

        Tom, Gerard wrote of his experience the day he went to the clinic to receive his initial jab. It was typical Gerard,matter-of-fact reporting,interlaced with humorous bits. Believe it was during the apex of the hysteria,2019-2021,but I don’t recall the heading of the post. It’s there,somewhere. My research abilities are limited-slow & painful due to my right arm being in a plastic splint from elbow to knuckles due to a broken wrist.
        Agreed,I don’t recall any posts about regret. But then,why would he? He was going full steam ahead until suddenly,very shortly ago,he was’nt.

        • Bunny January 30, 2023, 4:49 AM
          • Tom Hyland January 30, 2023, 9:18 AM

            Yep… there it is… there it was. I remember so clearly now. Written exactly two years ago. Gerard was glib, unapologetic, made his own decision and promised to come back in a month for another jab and probably all those boosters, eventually. Thanks for finding that, Bunny. The comments below are as lucid as ever… those comments emitting from the skeptics, that is. About half and half. Several stating they are rolling up their sleeves. Yikes.

            • Anonymous January 30, 2023, 2:00 PM

              -after having covid 3/20, my two injections of February 2021 knocked me flat, followed with a still-present moderate malaise.

              They lie, they lie, they lie.

            • Richard G. January 30, 2023, 4:43 PM

              Two years TO THE F’n DAY! Dead. Cancer. How?
              What is the mechanism of action?
              Complicated: mRNA is constructed of four nucleotides: Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, and Uracil.
              The fraud surrounding this ‘vaccine’ is they substituted pseudo-uridine for uracil which down regulates the immune response to the ‘non-self’ ‘vaccine’ so your immune system will not attack and immediately destroy the ‘foreign body’ injection.
              It is not an mRNA ‘vaccine’, it is a PSEUDO-mRNA injection. This works to fool the innate immune system.

              Problem: this down regulates the toll like receptors that stand guard as intrusion devices on the barbed wire of your defensive perimeter.
              “Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a class of proteins that play a key role in the innate immune system. They are single-pass membrane-spanning receptors usually expressed on sentinel cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells, that recognize structurally conserved molecules derived from microbes. Once these microbes have reached physical barriers such as the skin or intestinal tract mucosa, they are recognized by TLRs, which activate immune cell responses.”
              Down regulating toll like receptors results in innate immune suppression. VAIDS (vaccine induced immune deficiency syndrome).
              This unfortunately also affects the same innate immune system that stands guard to detect and destroy cancer cells.
              I AM LIVID. THE HUBRIS.
              The safety signals are being ignored.
              People demanded a cure and lined up like lambs for the slaughter.

              • Tom Hyland January 30, 2023, 6:40 PM

                Bill Gates is a man with a bad haircut, a squeaky voice and he wears a pink sweater, and thus he is deeply trusted. Plus, he has bought and paid for almost every newspaper, magazine and online news journal in existence. You are probably aware that televised news is largely sponsored by Pfizer. Scroll down to the bottom of the comments here and click the link to a brief video I posted of an Australian nurse pondering this holocaust. All of this has been planned… so carefully. Even people as brilliant as Gerard were conned and corralled into the trap. LIVID cannot begin to express the exasperation what has occurred… and is still ongoing.

                • Richard G. January 30, 2023, 8:29 PM

                  Just as the Nazis documented their crimes in detailed records, the unfolding of this also is recorded in chronological order in the records of the U S Patent office. Greed uber alles. As this unwinds greed will be their undoing. Tyranny in the guise of public health.

          • Nori January 30, 2023, 5:37 PM

            Bunny,thank you!! “Getting just a little prick…”. Catchy title,typical Gerard humor.
            Reading it now is ominous and sad.
            Thanks again for your excellent sleuthing.

            • Bunny January 31, 2023, 5:12 AM

              You and Tom are quite welcome.

    • CT January 30, 2023, 7:30 AM

      Pandora’s box has been opened, and there is no going back.

