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The news on Gerard so far

I saw Gerard yesterday and I believe he’s quite close to death, perhaps days to a week. I’m not going to go into details except to say that meaningful conversation seems to have ceased, and he has also stopped drinking water. He’s being cared for attentively at a good place.

I’ll add what many of you may have learned already, which is that I am the blogger known as The New Neo. I’ve been writing these updates all along, and I’m also the person who was staying with Gerard eleven years ago when he had his cardiac arrest.

Unlike Gerard, I’m a fairly private person and don’t go in for much disclosure, dramatic or otherwise. But he wanted me to let people know, and I decided that was fine with me.

Gerard and I met through our blogging nearly eighteen years ago, became a couple about a year later, and have stayed extremely close for many years. We never lived together but would visit each other for lengthy periods, travel together, and have talked on the phone almost every day for most of the time we’ve been apart. He deferred to my need for privacy by not writing about our relationship, although I appear in some of his writings as the mysterious woman who was there for this or that occasion. For instance, I confess to also being the food eroder. That essay is a reminder of happier times.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Leah January 26, 2023, 8:30 AM

    Bless you, I read this over on your blog. It suddenly made sense. Prayers for Gerard for an easy passing. Stopping to drink water does mean the end. He is extremely lucky to have you there. I’m glad you have been in his life all these years – since there has been so much sadness there.

  • jwm January 26, 2023, 8:38 AM

    Thank you, and God Bless.


  • Mike Seyle January 26, 2023, 8:41 AM

    Yes, thank you, and God Bless.

  • Juliette January 26, 2023, 8:43 AM

    My love and prayers to you both. Thank you for letting us know. Peace be with you.

  • ghostsniper January 26, 2023, 8:56 AM

    Thank you for the update, but I was expecting/hoping for a better result.
    I’ve visited your site many times but have never commented, I may become a regular now.
    This whole thing has sort of taken the wind out of my internet sail and I’m in freefall.
    I’ll land eventually.

    • jwm January 26, 2023, 8:58 AM

      yeah. Me too.

      John M

      • George January 26, 2023, 5:51 PM

        Yes, same here.

    • julie January 26, 2023, 9:25 AM

      Yes, same here.

    • Terry January 26, 2023, 5:48 PM

      Yes, a freefall down to a dark place . . .

      Thank you Neo. Gerard is in good hands.

      God bless-

  • Dave January 26, 2023, 9:06 AM

    I have enjoyed Gerard’s writing since he lived on a house boat in Lake Union. Yours, too. I am happy that you two had each other in your lives. Remember the happy times.

    Peace, Neo.

  • jd January 26, 2023, 9:16 AM

    Thank you, Neo, for everything. Some of us have found comfort in
    your revelation, first because we are glad of his being accompanied
    on his final trip (as your latest post seems to attest) by a loving companion
    with a history of daily interaction but also because this gives us hope
    of hearing about his final days. This has been such a tragic shock to all
    of us regulars and to be totally shut out of the life of someone many of us
    consider family between learning of his illness and its final outcome is part of
    the difficult equation.

    I have no doubt this is much more difficult for you and I (we) so appreciate your
    updates and the fact that you are with Gerard. May God bless you both as
    I know He does.

    • Roll-aid January 26, 2023, 10:57 AM

      I could not say it much better. I have been an infrequent & light poster for both blogs and it was an honor to have a personal reply. God bless you both.

  • Kay B January 26, 2023, 9:28 AM

    Bless you and thank you for this update. Even though he is past conversation now, I hope and believe that your voice and words may penetrate and have meaning to him. I am thankful you are there and continue to pray.

  • CA January 26, 2023, 9:36 AM

    Thank you, ma’am, for everything then and now.


  • Robert Knepp January 26, 2023, 9:39 AM

    Prayers for Gerard.

  • Dirk January 26, 2023, 9:52 AM

    Thank you for being with GV in these end times. Being, talking with, perhaps hold his hand, just being there for him, deserves all our respect. Thank you.

    The world is about to loose another great. Like Ol Remus, death comes quickly, unexpectedly.

    Sad really. Takes a life time to obtain all that worldly knowledge GV has, a lot of hard knocks, a lot of soul searching. A lot of bold honesty to speak the truth, say what needs said.

    Seems in this day and age that kind of Sage wisdom is flickering, bordering on non existence. Gerard is a leader a passionate leader, who maybe never realized his leadership, certainly down played it.

    Honestly his wisdom will be hard to replace, he’s different, not a glory seeker like so so many other bloggers.

    GV, has been directly responsible for my returning to God, I spoke of Gerard last night in church group, asking for prayers for his painless passing. We spoke in depth about the holy sprit and our human souls being “ Sealed”. Our ticket to gods kingdom.

    Absolutley zero doubt in my peabrain that Gerard is headed directly to gods side.

    May he rest in peace,,,,,I for one will never forget him. In fact if I’m lucky enough to make heavens gate someday, I will be seeking him out immediately to rekindle our teacher student friendship.

    God bless you brother, and thank you for the wisdom you’ve shared with me, us all.


  • John Venlet January 26, 2023, 9:59 AM

    Thank you. Though the news is sad, Gerard’s passing into God’s hands is to be rejoiced. God bless and watch over you, also, and grant you peace.

  • Mike in Canada January 26, 2023, 10:06 AM

    The library about to burn down here is vast, vast….

