Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sad news plus

More and more reasons to regard the paper with caution. Today, a tiny two- or three-graf story on the obits page reported the death of Kelly Fero. Kelly was a friend of mine and a beautiful writer. We both wrote a lot for Third Coast mag, a real writer's rag that published in Austin mostly in the 80s. Kelly was a funny guy with a gaudy history at a time and place when we all had gaudy histories. He had lived in Argentina and later gone to college in Mexico. Here's a profile of him that ran in the Austin paper in '08. Or you can Google him, as he's pretty thick on the Net today. Circumstance and the burdens of child support made him give up journalism and go over to D political work. His politics were left but good-natured and tinged with a sense of humor that saw the grins in everything. He had messed around with music, like about half the people in Austin in those days. He worked for Jim Mattox and Placedo's own John Sharp, among others. Kelly's the guy I mentioned some time back who'd hung around with Neal Cassady, aka Dean Moriarty, in Mexico, long after Cassady's the On the Road days and after the Ken Kesey bus trip. It's a sad thing that Kelly isn't in the world any longer. He was a good guy. He once wangled a job for me that I failed to take. Wish I had.
Then for more bad news from today's Vicad, from a front-page story on some jackleg preacher, contemplate this sentence: 'He preaches with a Hebrew prayer shawl in Spanish and English to a small congregation of fervid followers ...' What interests me is how did this Hebrew shawl learn Spanish? Probably forced into ESL classes. Pore ol' Vicad ... no writers, no editors, no future.


mike said...

Kelly was my good friend of the last 7 years. I was always honored when he would relate to me any one of his past adventures.

I am seriously bummed to have never heard about him hanging with Neil Cassidy. Thanks for sharing that nugget from what was an extraordinary life

Edith Ann said...


So sorry that you have lost another friend. I hope it is a very long time before you shre news like this again.

Re: the Advocate, those young reporters will learn how to write when they get to senior English, next year. It's pitiful, isn't it?

Truth Ferret said...

I am sorry to hear of the loss of another one of your friends. It seems that when a person leaves our lives a piece of us goes with them. Keep their memories alive by sharing their lives' stories with the rest of us. It is very appreciated and in a small way honors their lives.

As far as the story in the paper goes, the poor writing style is so bad, because the editor doesn't even realize how bad it truly has gotten. Excuses of, "We're only human" have been used to gloss over the fact that the writiers don't know that they don't know. Kind of like patching a crack on a wall of a shifting house. Looks good, but the foundation is still crappy. Tape, float and paint won't be able to fix the real nature of the problem. Getting dirty and straightening out the problem is what is necessary to put it to right, again. Sort of like the paper, get rid of the unstable foundation and then worry about if the walls look "pretty".

Again, please accept my heartfelt sorrow for your loss. Thank you for sharing some of your memories. You will always have an appreciative audience here. We know good thoughts and the ability to express them when we read them.

chats said...

Kelly's loss is a real shock. I'm doubly saddened because he didn't write the book about his political dealings. He used to complain about the local politicos that wouldn't stay bought. Shades of Landslide Lyndie... Kelly was a real storyteller.