Skip to content

Tunisia: Seiffeddine Rezgui’s Last Break Dance

July 2, 2015
Sousse, Tunisia

Sousse, Tunisia

Tunisians Back On The Streets Demonstrating Against Terrorism.

As they did right after the assassinations of Chokri Belaid (February, 2013) and Mohammed Brahmi (July, 2013) were assassinated and in the aftermath of the terrorist attack against (mostly) foreign tourists visiting the Bardo Museum in March of this year, Tunisians once again took the streets to protest the Friday, June 26, 2015 cold-blooded murder of 38 tourists at the Spanish-owned five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel, in the El Kantaoui district of the seaside resort city of Sousse, some 75 miles south of the capitol, Tunis. Carrying banners which read “Non au Terrorisme,” “Why,” the day after the slaughter, crowds of mourners and demonstrators gathered in both Sousse and Tunis to protest the killings.

A number of themes have converged to make Tunisia more of a target of terrorist attacks from ISIS – like radicals than in the past, much of a blow back from the NATO attack on Libya that brought an end to Khadaffi’s rule.

• At the heart and soul of the crisis is the continuing socio-economic crisis, now nearly five years after Ben Ali and his entourage were expelled form the country which nags at the social fabric of the country.
• High unemployment rates especially for youth and in the interior regions of the country continues unabated. A number of sources claim that more Tunisian youth – more than 3000 – have signed up to fight with Islamic groups in Syria and Iraq, returning to the country with new military skills.
• In yet another consequence of the ill-conceived NATO military operation there, the collapse of the Khadaffi rule in Libya has led to an anarchistic situation in which Islamic militias have come to the fore. All indications are that an enormous store of all kinds of weaponry and military equipment was stolen. It wound up in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, and much of it in Tunisia as well in the hands of newly energized militant Salafist and Wahhabist type groups.
• Finally adding to Tunisia’s current instability were the policies of the previous Ennahdha led government which turned a blind eye to Islamic fundamentalist militant excesses, permitting these groups to establish bases of support in many of the country’s mosques, pre-schools and in some cases, and perhaps, it appears, the country’s security apparatus. When finally – after the February 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy – the Tunisian government began to reign in these elements, it was already too late. They had wormed their way into the fabric of Tunisian life, a kind of social ebola.

Unprepared to deal with Islamic guerrilla counter-insurgency for which the country has had little to no experience, besides dependent heavily on international lending institutions like the World Bank and IMF with their structural adjustment criteria, the country finds itself more and more caught in the security web of the United States and France. In response to each terrorist attack – in Tunisia and elsewhere – Washington and Paris continue to create what is referred to as “the new normal” in terms of their military penetration of the continent. So it goes.

Seiffeddine Rezgui’s Last Break Dance…

Landing in a small boat just south of Sousse’s main beach area, Seifeddine Rezgui, a 23-year-old aviation student, originally from the village of Gaafor where he was known as the town’s best break dancer, took out a Kalashnikov sub-machine gun from underneath an umbrella and proceeded casually – in a manner that can only be considered chilling –  to systematically kill 38 people and wound another 40 or so, first on the beach and then in a hotel pool area and lobby before he was finally brought down in a hail of fire by local security forces. (There a some reports, unverified to date, that as many as three assassins were involved; more recently, allegations of up to 8 plotters have been identified).

Virtually all the casualties were foreign tourists, many of the British, in Sousse to enjoy the city’s fine beaches along a hotel strip that compares with South Beach in Miami in many ways. Although tourism is an essential element in the Tunisian economic mix, it has long been controversial, representing a clash of cultural values. (I remember many discussions with Tunisians – in Sousse as a matter of fact – a half century ago, where repeatedly, Tunisians expressed their distaste for some of its less savory consequences.)

The responses of Tunisians to the carnage were typical: throughout the country, they showed their disgust and anger at the perpetrators.