    • Joe Krill January 30, 2023, 9:22 AM

      Nori, I hope that all who have read your comment cut, paste and send to everyone on their mailing list. These evil demons who are clothed in the shell of human flesh have one goal–eradicate most of mankind–get the world down to less than 500 million people. It is interesting that the 500 million was on the Georgia Guidestones which were destroyed. Evil drew first blood but I believe the blowback has started. We must be prepared for their next assault.

    • Tom Hyland January 30, 2023, 10:16 AM

      I just read Ann Barnhardt’s reflection upon Gerard’s passing. My sentiments exactly. Everyone should take a look. https://www.barnhardt.biz/2023/01/28/a-lament-for-van-der-leun-ill-be-searching-everywhere-just-to-find-someone-who-cares/

      • Mary Ann January 30, 2023, 1:03 PM

        Somehow I missed that, wow! Talk about feels 💔.

  • Sixtyville January 29, 2023, 5:25 PM

    Thanks for the years of marvelous content. May you have a peaceful leaving and a joyous arrival.

  • Tom Hyland January 29, 2023, 7:24 PM

    That was an interesting read, Rollory, Gerard’s 2004 lament regarding Justine. You are absolutely correct, we don’t know what happened with her connection to the family. Gerard mentioned the disastrous divorce of the early 90’s and I’ve got a theory having seen what can occur amidst these disasters. My sister has been married and divorced 3 times. She is “no prize” as Rodney Dangerfield describes. A stunningly beautiful woman but no insides at all. Her first marriage produced a son and the divorce occurred while he was still in diapers. Every Christmas was child kidnappings, broken furniture, cops, restraining orders, etc. etc. Every holiday! Every birthday! Every everything. She instilled such hatred for this man into her son that the two are total strangers. This was entirely of her volition. If Justine was just a toddler when the disastrous divorce occurred then this could very well be what happened to Gerard. A very brief search on google images produces a large Justine inventory. She’s attractive, she’s published, living in NYC, but if she’s been MIA in Gerard’s life forever, since almost Day One, I bet mommy had something to do with it. https://www.iwmf.org/community/justine-van-der-leun/

  • David Spence January 29, 2023, 7:25 PM

    I think it wiser that all three “stanzas” of your entire unhinged, ignominious tirade be deleted. How dare you come here and sully this site at this time.

    • Gagdad Bob January 29, 2023, 7:30 PM

      To paraphrase Dávila, a great man’s errors pain us because they allow the imbecile criticize him.

  • Nori January 29, 2023, 7:55 PM

    Interesting that someone who despises her father so much keeps his surname.

    • Tom Hyland January 29, 2023, 8:12 PM

      Same deal regarding my nephew. Kept the name… and kept on hatin’.

    • Tom Hyland January 30, 2023, 7:48 AM

      Also interesting Nori is our discussion about Gerard’s daughter Justine has been vaporized. I don’t remember Gerard deleting others’ commentary. I do remember folks asking him directly, “what about your daughter?” and he either had little to say or said nothing. But he didn’t delete the questions.

      • jwm January 30, 2023, 9:34 AM

        Tom: I believe we can thank Neo for that. I woke up this morning ashamed that I had risen to the bait, and pitched a flameball at a troll. Thanks, Neo for the housekeeping.


  • Steve January 29, 2023, 8:51 PM

    My humble observation from having followed this site for many years is that few men have so completely contemplated their life and mortality (including a transient death and resurrection!) as has Gerard. The instant Gerard’s body ceased to function two days ago, he was immediately in the presence of Christ. I and most of us grieve terribly for our loss, but we need to remember that Gerard doesn’t miss us one bit. Not in the least. Rather, he is ecstatic.
    The theologian and philosopher, Dallas Willard, defined joy as the complete absence of fear. Gerard is experiencing much more than joy and is having a blast. While mankind’s common definition of death is when our physical body ceases to function, scripture explains that death is spiritual separation from God. Gerard began eternal life on earth, and his life continues forever, through the grace of his and our Lord.
    We should be celebrating, but it’s very hard to do so. Many or most of us who were regular readers are of the age where we also will be losing our physical bodies in the next 1, 5, 10 or 20 years. But we’ll meet again. And after another ten to twenty thousand years together we’ll look back on our brief time in this world and be amazed we were ever concerned for or saddened by the loss of someone who had been saved. But it sure is hard to stop the tears. I keep reminding myself that we are not crying for Gerard. Instead, we cry for ourselves and our loss, not his loss. Gerard has gained everything.
    We are not saved by our accomplishments or success. We are not condemned by our failures. We are instructed to be faithful and saved by our faith. We can depart this world (immersed) in our sin, or in faith. Gerard endured and won the race. He kept the faith. Praise be to God.