    God speed, sir. You blessed us with your wisdom and insight, and for these gifts we are the better. In the way of things, we shall now endure the diminishing.

    Blessings to The Food Eroder in this hour.

    • ghostsniper January 26, 2023, 11:03 AM

      You have no idea how vast.
      5.04 GB vast.
      I downloaded the whole site, took a little more than 36 hours of continuous downloading.
      11,777 folders, 67,114 files.
      Used a program called Cyotek Webcopy
      Started at Tuesday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2023, ‏‎9:36:57 AM and ended last night about 10pm.

      • Anne January 26, 2023, 11:58 AM

        Oh Ghost–Thank you so much for doing this. In the time to come, we can perhaps turn this collection into several volumes speaking clearly to who he is and the work he did. I have been so worried about losing this or even worse having someone go through and choose what they like and want to save. He was the “whole package” and I want a chance to be able to reflect on any part in the future.

      • Dan Patterson January 26, 2023, 1:57 PM

        Your work is the stuff of heroes.
        Thank you.

      • Dinah January 26, 2023, 5:03 PM

        Oh, my! This is spectacular news. It’s wonderful you’ve gone to this trouble and it is comforting to know the many, many treasures will not be lost to the ether. Thank you for this ghost!

      • Terry January 26, 2023, 5:54 PM

        Wow, ghost, I did not even know one could download a site.

        I am happy to read you did this.

      • Boat Guy January 26, 2023, 8:59 PM

        Thank you for doing this! GvdL will live on through this site being preserved.
        Thanks as well to Neo; bless you!

      • Casey Klahn January 27, 2023, 7:16 AM

        There have been many classic books compiled post-mort, This thing you’ve done is incredible, Ghost. Now a publisher for this, and on the subject of what replaces AD, the answer is nothing ever will.

      • Bill Henry January 27, 2023, 8:11 AM

        Thank you ghost…

        Gerard has been a blessing…

        I have to go, I have something in my eyes…

  • Paddy January 26, 2023, 10:09 AM

    I haven’t been able to bring myself to delete Remus’s bookmark in my browser, though he’s not been with us for over two years. Now this…


    This world sure can suck at times.

    • Anonymous January 26, 2023, 11:53 AM

      still got mine;)

    • Boat Guy January 26, 2023, 9:01 PM

      Beg to differ; we had Remus and GvdL, thus were we blessed.

    • Frosty13 January 27, 2023, 11:48 AM

      Paddy, exactly my thoughts. This is not a happy Friday.

  • captflee January 26, 2023, 10:10 AM

    Thanks so much for the updates, and for being there.

  • The Thomas January 26, 2023, 10:25 AM

    So glad you made it. Spending these last days with Gerard will make his passing easier on you. I know that the time I spent with my Father made it easier on me. It didn’t’t help my brother as he was not there. Take your time and be with GV.

    We’ll still be there when you get back.


  • Phil in Mount Dora January 26, 2023, 10:32 AM

    Thank you for the update. Sorry to see Gerard leave us, but we all go one day. He has enriched many lives by sharing his with us for many years. He will be appreciated forever.

  • John A. Fleming January 26, 2023, 10:38 AM

    Oh my. Mr. G’s time here is very short now. I have been so blessed by his efforts.

  • The Thomas January 26, 2023, 10:54 AM

    Note that my picture is at least 25 years old, although I suspect that it is more than 10 years older than that. I only update my pictures when I think I have changed enough.

    Real me has less hair and the grey now covers the lower half of the sides. I used to eliminate my grey by getting a hair cut which would remove the curly stuff on the sides.

    You take care and get your rest (as much as you can during the current transition).


  • Dian January 26, 2023, 10:59 AM

    Gracias a la Vida –you and G. have given the world a true, beautiful. and rare voice. Sending you all the strength and patience to accompany Mr. G across the ocean to the other side .
    so grateful for all the stunning art and photos through these years of reading and laughing at his posts.
    Keep us updated on Mr. Black Cat
    “Good Night, Sweet Prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”

  • Mary Martha January 26, 2023, 11:01 AM

    “O Lord, now let Thy servant depart in peace,
    According to Thy word;
    For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation
    Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples,
    A light to enlighten the Gentiles,
    And the glory of Thy people Israel.”

  • Princess Cutekitten January 26, 2023, 11:03 AM

    God bless you and be with you in your sorrow, Neo, and may he grant Gerard an easy death.

  • Deborah January 26, 2023, 11:04 AM

    Birthday Card Girl here.
    Sixty years of Gerard in my life not nearly enough.
    Grateful that there’s love holding his hand.

  • Jack Lawson January 26, 2023, 11:21 AM


    I love you man! Sad to have you leaving us alone on this planet.

    Like a military posting to a station, not always of your preference or choosing, you made being stationed here much easier with your deep dimensional writing, humor and presence. I hope to show half the talent in writing that you have, by my end time.

    We’re each one of billions of souls that have been stationed here. I am curious as to the next posting… as you must be… what comes after your conscious life on this planet. I would have gone into combat with you anytime… as I know your courage by your writing, Gerard.

    Anyone who denies continuation of our souls and being, is a shortsighted fool. Einstein said… “You can change Energy (our Electro-chemical soul) to Matter… and you can change Matter to Electro-chemical Energy… but you cannot destroy either one… you can only change the State of it.”

    So, it is simply off to another dimension for you, My Friend… and we will miss you in this one.