For sure, the attack did not go unchallenged by local Tunisians. Showing a degree of courage and human decency, local Tunisians – including some employees at the hotels, others, just Sousse residents – formed a human shield between Rezgui and foreign beach combers, protecting them and undoubtedly saving many lives. Calling out to Rezgui, one of the human shield members called out to him, “you’re not going to get past us, you’ll have to kill us.” A British tourist fleeing the scene of the carnage added her appreciation, “…on beach at Palm marina – whilst we were running to hide, hotel staff were running out to help, very brave.”

As Juan Cole notes in his daily column, Informed Comment,

More and more stories reveal how Tunisians tried to stop the killer by creating human shields on the beach and how a 56-year-old builder, Moncef Mayel, threw tiles from a roof top at Rezgui, screaming “You terrorist, you dog.” Rezgui, temporarily stunned took a few moments to recover his senses, allowing many possible victims to escape unharmed. When asked why he did it, Mavel replied, “It was my duty as a Muslim.”   In a similar vein, footage circulating online shows a woman beating one of the suspects whilst he is escorted away by police.

As they did right after the assassinations of Chokri Belaid (February, 2013) and Mohammed Brahmi (July, 2013) were assassinated and in the aftermath of the terrorist attack against (mostly) foreign tourists visiting the Bardo Museum in March of this year, Tunisians once again took the streets to protest the Friday, June 26 cold-blooded murder of 38 tourists in the seaside resort city of Sousse, some 75 miles south of the capitol, Tunis. Carrying banners which read “Non au Terrorisme,” “Why,” the day after the slaughter, crowds of mourners and demonstrators gathered in both Sousse and Tunis to protest the killings.

There were also posters “rebuking some political parties which have been encouraging the ‘takfiri’people” (salafists and wahhabists) – an oblique reference to the policies of the Ennahdha Party which had effective political power in the country for several years after Ben Ali was forced from the country. Under their political watch, radical Salafists were able to take over many of the country’s mosques and thousands of young Tunisians were recruited to fight for radical Islamic groups like Daich and ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  In fact, no Arab country provided more young recruits for radical Islamic causes than Tunisia during this period, policies to which Ennahdha’s leadership at the most generous turned a blind eye, and at the worst, facilitated the recruitment efforts.

Moncef M

Moncef M

Two Terrorist Attacks in Three Months

It was the bloodiest terrorist attack in Tunisia’s history, the second in 4 months. Both of them appeared to target foreign tourists. A March, 2015 terrorist attack targeted the country’s Bardo Museum, one of the finest museums anywhere in the entire Mediterranean, with Roman mosaics, among other items, better than many found in Italy. In that attack, conducted by a young Tunisian travel agent, Yassin Al Abidi, and his accomplice, killed 22 museum goers while the local security guards were having coffee across the street in a café.

In both the Bardo Museum and Sousse beach attacks, the perpetrators were well-chosen. Despite a certain move towards conservative Muslim stances, neither gave indications of being part of terrorist sleeper cells. The families of both greeted the news that their sons and brothers had participated in the mass murder of civilians with great shock and grief. Both were radicalized over the past few years. Al Abidi, it seems, got some training in nearby Libya but Rezdui, it appears never left the country, although he spent the past four years studying in Kairouan, Islam’s third holy city after Mecca and Jerusalem, and there became influenced by radical Salafist tendencies. Al Abidi was characterized by his mother “he couldn’t hurt a fly.”

Rezdui’s psychological portrait is quite similar.

He was known in his home town as an extremely polite and gentle soul, the town’s best break dancer. Neither fulfilled the caricature of a militant Islamic radical (and thus made effective killers.) Rezdui’s father, Hakim Rezdui, a labor who works on farms and railroads for $15 a day, was stricken by both grief and bitterness, commented;

“These people ruined my son’s brain with horrid thoughts and ideas, they broke him.”

“People keep asking me for information and I don’t know what to tell them, I was completely taken aback by the news of what my son had done. I had just got back from work at 11.30am, I work on the railway lines. I went to sleep as it’s Ramadan and I was fasting, then at 4pm the police came to my house and said they needed me to come with them.”

Expressing the deep psychic pain he and his family are experiencing, Hakin Rezdui went on:

“I wish there had been no victims, no one hurt. I wish it had never happened. Because when I see the victims I think it could have been my own family. I had no idea and I am really sorry. I am upset to see those victims. I feel the loss of the families so strongly. I feel like I have died along with the victims. I am so ashamed for me, for his mother, for all our family.”