    • Kristin January 30, 2023, 4:10 AM

      Steve thank you. Profound. As I did not cry for my mother’s passing. She was not missing her life of the last months. She was elated to go to the Lord. Free.
      I miss her. But I am happy for her.

    • ghostsniper January 30, 2023, 4:31 AM

      Steve sed: “…we cry for ourselves and our loss…”
      That’s important, and the root of why we are now feeling the way we do.
      Our loss, on several levels.
      I’m trying, and not being very successful, to be more glad that I knew Gerard than that he is now gone.
      Zooming out a little bit, I am also sad that AD is slowly dying right now and nothing can replace it. It’s my own fault. I fell under the spell of Gerard’s magnificent writing and his recipe for running a very enticing blog. Everyday the blog entries here were interesting, varied, and compelling. Compelling one to read the comments for more info and comment yourself to add to the mix.

      American Digest became more than just another blog, it became a community for like minded folks where everyone was special and had something worth saying and hearing. When my FIL retired he started going to a local coffee shop to imbibe his caffeine with some other local old doods. In time they became friends and every meet became an invitation and a responsibility to the others. A meeting of minds, wits, where the talked, exchanged ideas and comments, chided and praised each other and filled in the voids in their lives previously occupied by their life long vocations. This is what AD became to me. A reliable and comfortable place to hang out and learn (and teach?), and experience others views on the many, many topics that Gerard posed a each and every day.

      Imagine the effort required of Gerard to be able to assemble such a cornucopia reliably and completely like he has done over such a long time. Surely he enjoyed what he was doing.

      And the way he ran the blog, in a sort of “hands off” manor. Commenting frequently but not overtly, never heavy handed, expecting the participants to be civil to one another and for the most part they were. Gerard was the bloggers bloggist, none better.

      American Digest was complete. In so, it caused me to constantly “thin out” my blog roll. Many past blogs I had frequented had dropped by the wayside as AD was keeping more of my attention so I no longer needed them. Though my blog/website list is long for the past few years I have only been visiting 5-8 of them on a regular basis. AD took up the rest of my online time and I never hungered for anything else.

      But now my hunger is growing and I am floundering. Deflated. I have a longing, a yearning, but the blogiverse as I know it is not fulfilling my need. Probably for my own betterment I am doing more things away from the internet. This may be a passing phase and in time I will find a new course. I just don’t know.

      • jwm January 30, 2023, 6:23 AM

        That takes the laurel, Ghostsiper. I wish I could have said it so well.


      • Richard G. January 31, 2023, 9:16 AM

        ” I am also sad that AD is slowly dying right now and nothing can replace it.”
        A quote from Dr. John Campbell: “Without oxygen the machine (the brain) stops. With out the machine the machinery breaks.”
        I too am missing the synergy that Gerard brought to me through AD, but I sit at my window in my mountains vast and the Universe out side is no less full of wonder as it continues to careen along, oblivious to men’s machinations.
        In the spirit of Gerard I offer up what I suspect is one of his favorite poets, written as disaster consumed the world of men.