    God Speed for you,

    Jack Lawson AKA John Jack LaDukeMember, Sully H. deFontaine Special Forces Association Chapter 51, Las Vegas, Nevada

    Author of the “Civil Defense Manual,” “The Slaver’s Wheel,” “A Failure of Civility,” “And We Hide From The Devil” and “In Defense.”

    “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” – Anonymous

    From Jack Lawson… an American in 1RLI Support Commando and attached to Rhodesian “C Squadron” SAS Africa 1977-79

  • CT January 26, 2023, 11:46 AM

    Thank you, Neo, for being there and for all you have done (and will yet do).
    I must confess that I am somewhat angry that he has been mostly hospitalized for over 4 weeks now and was just diagnosed a week ago with something fatal, with days to “live” (if one can call his current state “living”). I know this is the smart phone age, when we expect to know everything immediately, but I truly cannot understand how this diagnosis took 3 weeks. And even if the diagnosis lacked some fine points, I believe he should have been in hospice at least two weeks ago. I am angry that he was alone, and shuffled around, and was suffering until very recently.

    I am the one who preaches “accept what you cannot change”, which generally is good counsel in most instances. But I am also close to GV’s age (as are many here), and have a library degree from UC Berkeley (MLIS, 1988) which I earned under very difficult conditions in my 40’s. I was a reference librarian until 2003. I know quite a lot about quite a lot of things, and if I don’t know something I (as a librarian) can generally find the answer. There are only so many possible causes of extreme back pain. I don’t believe in “blaming” others for any given reality. But I hate what happened as it did.

    Forgive me if this is upsetting. I don’t want it to be.
    I will hope to take every possible precaution to avoid this kind of situation happening to me.

    Your presence there is a great gift. Blessings on you.

    • Anne January 26, 2023, 12:13 PM

      Thank you CT, I feel the same uneasiness about the situation. I have two experiences to use as reference:
      First: My husband’s younger brother was diagnosed with lung cancer. After a round of chemo and some surgery, he was back on the road to see the world (Nepal if I remember correctly). Two years later the C beast showed up in his testicles. Another round of chemo and he was back up again heading out to South America. Another two years and the beast had arrived in his thyroid. A round of chemo and some surgery in his neck and jaw. A little longer recovery and out the door he went again–Asia I think this time. All in all the length of time from start to end was about 12 years.

      Second: I have a dear friend whose son was diagnosed with skin cancer. He lives in Central California. The confusion and the incompetence of the medical staff were stunning. The confusion lasted two years in several different hospitals, labs, etc. before a start to recovery.

      I am sure there are several people here who have had similar experiences in their own community. For us not having more info as to what type of cancer, when was it first diagnosed, and most importantly was it possible to go to other facilities for second opinions? Having some of this information would help us to better understand and accept.
      Thank you again,

      • CT January 26, 2023, 2:34 PM

        Sounds to me like pancreatic cancer, which is slow to manifest and then fast to progress. By the time it is diagnosed, it has usually metastasized. No time to seek out second opinions in this case, probably. But whatever it is, it seems that it should have been near the top of the list of things to rule out. I guess people who are closer to doctors and hospitals, and have a primary care doctor, probably have a better chance of diagnosis. (And people who make it their mission to get the facts, whether it be the patient or an advocate for the patient.)

  • Pamela January 26, 2023, 12:03 PM

    Gerard is in God’s Safekeeping. Please take car of yourself and give Mr. Black Cat a scritch.

  • Sisjustjen January 26, 2023, 12:07 PM

    Dear Neo, write on.
    Thank you for the refuge of your blog and your gracious will to share this trial.
    Just ruthless.

    Mr. Van der Leun is bound swift and sure to the arms of the Savior and there’s a golden typewriter up there. What a messenger he’s been here on Earth. The angel guild’ll welcome him.

    I spent Nov at the piano with his Fascists by Fire Alone poem and sent him the recording on his bday. Oh what a soul!
    He wrote so we’d know.

    If anyone wants to hear it please contact me

  • Flappr January 26, 2023, 12:21 PM

    This is devastating news. Mr. VDL was very kind and generous to us with his time.

    We will pray for him and his family.

  • NealinPomerene January 26, 2023, 12:37 PM

    My heart is breaking…

    All hands on deck, we’ve run afloat
    I heard the captain cry
    “Explore the ship, replace the cook”
    “Let no one leave alive!”

    Across the straits, around the horn
    How far can sailors fly?
    A twisted path, our tortured course
    And no one left alive

    Procol Harem – A Salty Dog

  • Trooper John Smith January 26, 2023, 1:24 PM

    Although I’ve been reading this site for almost 20 years, I’ve never commented. I don’t know what to say now, but I pray for his peaceful transition. His passing will leave a huge hole in the interwebz. I told my wife yesterday that I don’t understand how I could be so deeply affected by the loss of someone I never met. That has to be a testament to the character of the man. Godspeed, Gerard. And, thank you Neo, for being the Updater. You will both be in my prayers.

    • Richard G. January 26, 2023, 4:47 PM

      And yet I still mourn Mark Twain’s passing, and Shakespeare. Quite a pantheon he will be joining.

  • Spencer January 26, 2023, 1:25 PM

    Prayers for you both, and much love

    • Jeff Brokaw January 27, 2023, 9:38 AM

      What Spencer said.