The brazenness of both the Bardo and Sousse attacks – the casual way that a small group of killers could walk into a museum or a popular tourist beach and mow down people – was a terrible embarrassment to the ruling government, headed up by the Nidaa Tounes Party, made up in large measure of former Ben Ali and even Bourguiba era bureaucrats with their clear anti-political Islamic bent. The “secularists” and “bureaucrats” have returned to the halls of power, and Salafist-ISIS like elements see them as mortal enemies that need to be taken down. Certainly some of this attempt to embarrass and destabilize the ruling government is at play. The fact that the government is clearly working in tandem with both the French and U.S. governments – (the past colonial and current imperial governments ) – only intensifies the grass-roots opposition that much more.

Another factor has come to light – the failure of the Tunisian security and intelligence – to have the prior knowledge capable of neutralizing such threats. The terrorists seem to strike with impunity. Besides these more spectacular terrorist attacks on tourists, there is a radical Islamicist guerrilla movement based in western region of the country near the Algerian border – around Mount Chaambi – which has repeatedly given the Tunisian military authorities bloody noses in armed confrontations. With little knowledge of counter-insurgency warfare – most Tunisian military and police experience had little experience in this type of conflict – the Tunisian military has had to rely increasingly on foreign support (from France and the United States) to help stem these rebellious elements and as such, get further and further drawn into to U.S. and French regional security plans.

Another consequence of these two attacks, is to have provoked the Algerians into action. The collapse of the Khadaffi government – the result of the NATO – led offensive to topple it – has resulted in a flood of weaponry and radical Islamic groups radiating from Libya to the surrounding areas, destabilizing broad swaths of the Maghreb and Sahara regions. The echoes have been felt in Mali, Southern Sudan, Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Burkina faso…and in Algeria = all of which have porous borders. As a result, the Algerians have considerably militarized their border with Libya. In the aftermath of the Sousse terrorist attack, the Algerian government has announced it will send an additional 12,000 troops to the Algerian-Tunisian border area to monitor border crossings in an effort to stop Islamic elements from strengthening their position in Eastern Algeria. The Algerians have also publicly suggested that the Tunisian intelligence and security apparatus is probably infiltrated by radical Salafist elements and has offered the Tunisian government its assistance in identifying and purging those elements. 24 hours after the Sousse attack the infamous DRS (Algerian intelligence agency) issued a report underlining the deficiencies of Tunisian intelligence, insisting that the attack was not the work of one individual, but a coordinated attack. The report further suggests the complicity of Tunisian security apparatus with the radical Islamic elements

Targeting Tunisia’s Tourism Industry

As many commentators have noted, the goal of both the Bardo and Sousse attacks was to undermine Tunisia’s tourist industry, and in so doing add to the country economic crisis. No doubt the combined impact of the double whammy will hurt. Even in the unstable conditions of the past few years, last year, income from tourism nearly approached $2 billion, making up 7% of the country’s gross national product and employing 15% of its work force. Tunisian government sources estimate that the attacks will result in at least $515 million in lost revenues for the year. The union representing France’s tourist agents estimates that 80% of package holidays booked for Tunisia have been cancelled.

Based upon the two attacks in three months, the Fitch Ratings predicted that Tunisia’s gnp growth rates would shrink from its 2014 2.3% to a 1.9% level. It also lowered the ratings for Tunisian sovereign bonds to BB-, making them less attractive to foreign investors and thus, more difficult for the country to raise needed funds. These growth levels are far below the 4.4% growth rate the country enjoyed, 2005-2010, prior to the beginning of the Arab Spring.  Fitch is one of the three nationally recognized statistical ratings organizations designated by the Security and Exchange commissions, 1975, together with Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. The three together are considered “the big three credit rating agencies.”