        THE EYE
        The Atlantic is a stormy moat; and the Mediterranean,
        The blue pool in the old garden,
        More than five thousand years has drunk sacrifice
        Of ships and blood, and shines in the sun; but here the Pacific–
        Our ships, planes, wars are perfectly irrelevant.
        Neither our present blood-feud with the brave dwarfs
        Nor any future world-quarrel of westering
        And eastering man, the bloody migrations, greed of power, clash of
        Is a speck of dust on the great scale-pan.
        Here from this mountain shore, headland beyond stormy headland
        plunging like dolphins through the blue sea-smoke
        Into pale sea–look west at the hill of water: it is half the
        this dome, this half-globe, this bulging
        Eyeball of water, arched over to Asia,
        Australia and white Antartica: those are the eyelids that never
        this is the staring unsleeping
        Eye of the earth; and what it watches is not our wars.

        -Robinson Jeffers

        Vulture (1963)

        I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside
        Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling high up in heaven,
        And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit narrowing, I understood then
        That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-feathers
        Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.
        I could see the naked red head between the great wings
        Bear downward staring. I said, “My dear bird, we are wasting time here.
        These old bones will still work; they are not for you.”
        But how beautiful he looked, gliding down
        On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering
        away in the sea-light over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
        That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten
        by that beak and become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes–
        What a sublime end of one’s body, what an enskyment;
        What a life after death.

        • Tom Hyland January 31, 2023, 8:42 PM

          Very nice, Richard. This is what I loved about American Digest. So many people who contributed these sparkling poetic offerings they remembered from days past… or simply plundered forth and dabbled in their own creative imaginings for our appreciation. Poetry is a lot like improv music. Though the words could be here a hell of a lot longer.

  • Joe Krill January 29, 2023, 9:06 PM

    Steve, Beautifully said. “I keep reminding myself that we are not crying for Gerard. Instead, we cry for ourselves and our loss, not his loss.” Thank you.

  • Kay B January 30, 2023, 7:59 AM

    Two quotes from Wendell Berry:
    “I don’t believe that grief passes away. It has its time and place forever. More time is added to it; it becomes a story within a story. But grief and griever alike endure.”
    “After a while, though the grief did not go away from us, it grew quiet. What had seemed a storm wailing through the entire darkness seemed to come in at last and lie down.”

  • RigelDog January 30, 2023, 9:24 AM

    “Go rest high on that mountain.
    Son, your work on Earth is done.
    Go to Heaven
    Love for the Father, and the Son.”

    That’s how I hope it is, to run to Jesus shouting with Joy and Love and to be swept up in His everlasting arms.

  • Jim in Alaska January 30, 2023, 9:43 AM

    Sooner or later, at every Irish wake, someone notes, “He had a good run” and a glass or more it tipped to his life.

    8:30 in the morning here, none the less a shot of Jameson, and as the Aussies say; you’re a right bastard Gerard. Here to ya, you had a damn good run!

    Miss the guy? Sure, but glad, most glad, he was.

    Thanks Neo.

  • David Spence January 30, 2023, 1:07 PM

    A tremendous tribute from Morgan Freeburg at House of Eratosthenes:

  • Steve from UK January 30, 2023, 1:54 PM

    As a Brit, I turned often to American Digest, for there are many truths we share across the Atlantic. I am grateful to Gerard for what he brought to me and my understanding of life. R.I.P

  • Mike Seyle January 30, 2023, 3:32 PM

    I just keep coming back, and wonder when that will end. I think it needs to, but addictions are hard to break.

  • Roll-aid January 30, 2023, 3:40 PM

    I may have missed it, but have the family released where GVL will have his final resting place? I would expect it to be in or around Paradise.

  • Tom Hyland January 30, 2023, 4:29 PM

    Here is a brief video… Max Igan down in Mexico reading the observations of an Australian nurse as she compares the many vaccines of the past to this peculiar potion that was hoisted upon so many.

  • Chris Garcia January 31, 2023, 1:25 AM

    I’ve enjoyed many of Gerard posting over the past 15 years or so. My last communication with him was when he sent me a bumper sticker that states “Every time I buy gas, I hate Biden more”. Its probably been on the tailgate of my 2012 Dodge Ram Truck for about a year now. I’ve been thinking about removing it but now, it will just have to reside there for a bit longer. Rest in Peace Gerard. God Bless your soul

  • mike ryan January 31, 2023, 4:58 AM

    what happened to Olive?