      Not many people can say they touched so many lives in such a positive and life-affirming way. Gerard will live on in the minds of so many of us as a kind of angel who helped us see the good things in the world especially when that was hardest to do.

      I am eternally grateful. Godspeed, Gerard.

  • LH January 26, 2023, 1:29 PM

    I am so sorry to hear this. I thought Gerard just had covid and was recovering. I’ve enjoyed his blog for years. God bless you, Gerard. Love.

  • LH January 26, 2023, 1:30 PM

    Trooper John Smith, I feel the same as you. You said it well.

  • Raymond January 26, 2023, 1:32 PM

    If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1st.Corn. 15:19) OH death, where is thy sting. O grave, where is thy victory ? But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory thru our Lord Jesus Christ….

    • David January 26, 2023, 9:26 PM


      Everytime I come here and start reading, I just feel so terribly sad.
      Godspeed to Gerard, and Go bless you, “New Neo”, as you sit with Gerard during this deathwatch.

      It’s been a lifetime since I did this with my late Father, who died of cancer in 1977. It is not easy, but sometimes struggles with pain, sorrow and suffering give us a deeper insight into the world and its true nature.

      “‘Lo, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of death, I will not be afraid”

  • RCW January 26, 2023, 1:40 PM

    All time with a loved one in their last days is well spent. Godspeed & bless.

  • Snakepit Kansas January 26, 2023, 2:07 PM

    Sounds like a tumor on the spine I wonder if that is what has been causing the pain in his feet.

    Shit. I’ve been blue all week over this. Shitty day? Let’s see what is going on at American Digest. Gerard always had something worth reading and pondering. Casey, Ghost, Mike, Dirk, PA Cat, jwm, etc. etc. always had good stuff to add. Shortly this will be gone. Yes, I am going to remain blue for a while.

    Very relieved to know Gerard has people close to him in this time.

    • Casey Klahn January 27, 2023, 7:25 AM

      Snake, I’ve been wanting to write something to the regular comment taters and readership, but sadness and my ADHD cripple me. Probably I’ll have to paint my feelings somehow.

      No more shall we comment here and agree, and fight, and inform, and bullshit, and read, and agree. Maybe there’ll be a tall pint of mead on some Blue Moon table in Valhalla, where Gerard will hold court and welcome each of you in your good time. I would name each one of you but I fear I’ll forget one and that would devastate me.

      If I can keep my feet out of the hellfire, I will meet each of you in Valhalla, if not some other strange enclave on the internets. Please use my e-mail anytime.

  • w. walker January 26, 2023, 2:10 PM

    and in the end..all things merge into one..and a river runs through it

  • TrangBang68 January 26, 2023, 2:34 PM

    I don’t want to make this about me at all, but I have felt for some time a kinship with Gerard because in our youths we explored some different paths and later in life through circumstance we found our way home, like Kris Kristofferson wrote in “The Pilgrim”;” taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home” Let me add a lovely song;

  • Trooper John Smith January 26, 2023, 2:38 PM

    Ghostsniper, I trust you will direct us all to the Trove you have graciously downloaded? I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to revisit some of Gerard’s wonderful words in future. Thanks.

  • Dan Patterson January 26, 2023, 2:51 PM

    Not everyone we love loves us back. The people that do are the ones we grieve most and regret lost time over; grief and regret are like dying, a part of life.

    Gerard had a life that touched many of us, mostly unseen, and it is an influence and lesson we should learn from. Neo and others with personal experience will feel the loss most, and it is them we should offer our comfort and not our selfish sense of loss.

    A few of Gerard’s essays and articles rose to the top of many lists, but my strongest connection to his personal story was a different, probably less popular one. We share an experience with a shotgun, but at different stages, and probably for the same reason. He was delivered from destruction by an unknown force moving his heart and returning that tool to the store, along with a box of shells; my protection was a failed primer and I still have the gun. But that we had the motivation to test it was a bond I felt even if he didn’t; to go that distance is a trip you wish on no one.

    After his dad died Gerard saw him twice. Once as the man he knew growing up and once as a man near death , confused in a bloodied hospital gown and I do not doubt the reality of those visions one bit. I’ve had visits like that, maybe that is another unspoken bond. I wrote to Gerard that I’d not met his dad but I by-God know many men like him. He was Sharp, clean and crisp, a Gillette man so to speak and sold cars for a good while and always with the customer’s best interests in mind. No foolishness and no hidden meanings anywhere. Gerard’s dad taught him well, as did his loving mom though lessons differed strongly in content and form.

    I asked him in June about the Redwood tree and he said he was looking at it as he wrote the reply. I keep that image as I wish him a peaceful journey to a better life.

  • Lynda Shafer/Humdeedee January 26, 2023, 2:52 PM

    I didn’t know Gerard’s American Digest nearly long enough – only a few years, but from the first visit it became my everyday visit, reading and clicking on links and loving his stories, and rants and poetry and wonderful ability to cruise around the internet finding the most interesting stuff imaginable to share with us. His music posts and memories about the various artists from his days as a journalist and editor were like a peek behind the curtain. The sidebar was a treat to scroll down, and he mentioned a few times that he was happy to know it solicited interest.

    I know, though I didn’t “know” him, that he is a good man, in heart and soul. He earned a loyal cadre of readers and gave us a place to congregate and wax elegant or spout off or argue about the subject de jour. The readers comments are a favorite part of American Digest, and if I may say, the calibre of reader drawn here is a testament to Gerard’s strength of character.