In a press release, Fitch commented:

“The attack revealed that security risks still weigh heavily on the country after a successful political transition towards political democracy. The risks are aggravated, in part as a result of the common border between Tunisian and Libya where terrorists who committed the attacks at the Bardo Museum and in Sousse got their training, this according to the Tunisian government.” (1)

How many Tunisian hotels will close shop, how many employees to join the unemployment lines remains to be seen. The bigger question looms: can the Tunisian tourism industry ever recover from this blow? Short run prospects are grim, medium and long-term possibilities, at least at the moment, unknown.

_______________
Footnotes:

1. « L’attaque met en évidence les risques d’ordre sécuritaires qui pèsent encore sur le pays après une transition réussie vers un régime politique démocratique. Ces risques sont aggravés, vu les frontières communes de la Tunisie avec la Libye, où les terroristes, qui ont commis les attentats du Bardo et de Sousse, ont été formés, selon des affirmations du gouvernement tunisien », développe Fitch dans son communiqué. French version of the communique translated above by RJP

Reforming Popes – Moving The Mountain…Or Something Less?

June 15, 2015
Catholic Church, outside of Mora, New New Mexico (March, 2013)

Catholic Church, outside of Mora, New New Mexico (March, 2013)

_________

note: also published at Foreign Policy In Focus

_________

Popes…and Reforming the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church is again stirring.

Among many of my Catholic friends, a sense of hope is replacing decades of resignation. They now cling to Pope Francis’ every word, looking forward to what the pontiff will say next. Although ideologically distinct from them, I have found myself working with and living next to Catholics all my life, especially those who have been associated with The Catholic Worker, Sisters of Loretto, some elements among present and former Jesuits. At times we have struggled to find the common ground…and have often succeeded.  Of course, it should come as no surprise that I find myself working more closely with those critical of, or trying to reform the institution. They are a serious, dedicated lot of present and former priests and nuns, some who refer to themselves as “reformed Catholics.”

Over the decades, especially here in Colorado, we have developed a pattern of cooperation and trust – and from my perspective at least, respect – in struggles for social justice, against racial and religious discrimination and for peace. They are long distance runners for social justice. They spilled blood (literally) in their efforts to close the Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility just northwest of Denver, work with the homeless and have been among the strongest critics of U.S. foreign policy worldwide, but especially in Latin America. One does not have to lecture them or explain what might be referred to as the shortcomings or inequities of capitalism; that they understand well. Some have taken on the Sisyphean task of democratizing, reforming their Church, others have, frankly, given up on that effort. Regardless – reformers and/or dropouts – it is their religious commitment, something deep in the spirit of their religious upbringing, which has shaped their values and commitment to social justice. Their commitment is genuine and enduring and has endured the ups and downs of Vatican policy shifts over the years.

As has been the case with previous statements over the past two years, there is both interest and no small degree of excitement over the expected papal statement by Pope Francis on global warming. The environmental movement is hopeful the Pope’s statements will give added “oomph” to the global efforts to bring CO-2 levels down. Conservative Republican Party hopefuls Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum, Congressional snow ball king Jim Inhofe are all worried. Read more…

Harry Nier – Gone But Not Forgotten…At Least By Those Who Knew Him

June 12, 2015
Harry Nier - third on the left with the sign

September, 1979 – Harry Nier – third on the left with the sign “No rate hikes, cut the cost of utilities.” Immediately behind him, part hidden, Elaine Schell; behind her Dick Ayre. In front of Harry, Danny Graul, leading the pack with the sign “PSC stockholders get profits, PSC users get fuel cost adjustments” is Jack Galvin.

The news came to me this evening that Harry Nier, Denver lawyer, a lifelong socialist, secular Jew, with a particular love and knowledge of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, died this past Monday. I do not know the details beyond the fact that Harry suffered from Alzheimers for these past 4-5 years and that the condition overwhelmed him in the end. I believe that he was about 90 years of age.

The last time I saw Harry was at a Middle Eastern restaurant about five years ago on South Colorado Blvd, known to locals as “The Gaza Strip.” I was coming out with hummus and he and a friend were entering. It had been years since I’d seen him; but he recognized me and I, him; We spoke briefly; I made one of those mental notes to track him down, see him again, but as often happens, never got round to it and he died.

