Saturday, February 26, 2011
A void in the PacNW blogosphere
It seemed to happen so fast, so very fast. Lynn Allen (1948-2011) died on Thursday.
The first I heard that Lynn was in the hospital was only about three weeks ago. When I heard the words stage 4 ovarian cancer, however, I knew her prognosis was extremely bad. That’s one of the nastiest in the constellation of diseases called cancer, highly aggressive but usually asymptomatic until it’s quite advanced. I don’t know that that’s how it was for Lynn, but it’s quite likely. The last I’d seen her, probably in November of last year, she’d appeared to be perfectly fine.
Three weeks ago, and now she’s gone. After only 62 years on the planet.
The news that her life had ended arrived in an email from Andrew Villeneuve, which pointed me to his heartfelt, sorrowful remembrance of Lynn. Later that day, Goldy posted his own brief notice at HorsesAss.org. I urge you to click on those two links, to see Lynn’s dazzling smile and to observe this passionate and resourceful woman who inspired all of us here in and around Seattle.
Lynn was always the “adult” in our Pacific Northwest blogging community, the one who anchored us as we battled through tough campaigns and worked to defeat Eyman’s antigovernment initiatives ... and as various of us became disillusioned or exhausted or nasty. When she took on a task—rural outreach, leadership development, campaign blogging (for Christine Gregoire in 2004), and many more throughout her life—she was indefatigable. Her commitment and her hard work were always visible, and she was always vitally interested in whatever one of us might be doing or planning. Her enthusiasm and support were invaluable for us all, and will be all but impossible to duplicate.
When I wrote a similar post about Lynn on DailyKos, my friend and colleague Ivan Weiss wrote a comment that really sums up all that Lynn meant for us hereabouts. As he does so often, Ivan got right to the nub:
She was into the “what” and I was into the “how.” She was, for lack of better words, an “urban progressive,” and I was, and am, a rural populist.
She used to spin out these grand scenarios, and she would get exasperated and call me a wet blanket because I would always ask her “how are you going to accomplish that? Where do you begin? What resources do you bring to bear? How do you marshal those resources? How do you sustain your level of activity?”
She was a lovely, accomplished woman, but inside her was a little girl looking for a dashing prince on horseback.she would fall in love (politically) with some of the major bullshit artists in WA politics, whom I would always call out as snake-oil fakers.
Farewell, Lynn. May your too-short time with us continue to inspire us long into the future.