    I will miss him and American Digest and my heart will suffer his loss for a long time to come. I’m losing a good friend, and all of us are losing a good man, but the memory of his time with us will remain until, with hope, we join him in the loving embrace of Heaven. What a reunion that will be!

    Neo, thank you for sharing his final days with us, and I wish you comfort and strength during this time.

  • Richard Fernandez January 26, 2023, 3:21 PM

    As there as I can be.

  • baldilocks January 26, 2023, 3:31 PM

    God be with you, Neo.

  • Mike Austin January 26, 2023, 3:34 PM

    There is now a tremendous hole in my life than cannot be filled. It will remain empty until I join Gerard in God’s Eternal Fields of Gold. Eventually all of us here at American Digest will join him as well. But not yet. Not yet. There are still “miles to go before I sleep.”

    • Joe Krill January 26, 2023, 5:08 PM

      Mike, In many ways you have Gerard’s attributes. Keep the faith.

  • AbigailAdams January 26, 2023, 3:54 PM

    We’ve been in long distance touch with Gerard’s church family, especially his mentor there, over the course of the past several weeks — since the first time he was kept at the hospital and was unable to take phone calls. I just want to say here that there is a legion of unsung heroes in Chico who have done exactly what a church family does at a time like this. They’ve been loving on him, taking care of his daily needs (up until he was last hospitalized), listening to him, praying for and with him; there for him. We are profoundly grateful to God for placing Neo where she was when Gerard suffered that heart attack. Our Lord works in the most mysterious ways. Usually the only way to see his footprints is by looking backward to where we think only one set, one’s own feet, made an impression. Gerard survived back then because God saw fit for him to cross paths with people who would tend the seeds within him which were planted long ago in his childhood. There is another entire community of people, Gerard’s church family, Grace Community Church in Chico, who will keenly feel the pain of his death, and who are buoyed in their spirits by the certain knowledge that Gerard will indeed be soon enough counted among the saints for all eternity.

    • Dan Patterson January 26, 2023, 5:02 PM

      That was as comforting a message as any on here.
      This must be the church, and support of that family will be useful.

      • AbigailAdams January 26, 2023, 7:00 PM

        I’m glad it brought comfort to you. It brings comfort to me, too. God bless and keep you, Dan.

    • Terry January 26, 2023, 6:31 PM

      Thank you for posting your comment AbigailAdams.

      The void in my simple life is growing and is seemingly a black hole with no way out.

      I am about six months older than Gerard. Even though he and I have never met face to face, it seems as if we are brothers. I was born and raised in a small town on HWY 49 about 2-1/2 hrs south of Paradise.

      American Digest has been my Home Page for almost twenty years.

      Gerard will be walking with God . . . I pray I can walk with them.

      • AbigailAdams January 26, 2023, 7:07 PM

        Hi Terry, You’re not alone. I wish I could share my contact info with you because I’d like to talk about our Lord Jesus directly with you. I’d like to remind you that he loves you and died for our sins and justifies us before our Father in heaven. I’d like to remind you that with him you are never alone and the only way out is “..the way, the truth, and the life.” I know the loving people at Grace Community Church have an open line to anyone with questions. I’d encourage you to give them a call (phone at their website). That’s a start. Tell ’em Gerard sent you. God bless you, Terry.

    • CT January 26, 2023, 6:53 PM

      This is great to know. Thank you.

  • Stephen Barron January 26, 2023, 4:23 PM

    You and Gerard are good people. I’m happy you found each other and were/are able to give each other comfort. From my limited perspective, he is surrounded by wonderful people who love him. God bless and keep you.

  • Waldgangers January 26, 2023, 4:25 PM

    We will never forget our raconteur and hopefully the AD page will remain up as a remembrance.
    The really great pages are ones where you recall the first time you visited and how thrilling it was to find a voice in the wilderness.

  • Wheel January 26, 2023, 4:40 PM

    Thank you, and Godspeed Gerard. You have done an exemplary job of shining a light to show us all wonderful things. Have faith.

  • Webutante January 26, 2023, 5:03 PM

    Thank you so much AbigailAdams for your comment about Gerard’s spiritual formation and growth in Christ over these past years. What an amazing testimony!

    I made Gerard’s acquaintance online soon after having a salvation experience in 2007 at McLean Bible Church in McLean, VA. As I read American Digest over ensuing years, I felt a heavy burden to pray for Gerard’s salvation and proceeded to do that for well over a decade. I’m sure I’m one of dozens and dozens of prayers for his salvation. It is so heartening that the prayers of the saints have been productive by God’s Grace. So in the midst of incredible sadness, I feel incredible joy for the final destination of His servant Gerard.

    Also, I am praying for Neo and so grateful for her beautiful posts and friendship with Gerard.

  • Webutante January 26, 2023, 5:05 PM

    Thank you so much AbigailAdams for your comment about Gerard’s spiritual formation and growth in Christ over these past years. What an amazing testimony!

    I made Gerard’s acquaintance online soon after having a salvation experience in 2007 at McLean Bible Church in McLean, VA. As I read American Digest over ensuing years, I felt a heavy burden to pray for Gerard’s salvation and proceeded to do that for well over a decade. I’m sure I’m one of dozens and dozens of prayers for his salvation. It is so heartening that the prayers of the saints have been productive by God’s Grace. So in the midst of incredible sadness, I feel incredible joy for the final destination of His servant Gerard.