I especially thought of Harry when the Obama Administration announced it was going to end the more than half century economic blockade against Cuba, which Harry had worked so hard and persistently for all of his life. I wanted to drink a toast with him, to congratulate him on his commitment to improving U.S. Cuban relations. If I remember correctly, Harry Nier visited Cuba more than 20 times, during all those years when it was technically illegal to do so. On several occasions Harry met with and had long discussions with Cuban leader, Fidel Castro whom he knew personally.

I don’t know that Harry Nier ever joined this or that left group, but he was, even as a successful and prosperous lawyer, a life long socialist with a genuine commitment to poor and working class people. Harry Nier was born in New York City on August 13, 1926. At the age of six months his family came to Denver. He went to East High School and then to the University of Colorado in Boulder and then from University of Colorado Law School in 1950. Nier was a part of a group of extraordinary lawyers that included Rudy Schware, Gene Dykeman,Walter Gerash in the 1950s. Together they defended those Colorado Communists and leftists called before the House of Un-american Activities Committee; SDS, the Crusade For Justice, Vietnam draft resisters, etc. this they did successfully, virtually for free and Harry, as well as the others, stayed in Denver and built his practice and his life here.

I first met Harry in the summer of 1970.

I had been arrested, along with life-long friend and associate Jay Jurie as a part of what was then referred to as the Boulder 17. We were a part of a group on the University of Colorado Boulder campus protesting an ROTC drill. Most of us, myself included were arrested and charged at first with felonies. I went to jail. It was then that I met Harry. As a part of the National Lawyers’ Guild he represented me gratis, got me and others, out of jail on bail and through his work – along with that of Gene Dykeman – got the felony charges first reduced and the thrown out by a Boulder Federal Judge. At the same time the University of Colorado lodged charges against me as well which could have led to my expulsion from graduate school. Again, Harry Nier successfully represented me and won the case. I never paid him a penny for that legal representation.

During the years I knew and worked with him, Harry bounced around between this and that left group, never, at least to my knowledge, joining any – working with all. He belonged, identified with all of us, gave us support and never held back with his criticisms of what he understood to be our shortcomings I didn’t know much about his personal life although I saw him often enough, but I don’t believe he had a lifetime partner or was married.For a number of years he worked with the Denver International Film Festival to bring Cuban films to Denver.

I hear that Harry wants his ashes spread on Mt. Elbert in Colorado – which he climbed not once but frequently – and in Cuba. Harry…rest in peace. I regret that those of us who knew you and in spite of all your damned quirkiness – respected and loved you…couldn’t see you off on your journey to wherever.

I will add to this obituary as I collect information about Harry’s life. Yours was a lifetime of commitment to others,, a rare bird indeed. Harry Nier, Rudy Schware, Gene Dykeman, Walter Gerash…the likes of these in the Colorado legal profession are rare these days.,.and were then.

Harry rest in peace.

Rob P.

______________________

In order to help pay his way through law school, Harry Nier drove a cab...and thus was part of a tradition of radical Denverites who did a stint at the cab company. This is a copy of his cab driver's license. It is dated 1953

In order to help pay his way through law school, Harry Nier drove a cab…and thus was part of a tradition of radical Denverites who did a stint at the cab company. This is a copy of his cab driver’s license. It is dated 1953

This from Allan Hafley:

Richard Roth was kind enough to send me the link to Rob Prince’s blog concerning the death of Harry Nier.

Many of you knew Harry or knew of him and I thought you might like to see the tribute Rob wrote.

Harry and the other lawyers named in Rob’s piece were “Movement Lawyers” in the finest sense of the word and helped countless individuals and organizations.

I first met Harry in the fall of 1967. Shortly after the Day of Draft Resistance on 10/16/1967 I was indicted by the Feds for non-possession of my draft card. Harry and Gene Dykeman took on my case, filed a 75 page brief challenging the legality of the draft and the Vietnam War.

Within weeks the Department of Justice decided they did not want to argue the case and dropped the charges.

As Rob mentions Harry was passionate about the Cuban Revolution, loved to talk politics and to challenge us about what we doing and advocating. Because we were in Boulder and Harry was in Denver I did not really see him that often but considered him a friend who went out of his way to help when most people thought we should be imprisoned or worse.

