Sometime between April 29th and May 14th, Milo Johnson, AKA Jon Salley of http://jonesalley.blogspot.com/ passed away in his home in Kansas. He was an insightful political blogger, whose blog I found while blog-hopping one insomniac night a few years ago. His archives go back to 2004, which gave me a lot of very good reading.
I never met Jon in person, and I wish I had. As well as a political blogger, he was an astronomer, musician, composer, cat person and collector of vintage Moog synthesizers.
This is not an obituary...I didn't know Jon well enough to do that. It's just a statement. I think it's very sad that such a man had lost contact with his real life friends and acquaintances. His last post was a farewell to his closest friend, who had just died.
Fellow Jones Alley blogger Mary K. Goddard contacted me to say she was worried when a week or so went by in which there were no posts from Jon on his blog. She set about sleuthing and discovered that he hadn't visited any of his other internet haunts, either. We discussed whether we should send police to his home for a welfare check. I was against it, thinking that he might be having a reclusive period following his friend's death, and that he wouldn't welcome a visit from the local constabulary.
When the shuttle Endeavor made it's voyage without comment from Jon, we became even more concerned. It wasn't like him to miss an opportunity to blog about the space program.
Mary kept sleuthing, and found the name and contact info for a person with whom Jon had played in a band. On contacting her, Mary found that she hadn't seen him for a couple of years, but was persuaded to drive by his house to see if anything was amiss. She found his vehicle there. He didn't answer the door. She called the police for a welfare check, and they found him dead, presumably of natural causes.
I find this so very sad. I knew he was reclusive. I knew he lost both his parents within the past several years. I knew he described himself as a "curmudgeon." I did not know that there was nobody in his life who would miss him for two whole weeks.
The fact that his friends miles away on the internet missed him before anyone else did is shocking to me.
Jon, we will miss you. We do miss you. Jones Alley Magazine will stand as long as the internet does, in memory of a great mind, wit, talent and heart.