    Also, I am praying for Neo and so grateful for her beautiful updates and friendship with Gerard.

  • Dinah January 26, 2023, 5:09 PM

    Thank you, Neo, for being there for Gerard (and us as well) now and over the past years. May God bless you both and provide comfort.

  • Susan in Seattle January 26, 2023, 5:32 PM

    If there is anything good about this situation, it’s that you, Neo, have been his dear and steady friend over these many years. I am so glad to know you are by his side; I wish you comfort and peace and a softening of the sharp edges of your grief.

  • Kristin January 26, 2023, 5:36 PM

    I pray for Gerard so his passing into his new life will be merciful. Thank you Neo for letting us know how Gerard is doing. He gave us many good moments. Please hug him for me.
    With love and gratitude.

  • T.P. Green January 26, 2023, 5:57 PM

    I remain at a loss for words. I’ll have to leave it to others to say what I’ve been feeling for the last several days. Thank you, Gerard, for everthing you have done for us all of these years. May God keep you close.
    Neo, thank you as well.

  • Auntie Analogue January 26, 2023, 6:00 PM

    Though Mr. Van der Leun will not drink, you, Neo, have become his water. Which brings to mind my favorite John Wayne quote: “You did good, Pilgrim.”

  • Barborka January 26, 2023, 6:32 PM

    As a silent reader after 20+years, I want to share that a total stranger inspired me like other strangers… Dostoyevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Havel, TS Eliot, etc., Etc.

    I thank God I met this man a generation ago, about the same time I met Neo, Instapundit, Althouse, and others. He was the one I spiritually connected. In my anonymity, I loved reading every one of his stories and commenters. To this day. He and you have given me a source of reflection, sometimes sadness, but most times chuckles.

    Thank you Mr. Van der Leun for your inspirational writing. Thank you to all of his friends because you have been clarions of his messages. At least, for me.

    I hurt. And I hope he relishes in the thought that he has been a friend, a mentor, a smiling ghost, to so many of us.


  • Geoff C. The Saltine January 26, 2023, 6:40 PM

    He was my friend and I will miss him greatly.
    No more phone calls to bitch about the state of the world weekly, and to have a good laugh, that is what I will miss the most.
    He will miss the rapture but he will see it as it unfolds and then I will join him in heaven.
    The book of Job was one of his favorites and I know that he has gone through many of the same trials not quite as harsh but he could relate .
    What a loss for us all.

  • Kerry January 26, 2023, 6:41 PM

    Thank you for the news. I hope, somehow, his passing will be painless for him. And I hope you will have many good, fun memories to reflect on in the months of mourning ahead. You have my very best wishes.

  • Hale Adams January 26, 2023, 7:05 PM

    Thank you, Neo, for being there for Gerard.

    Hale Adams

  • Joan of Argghh! January 26, 2023, 7:15 PM

    God bless you, Neo. Thank you for your vigil over our friend. It really comforts my heart, since I long wished someone like you into his existence– and you were there all along! It is like the best of secrets kept, prices paid, fearful journeys, and a surprise of joy even in the midst of our sorrows. You are a blessing.

    • David January 26, 2023, 9:35 PM

      I think of Neo as a this precious gold coin the Gerard kept in his pocket, known only to him.
      Never to spend it, but to enjoy the value and beauty of it, and to treasure it always.
      A coin of great price and value to the one who held it.

      There is more than memory beyond the circles of this world. And love endures beyond the grave.

      • CT January 27, 2023, 7:33 AM

        The Coin

        Into my heart’s treasury
        —I slipped a coin
        That time cannot take
        —Nor a thief purloin,—

        Oh better than the minting
        —Of a gold-crowned king
        Is the safe-kept memory
        —Of a lovely thing.

        —– Sara Teasdale

  • Dirk January 26, 2023, 7:54 PM

    Several months ago Gerard sent me a copy of his Saturday Evening Post, featuring his “ I Had A Fortress Once In Paradise”.

    In many ways his story of growing up in Paradise, is a reflection of my youth.

    Gerard also sent me a copy of “Meditations, Marcus Aurelius” ,

    Gerard penned the following in my gift.

    For Dirk,,, Be like the headlines. Gerard has highlighted the following

    “ Perfection of character is this: To Live Each Day As If It We’re Your Last, Without Frenzy,Without Apathy, Without Pretense.

    Heavy really. I can’t help but suspected GV knew his end was near. I shall cherish these gifts until the end, at which time I shall pass on this great gift to one of my grandchildren.

    Dirk Williams

  • SK January 26, 2023, 10:44 PM

    Famously sung by Harry Lauder.

    “Keep right on to the end of the road,
    Keep right on to the end,
    Tho’ the way be long, let your heart be strong,
    Keep right on round the bend.
    Tho’ you’re tired and weary still journey on,
    Till you come to your happy abode,
    Where all the love you’ve been dreaming of
    Will be there at the end of the road.”

    Wishing GVL all the love he’s been dreaming of.
    Sending profound thanks to Neo and Ghostsniper.

  • Daniel Greenfield January 27, 2023, 1:22 AM

    Gerard is one of a kind and while we may never turn back the hands of time, on reading this, I turn back to reading one of his old essays. At our best and our worst, our writing lives on.

    • CT January 27, 2023, 7:36 AM

      Your work is also excellent and appreciated.