When I Googled Harry’s name a batch of FBI documents came up from the Harold Weisberg Archive (the file was too large to attach to this email) . Weisberg was one of the early critics of the Warren Report and wrote a number of books on the JFK assassination. At the time of JFK’s
murder Harry was the head of Fair Play for Cuba in Colorado. The gist of the heavily redacted reports is that the FBI was trying to prove that Harry knew Lee Harvey Oswald. Of course it was all garbage, another attempt by the FBI to smear and/or indict innocent citizens.

As the years roll on it is easy to forget all the people who stepped forward to help in our hour of need.

Harry was one of the good guys.

Allan Haifley

_____________________________

Harry Nier, an avid mountain climber, here a top of Pico Turquino, Cuba's highest peak.

Harry Nier, an avid mountain climber, here a top a Cuban mountain.

The War in Yemen and Its Fallout on Saudi Political Structures: Deconstructing The Mainstream Narrative

June 10, 2015
Saudi Bombing of Yemeni Civilian Areas

Saudi bombing of Yemen continues despite some momentum for peace. It has caused more than 70 deaths in the last 24 hours alone (June 9, 2015), more than 6000 in the three months since the Saudi bombing campaign began.

by Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince

(Note – published at Foreign Policy In Focus)

__________

The narrative being put forth in the U.S. media is that the current war in Yemen is a proxy war between the Saudis and Iran, and that the opposition in Yemen consists of a small religious minority, the Houthis, who have forced a “legitimate” government from power. Here is a considerably different assessment of the Yemen crisis which tries to bring the main themes of the crisis back into a more objective focus. 

___________

1. Some Historical Considerations…

By now it has been close to three months that, with green light from the US and a helping hand  from few Persian Gulf Emirates, Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen under the pretense of self-defense. We are  now beginning to witness the fallout of Saudi aggression on its political structure. To have a better picture of what is going on in Yemen a brief recap of its relations with the Saudi monarchy is necessary. Although poorly appreciated by many, the fact remains that historically, Saudi Arabia has been at war with its southern neighbor in one way or another, virtually non-stop since 1932.

The two countries have fought six wars so far. The most critical of these wars was Yemen’s 1962 war of independence. In September 1962, the Imam of North Yemen was overthrown in a popular coup  led by Arab nationalists within the Yemeni military. Until then, 80 per cent of the population had lived as peasants under a feudal system of government, with control maintained by graft, a coercive tax system, and a policy of divide and rule. Once the uprising began, Nasser, the Egyptian president at the time, sent troops to bolster the new Republican government. Royalist forces supporting the deposed Imam fled to the hills and began a conservative insurgency backed by Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Read more…

John McCamant – October 15, 1933 – May 6, 2015

June 5, 2015

In Memory of

John F. McCamant’s Life

October 15, 1933   –   May 6, 2015

JohnMcCammant in his quinoa field in Mosca, Colorado (near Alamosa)

JohnMcCamant in his quinoa field in Mosca, Colorado (near Alamosa)

 

Gather with us to remember his rich and meaningful life on

Saturday June 20th, 2015, 3:30 pm

Iliff School of Theology, Shattuck Hall at 2323 E Iliff Ave., Denver

We ask those of you who have flowers in your garden to bring them and as we enter the room we will fill the room with beauty- as he created and shared so much beauty with all who came into his life.

(For those who have never been to a Quaker Meeting- after a welcome and the eulogy, we will sit in silence until people are moved to share. Quakers believe that we all have a connection to spirit and we can share from the connection to spirit and in honor of John’s life.)

 

Followed by a potluck a few blocks away at

Mountain View Friends Meeting- 2280 S. Columbine St.,  Denver

Please bring a dish to share- we are encouraging quinoa, potato and garden vegetable dishes to honor the food that John shared with so many of us.  There is a large contingent of out of towners that will bring drinks, so if you live locally we ask that you help us with the food. 

 

No need to RSVP but for questions or if you would like to send a memory or story please send them to Sara at saramc@emeraldearth.org.

