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He was very kind. I don't remember why, but we shared a few emails. I think they were for those posts where he's ask you to put up your favorite one, or something like that... I just remember him telling me in one that although he was sure I was a nice person, that piece of pie I had on my blog, scared him. :)

I feel so bad for his mother... the amount of loss she was asked to take at once... Life is not fair. I hope she finds some shred of solace in how much her son was loved.

Kathleen Maher

Thank you, blue girl. We do need to put things in perspective and we are all going to die. But until we do, let's remember those who brought happiness or confidence or fun into our lives.
The was a wonderful way of remembering Al. It may help his mother to see how many lives he affected. Even struggling with grief for her husband and son, hearing of the many, many people he made laugh, and helped, can't hurt. No doubt she already knows he was a man who would benefit us all.


he was one of the most encouraging writers i ever knew to help others find their voice and their audience...highly reminiscent of steve gilliard and jim capazzola.

this is devastating news.

Dan Leo

I was saying something similar to Kathleen's sentiment over at Tom Watson's place. As horrible as this time is for Al's loved ones, it must help to know that there were so many people out there who appreciated him.

And tragedies like this remind me to appreciate all the more the friends I've got.

Nate Peele

I got a brilliant idea to start a satirical blog back in March of 2008. It just so happened that it was during a brief hiatus that Al had taken from the blogging world and several people asked me "Are you Jon Swift?" This lead me to a quick perusal of his blog and I was crushed.

Not only was his blog up long before mine, where my posts would be a couple of quick satirical jabs at a target, his were hysterical verbal devestation. I felt like a guy who had invented the Beta Max player and discovered Blue Ray had already been out for two years.

Like many bloggers have reported, I communicated with Jon Swift--he had a very friendly link exchange policy and that led to a handful of emails back in forth. He was an A list blogger and I was barely D list, but he always found time to encourage me. He will be greatly missed.


I did not know Jon, but from the out pouring of grief he must have been special.

When someone like Jon dies it confirms for me that there is a heaven. There just has to be. A good soul like Jon deserves a better place.


I was very sad to here the news. I only had a couple e-mail exchanges with him, when he asked for links for his round-up. But like Nate, I was so impressed with his writing. He could weave such dense satire to the point where I wondered if he really was a conservative! That takes talent.

Very nice post, BG, and he will be missed by many people.

zombie rotten mcdonald

Stephen King once said that writers should read EVERYTHING with one of two emotions: supreme, weary contempt or bone-grinding envy.

Not much of a writer, but: Jon Swift was always the second one for me.

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I did not know Jon, but from the out pouring of grief he must have been special.


I didn't know him, but you're my people, so he's my people.
I'm hugging my people right ****nooowwww****

zombie rotten mcdonald

I didn't know him either, Von, because I am a sucky P-List blogger who concentrates far too much on prog music. But I read him; O yes I read him.

And just like I said with musicians, the loss of a Writer lessens us all. But the words remain.

And as HST would say, Jon Swift stomped on the Terra.


Oh, BG. What a breathtakingly beautiful post. I can't believe I never knew him. But maybe this is the power/joy of the word. It offers us an after-life, even when the man is gone. Am going to read him now.


what terrible, sad news. lovely post BG.

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for all of that and more that I've thought and said, trying to convince those around me to just try to will themselves to feel better,

Mimi Weisel

I can't believe it's almost a yeaar since that horrific day. I thank God for all of you friends and bloggers who are keeping Al's memory alive. I know he's in a better place bu I'm still sad that when I go to tell him something or get his view of anything, I can only do it in my dreams. Sorry, I guess I'm just feeling sad. Thank you all for every kind thought that I can go back and reread. Mimi Weisel, Al's Mom

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