    • Walt Gottesman January 27, 2023, 9:35 AM

      It was a link on one of your lucid, well-researched posts that led me to American Digest and Gerard’s moving memorial to his late uncle, the American WWII pilot with whom he shares the same name. That was 9, 10 or maybe 11 years ago. I trusted what you published and followed the link. Have continued as a frequent reader and sometime commenter ever since.

      Gerard sought, and found truth in his life. He was honest, even painfully so at times, about his life journey, but never lost a humorous perspective. I hope someone who knew him personally will write a book about him, whether a memoir or a historical novel. I think there are many younger people who could learn from his fascinating life and fine writing.

      I’ve read that there is a hotel bar in Canada that serves a “Gerard” cocktail but I don’t think it does justice to our Mr. Van der Leun. Please, someone with more expertise than I have, create a drink, a Van der Leun, with which we can toast the memory of the incomparable creator and sustainer of AD.

      Damn. I can’t quite figure out why I have to fight back tears each time I comment here about someone I never even met.

      Peace be with Gerard and all who care about him,

  • j0edaddy January 27, 2023, 2:28 AM

    Dang. And just dang. Sadness. 1st stop on the interweb every morning for years. Prayers for a most benevolent outcome.

  • Horatio January 27, 2023, 3:39 AM

    This sucks…been reading AD for years. This reminds me of when Lawrence Auster took ill and passed away. Go in peace Gerard…

  • Zephyr January 27, 2023, 4:21 AM

    Bless you and dear Gerard. It’s heartening to know you’re there for him and you take care of yourself, too. Holding you both in a great, big hug.

  • jim reibel January 27, 2023, 4:48 AM

    Dear Neo
    Thanks for the update. Others have described the dread we all feel at the news of this diagnosis and its implications. None of us expected that GVDL would be removed from our lives so unexpectedly and so quickly. All too similar to our dumbfounded reaction to Remus’ death. I have been in denial that this was to happen to our beloved GVDL, and I have missed the opportunity to express to him my gratitude for all his wonderful writing and his curating of interesting tidbits through the years.

    Thank you for supporting him through this final chapter. I continue to pray for him.


  • Anonymous January 27, 2023, 5:19 AM

    Ah so. I always wondered who the lady was. Now I know. There was a photo of Mr GvdL around the time he had his heart attack, and I could see in his face that he was in very much in love with someone. It was you! What a look that was! God Bless you, Neo and Gerard.

    I forgot to put my name in the last comment I made about the Creche story.
    Chris M aka sehoy aka godsdog

  • St_Louis_Arch January 27, 2023, 5:23 AM

    Gerard, and all those who love him: You have been a blessing upon us. I am thankful for you, and may your journey from this world to the next be easy. You will be missed. Godspeed.

  • Staring In Disbelief January 27, 2023, 6:19 AM

    Vaya con dios Gerard. American Digest has been a daily stop for me for nearly 10 years. I will mourn your passing and pray that your soul bathes in the light of God’s love. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. My life was enriched by it.

  • waitingForTheStorm January 27, 2023, 6:35 AM

    Sorry to hear the news. I hope his passing is as gentle as was my father’s, who died in a hospice after a year of battling a devastatingly painful and debilitating cancer. He died on Christmas morning and I was alone with him as he passed.

    May your journey be gentle and your memories not fade. Twenty five years after the experience, I still tear up when I recall it. But, I take solace in having provided him support and relief over the last six grueling months of his life. You do what you can and leave the rest to our glorious creator.

  • robert kendall January 27, 2023, 6:49 AM

    bless you Neo, this has to be very hard for you. Prayers and comfort for Gerard. His was an intellect that could clarify and make sense of so many things that were important and timely and do it in such an entertaining and intelligent way. His spirt will be a living one , as we all remember his writings and their subsequent revelations

  • leelu January 27, 2023, 7:17 AM

    Thank you for ‘being there’ for Gerard. When I read it, my first reaction was ‘What a lucky man’, my second was ‘Perfect’. Between God and you, he is in excellent hands.
    I’m pretty sure you know this, but be sure to take care of yourself during this bone-crushing time.

  • John Condon January 27, 2023, 8:16 AM


    So YOU’RE the Angel who saved Gerards life and gave him a bit more time to be among us! Though I would spend much time here in years past, I never sorted who you were.

    I always wondered about that.

    Its nice to know before the end, who you are.

    Food Eroder… heh… charming.

    Though I cannot physically stand vigil at passing of Jerry, I am there mentally and spiritually. My thoughts and memories are in the hospice room now as I progress through my own infernal purgation

    Please convey to him that there are many like me who stand and wait.

    I am glad you are there with him now at the end – just as you were at the beginning of these 11 years,

    Come with me
    Where chains will never bind you
    All your grief
    At last, at last behind you
    Lord in Heaven
    Look down on him in mercy

    Forgive me all my trespasses
    And take me to your glory

    Take my hand
    I’ll lead you to salvation
    Take my love
    For love is everlasting
    And remember
    The truth that once was spoken
    To love another person
    Is to see the face of God

    Do you hear the people sing
    Lost in the valley of the night?
    It is the music of a people
    Who are climbing to the light
    For the wretched of the earth
    There is a flame that never dies
    Even the darkest night will end
    And the sun will rise
    They will live again in freedom
    In the garden of the Lord
    We will walk behind the ploughshare
    We will put away the sword
    The chain will be broken
    And all men will have their reward
    Will you join in our crusade?
    Who will be strong and stand with me?
    Somewhere beyond the barricade
    Is there a world you long to see?
    Do you hear the people sing?
    Say, do you hear the distant drums?
    It is the future that they bring
    When tomorrow comes!
    Will you join in our crusade?
    Who will be strong and stand with me?
    Somewhere beyond the barricade
    Is there a world you long to see?
    Do you hear the people sing?
    Say, do you hear the distant drums?
    It is the future that they bring
    When tomorrow comes!

