A Short Tribute To A Good Man

People come into our lives seemingly at random, some stay a few minutes, some a lifetime, but many stay long enough to earn a place in our hearts and our memories.  They may leave because of death, because of a disagreement, or simply physical distance, though the Internet has done much to shorten those physical spans.  Today, I learned of the death of one such person … a friend … nay, a member of my blogging family … who left an indelible mark on my heart and who will be sorely missed.  Many of you may remember him … Hugh Curtler.

A retired college professor of philosophy, Hugh was among the wisest men I knew.  More than once, he pulled me back to the realm of reality when my take on the political situation went out of bounds, and while I always listened to his wise words, I often failed to live up to his standard.  Like our mutual friend Keith, Hugh was my gold standard for common sense, for knowing how to respond to things said in the heat of a moment.

I knew that Hugh was battling cancer back in 2020, but for a long time he continued to post on his blog, email me fairly regularly, and comment on mine and others’ blog posts.  His last posts were in January and February 2021, and emails to him later last year went unanswered.  I knew … somewhere deep down, I knew … but I didn’t want to think about it, so like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, I didn’t think about it … much … except on those sleepless nights.

I have a book of Hugh’s, Alone in the Labyrinth, that he signed along with a short note and mailed to me back in early 2021.  I will cherish it for the rest of my life.

There is much I probably could say about Hugh … he was a kind man, a good man, a wise man … but it is his own words that are best suited to remind us of who Hugh Curtler was.  Below are links to just a few of my favourite among his many posts.  Today, I am saddened by the loss of Hugh, but enriched for having known him.

Good Folks

Change

How Free Are We?

If, I say

Thank you, Hugh, for always being my rock, my ‘go-to’ when I needed a bit of good sense.  I will miss you, as I know others will … you were a big part of our ‘blogging family’ and I loved you!  R.I.P. Hugh Curtler

52 thoughts on “A Short Tribute To A Good Man

  1. Pingback: Our friend has passed on – Hugh Curtler, teacher, coach, friend | musingsofanoldfart

  2. Jill, this is a wonderful tribute to our friend. As you may recall, it was Hugh that sent me your way, saying I think you will like what this person writes about. He was ever the philosopher (but not pretentious), professor and coach. We bloggers did not fully appreciate the tennis coaching side of his persona. Without preaching it, I learned a lot about philosophy and great literature from Hugh.

    He also was a staunch supporter of the environment, even inviting me to co-write an article for a magazine on perceptions of lay people on the environment and renewable energy. My first reaction to his invitation was Hugh I don’t think I am qualified to write this, but he insisted for its purpose, I was. I would not have done it without his push and co-authorship.

    Finally, his comments on other blogs will be missed. I always look forward to what the professor might add, taking some pleasure if he agreed with my post or supported my comment. I wish you other readers who do not know Hugh’s work will check these suggested posts out. Thanks my friend, Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Keith! I had, in fact, forgotten that I had Hugh to thank for pointing you my way … and I treasure your friendship as I did his! Indeed, he had a way of imparting his vast knowledge without being ‘preachy’.

      I don’t think I was aware that you had written an article for a magazine! Awesome … if you have a link, I’d like to read it.

      Oh yes … even people who had never visited Hugh’s blog remembered his comments they saw on other blogs, like mine or yours. I will miss him … been missing him for over a year now, but the finality is … sad.

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  3. We are more than bless, as we’d been, given the opportunities to meet up with these special people who touched our lives, and, even after thety are, gone, we still, carry the lessons, the values they instilled in us.

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  4. Pingback: Solid Ground | Zeebra Designs & Destinations

  5. That’s a graceful tribute. I would have liked to meet him. Rawgod and Nan captured much of my thinking — the beauty of meeting people on the net who become friends, who open you to new ideas, but then vanish, leaving you to wonder, to hunt, to learn where they have gone. A bittersweet world. But you met someone that helped with life, lifting your spirits, opening you up to new ideas, and that’s always a wonderful gift.