  • Physics Geek January 31, 2023, 12:09 PM

    Gerard, you will be missed by many. The world is a lesser place without you, but it was a better place for having you in it.

  • Joan of Argghh! January 31, 2023, 2:28 PM

    “Never now to stagger or to slip
    back into the shadows and the rain,
    back into the warm musk of the day,
    but, keen as an iron blade
    touched to the tongue,
    we sail forever on these slate seas
    out to the far edge of imagine,
    and on, and still on beyond,
    into the heart of the stars,
    into the silence of their song.”


    • jwm January 31, 2023, 3:08 PM

      That is my absolute favorite thing that Gerard wrote.


    • David Spence January 31, 2023, 5:42 PM

      What a gift he shared with us!

  • Cletus Socrates January 31, 2023, 2:56 PM

    Safe travels, my friend.

  • Dave Jenkins January 31, 2023, 3:23 PM

    Go in Glory GVdL! I hope your family will come to know how much that you, your thoughts and writing was appreciated.

  • D S Craft February 1, 2023, 10:28 AM

    I feel a little lost. This was always one of my first stops of the day. This was my rock. For 20 years this has been my beacon and now it’s gone. Mr. Van Der Leun, where ever you are are, I know it’s someplace good.

  • MJA February 1, 2023, 2:08 PM

    I remember a long time ago, Vanderleun was on a podcast with a handful of people
    pretty much all talking at once. Suddenly, we heard running water and some other noises.
    Someone said, “Vanderleun, are you doing the dishes?”
    He said he was. 😂
    I still laugh about it.

    We will miss his posts. And his face. 🙂

  • Chuck Quackenbush February 1, 2023, 4:28 PM

    blue skies, Gerard Vanderleun

  • gwbnyc February 2, 2023, 1:19 PM

    well, I’ve waited around here long enough for G vDL to pop up in the thread with a hearty “Made ya look!!”
    …but he aint gonna show, I guess.

    All, I hope you’ll fare well.

  • Biaggio Rinaldi (Lefty) February 2, 2023, 4:51 PM

    I am a subscriber on Gerald’s supported blog. It is newamericandigest.com. Until his death was posted on another blog that I follow I wasn’t aware that the .org site was available. I checked daily on the newamericandigest.com for updates but they stopped after Jan. 6th with the Still (Almost) Standing entry. He was an inspiration to me and to many others as shown by the many comments on this site. May you rest in peace Gerald and you be remembered by everyone who has read your work.

  • Terry February 2, 2023, 7:05 PM

    Through American Digest, I learned lessons of life I could never have learned by any other means. Not only Gerard’s words, but the numerous wiser than me commenters.

    I thank you all. And especially Gerard. Rest Well my dear friend-

  • MajorKong64 February 5, 2023, 8:42 PM

    I read every comment on the thread. What a fine tribute.
    I found Gerard too late as it were but I am thankful I have 2 years to catch up.

    Some people have a gift. The difference between a good artist and a great one. A good writer v a great one.

    On estrangement. I once had a Catholic priest, a good friend, here from Ireland. He could be vicious and in time I learned that his father had beaten him and belittled him 100’s of times as a child. He told me that he had never gotten over it to include the 8 years of sobriety his father managed before finding his grave. He carried four or five stones from that grave in his pocket every day.

    Des C found his own grave in early 2008. In fact, one day from this one.

    He never got over his father. He told me that no person can carry your burden or tell you how to feel. That I think was one of his great gifts to me.

  • BJM February 13, 2023, 5:15 PM

    I’ve wanted to post, but I couldn’t find the words. Words. Gerard’s words have been a presence in my life since he voiced them at Cal all those years ago. Goodnight sweet prince.

  • H.D. Miller February 15, 2023, 10:41 AM

    Terrible news. I’ve been a fan of Gerard’s since way back in the day, at the very beginning of American Digest. He always offered me (and The Manolo) the kindest and most encouraging words. I will miss him very much.