  • Richard G. January 27, 2023, 9:02 AM

    Dear Neo, You know you do not hold your vigil alone. Those who stand with you from afar are legion.
    And now Gerard has turned his mind’s eye from looking out at the infinite universe to looking inward into the infinite universe within and starts to ride the spiraling infundibulum to the center where godhead resides. It evokes such melancholy and yet such wonder.

    Luke: 20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

    With love, Richard

  • John the River January 27, 2023, 9:16 AM

    Having problems entering a comment this morning. Freezes up on submit.
    I was trying to express my appreciation as many others have that Neo is with Garard right now.
    And wondering about the pile of checks in his mailbox, if they can be endosed. And if not I was thinking about Neo making a emergency cross country trip to be with Gerard.
    I’d like to help with expenses.

    • CT January 27, 2023, 11:17 AM

      I had problems recently, resolved somehow, not sure how.
      Go to your account on New American Digest and be sure the “handle” and email address you are using here are the same ones that are listed there. Might help.

  • Helene Fagan Bidwell January 27, 2023, 9:58 AM

    May flights of angels see him to his rest. So heartbreaking to let him go. Glad that he has had you and you get to be there now.

  • CC January 27, 2023, 10:40 AM

    I hope he knows he is very much loved, and will be very much missed.
    On top of this, and other personal losses, I hate ’23 already.

  • MOTUS January 27, 2023, 10:59 AM

    I just saw this heartbreaking news. Gerard, you and Neo are in my prayers.

    • Snakepit Kansas January 27, 2023, 4:07 PM

      You are in my daily prayers.

  • AesopFan January 27, 2023, 11:19 AM

    So many wonderful stories and tributes – a man with so many friends, for so many years, is truly blessed, as are we for having known him, in all our varying degrees.

  • ed in texas January 27, 2023, 11:45 AM

    Vaya con Dios, amigo.

  • Fausta January 27, 2023, 12:09 PM

    In this sad moment, I am grateful to have met you and Gerard. Grateful for the years we’ve enjoyed Gerard’s beautiful writing. Grateful for the many insightful commenters. Grateful to have listened to Gerard tell his wonderful stories over cigars. Grateful for Gerard’s advice.

    Grateful that you can be with him.

    What extraordinary lives we’ve lived.

  • physics geek January 27, 2023, 1:12 PM

    Life has kept my away for too long and I come back to this news. I don’t know what to say except that I’m so sorry for what’s happening, but I’m glad that the two of you have had each other. I know that your time together has been a blessing.

  • Gordon Scott January 27, 2023, 1:23 PM

    Ah, Neo. I cannot imagine anyone better to help him go. I never guessed.
    Thank you for being there. Then and now.

  • Mrs Whatsit January 27, 2023, 2:51 PM

    Neo, may I say how much I admire your ability, in this awful time, to retain your sense of humor enough to confess to being the “food eroder.”

    And then I read the “food eroder” post and discovered Gerard’s sly in-joke reference to jello at the very end of his post — a broad hint to the eroder’s identity, for anyone who knew enough to recognize it (back then, probably only you!)

    All humor aside, I am, as my Quaker friends would say, holding you b0th in the Light.

  • Arty January 27, 2023, 7:05 PM

    I haven’t been a frequent commenter here but I’ve enjoyed Gerard’s writing for quite a few years, in fact back when American Digest had a completely different format. In addition to Gerard’s excellent writing I’ve also enjoyed reading many commenters, Casey, Ghostsniper, Terry, the late Jewel and will miss all of your insights and wit, you helped make this blog a great place to while away an hour or so just about every day. I fell into the trap of thinking it would last forever.

  • Kevin Baker January 28, 2023, 6:01 AM

    I’m saddened by the loss of Gerard. I always enjoyed his writing. He led a fascinating life, and I’m glad he got a bonus 11 years to spend with you, Neo. I’m sorry for your loss and ours.

  • Barba Cat January 28, 2023, 8:49 AM

    Thank You.

  • Bruce Hanify January 28, 2023, 2:03 PM

    Thank you, Neo.

  • Foo January 28, 2023, 3:06 PM

    Thank you and God Bless You as well,
    Neo for all that you do, in your own life and writing of course but also in Gerards, another great soul I feel privileged to have met if only online. Truly remarkable and if I may say, by sharing that you were close you eased some sadness in me that he was somewhat alone in later life. Not so, he was a weakthy man in what matters-family and friends whom he loved and loved him back. The rest. Is fluff.

    Do take time of course to grieve and carry on his wishes. Ghost you are such a good man and damn smart. Casey, he lives on in our hearts and stories. He is in Valhalla now and we will sing of him to honor him.

  • Gagdad Bob January 28, 2023, 11:15 PM

    From the eloquence of these tributes, it seems Gerard wasn’t just a poet, but a cause of poetry in others.