    Hugs, Michael

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    • Thanks, Michael! I figure … even if we only know them for a matter of a few years, or even months, they add value to our lives for that time and I’m grateful for that. Hopefully, we add something of value to their lives as well. Yes, Hugh left me with many good memories, as do so many of my blogging family, yourself included.

      Hugs ‘n cheers, dear friend!

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  6. So very sorry my friend!! Losing a friend is awful and I worry about that as I get so close to people on here. Closer than I ever thought I could get when I never met them in person.
    How great that he touched your life so much and I am sure you touched his! Love you dear friend and big hugs!! ❤❤

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    • Thanks, Carolyn! Yes, we become so attached to some of our blogging buddies that it’s hard sometimes to remember that we’ve never actually met them! Hugh was a good man, a good influence on me, for sure! Love you back, dear Carolyn … hugs!!! 💖

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        • As much as I grumble and grouse about social media and how it is used to spread lies, the one great thing about it is that we can meet new people, make new friends, create a whole new ‘family’, and stay in touch with those we might not otherwise be able to. Hugh was part of our blogging family and will always be remembered by you, me, and Keith among others! Hugs!!!

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  7. Edna Buchanan, the well known journalist and writer, said : “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.”
    If one holds that to be true…then their absence and loss is also deeply felt. They also deserve mention and remembrance. You have lovingly given tribute to Hugh Curtler. WHAK!! Thank-you!
    “People do not pass away/
    They die/
    And then they stay.”
    From the 2018 book “Voices in the Air”
    by American poet, Naomi Shihab Nye.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ms. Buchanan was quite right! I’ve long said that my ‘blogging family’ is in many ways closer than some of those with whom I share DNA! I hadn’t planned to post today, for I wasn’t feeling well, but after I received the news about Hugh, I just had to. He was one of the best. WHAK!!!

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    • Indeed so … I find that I am closer to some of my online friends who I’ve never met and likely never will, than to some family members and people I’ve known much of my adult life! Thanks, Nan!

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  8. This IS a problem, being on the Internet, we never know when our friends have left. I have been wondering for a while, “Who is missing?” You and I have already discussed Colette’s absence, but there are more, Hugh being one of them. Do they die? Do they just stop using Word Press? Are they, like you last year, in a hospital somewhere, and we don’t know enough to reach out to them? Or have they become MAGAts, like our once friend Scott? Too many times we just don’t know.
    Onto bigger and better things, Hugh! Make a new mark, wherever you end up!

    Having said that, there are other reasons for losing friends, for instance, Sha’Tara. People change. They stop seeing eye-to-eye, or whatever. I saw her name in a comment of the post of Hugh’s that I read. We used to have some good discussions. But then, a disagreement led to a breakup. Why did it have to get to that point? I was as much responsible as anyone else. I asked her for some information that she was unwilling to provide, and it escalated from there. Where she is now, or what she is doing, I may never know. Shit happens. But why do we allow it to happen? We never know what straw is going to break the whale’s back. And online, there is almost no way to pick the straw back up!

    Speaking of which, do you have any idea what happened to Gronda, I think her name was. When I first joined your readership she was omnipresent. I actually forgot all about her for quite a while. She just disappeared too.

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    • Interestingly, since you mention Scott … he still comments, but I moderate his comments and don’t publish the ones that are disrespectful or crude, but he also communicates with me on Twitter and there he is just like the old Scott … a friend who cares. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde! Sha’Tara didn’t really change, and I think she and Roger are still friends, but I said something once that (unintentionally) offended her, so she stopped visiting my blog.

      As re Gronda … she’s still around, though not on her blog. She is on Twitter, though, and often re-tweets my blog posts there. She had some serious illness, which is why she stopped blogging, and I think she’s still having some troubles, but she does tweet daily, so I know she’s still alive ‘n kicking!

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    • He was all of that and I will miss him. I’ve kept hoping he would overcome the cancer and return any day with an “I’m BAAAACK”, but such is not to be. Sigh. I went back through my emails with him this afternoon and found at least two where he wrote, saying he hadn’t heard from me for a few days and asking if I was okay … that’s the kind of friend he was.
      Cwtch

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