Gather with us to remember his rich and meaningful life on

Saturday June 20th, 2015, 3:30 pm

Iliff School of Theology, Shattuck Hall at 2323 E Iliff Ave., Denver

We ask those of you who have flowers in your garden to bring them and as we enter the room we will fill the room with beauty- as he created and shared so much beauty with all who came into his life.

(For those who have never been to a Quaker Meeting- after a welcome and the eulogy, we will sit in silence until people are moved to share. Quakers believe that we all have a connection to spirit and we can share from the connection to spirit and in honor of John’s life.)

Followed by a potluck a few blocks away at

Mountain View Friends Meeting- 2280 S. Columbine St.,  Denver

Please bring a dish to share- we are encouraging quinoa, potato and garden vegetable dishes to honor the food that John shared with so many of us.  There is a large contingent of out of towners that will bring drinks, so if you live locally we ask that you help us with the food.

No need to RSVP but for questions or if you would like to send a memory or story please send them to Sara at saramc@emeraldearth.org.

____________

Links:

Alan Gilbert on John McCamant

Juge Johnson:

May 24, 2015
Juge Johnson (in the middle) aboard the  good ship Aurelia sailing from New Jersey to Le Havre

Juge Johnson (in the middle) aboard the good ship Aurelia sailing from New Jersey to Le Havre

Judith Johnson

January 12, 2015 11:09 pm 

HUDSON FALLS — Judith Johnson, 71, passed away Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, while at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Judith was raised in Hudson Falls. She was the daughter of the late William and Regina Bilodeau.
_____________________

Judith earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University in 1966 and completed a Certificate of Study at the Sorburrne.

In 1999, Judith retired from New York State Audit and Control Division. She specialized in fraud and abuse in Medicaid. During her 34-year career, she received numerous awards and recognition. She worked in the New York City Office for more than 25 years before completing her career in Albany and then returned to her childhood home in Hudson Falls.

Judith’s passions were Paris, the arts and cooking. While in New York City, she opened a restaurant, Lion D’ORR, in Brooklyn. The restaurant was well-known for wonderful French cuisine and neighborhood charm. Judith also loved to paint, and enjoyed the warmth of friendship and good conversation over a glass of wine.

She was a world traveler, making frequent trips to Paris and other European countries, as well as within the United States. She served on the leaders of the Feeder Canal Alliance and the Hudson River Music Hall. Her passion for all kinds of music made her not only a board member of the Hudson River Music Hall, but also a benefactor, a friend and a beloved member of its “family.” She loved and was loved by its board, its volunteers, its regulars, patrons and musicians. She brought, to all who knew her, laughter, new experiences, opinions, class and food, food, food!

Her charm, grace, generous spirit and passion for life will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Judith is survived by many loving friends.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, at Carleton Funeral Home Inc., 68 Main St. in Hudson Falls.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, at St. Mary’s/St. Paul’s Church, on the park in Hudson Falls, with the Rev. Thomas Babiuch, pastor, officiating.

The Rite of Committal will take place in the spring at Union Cemetery in Fort Edward.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be made by visiting http://www.carletonfuneralhome.net.

Rob Prince Retires From Teaching.

May 21, 2015
Rob Prince, Coal Creek Canyon, September, 1974

Rob Prince, Coal Creek Canyon, September, 1974

I was looking for an early picture of me in a classroom. Could find none. It appears that I never took “a selfie” when teaching, a real shame. This one is from September, 1974, early in my teaching career. It says “Coal Creek Canyon” which I guess it is where was taken. I started teaching in September, 1966 in Tunis, am finishing now, in late May, 2015 in Denver. Nice run. Tunis, Sousse, Red Rocks Community College, Metropolitan State College of Denver, University of Denver (where I finished up). Today the department – the Under Graduate International Studies Program at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies – is throwing me an retirement party. 4:30-6 at Cherrington Hall. It was nice of them to organize this. If any of you are nearby, stop by.

colleagues and me from the Korbel School of Internatinal Studies at my retirement party...which was a blast!

Colleagues and me from the Korbel School of Internatinal Studies at my retirement party…which was a blast!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers