Poetry and Rants by DC McKenzie

In Memorium~Julius Rockwell Jr.

17 April 2015 Rest easy now, Julius Rockwell Jr., you have twice-over earned a front row ticket to the next Big Show. I miss you so very much…the gentle, insightful advice on writing—no, make that advice on Living. The many stories you shared over the years with your razor-sharp wit, fearless humanity, and tremendous spirit. Though I haven’t had the honor of seeing you lately, that never seemed to matter when we did bump into each other. I am grieved at our loss, for it truly is we who are left behind; while you’ve broken trail, and have discovered a new adventure. I wish you a joyful journey, old friend. And thank you for the brilliant memories I will always carry of our conversations. When I came back to Alaska in 2006—broken, disabled, and in a wheelchair, you quietly sat down next to me, with that easy smile, and asked me if I’d learned anything.

With such brave empathy you coaxed the whole story out of me, as we sat by the fire. You listened, without a hint of judgement, to both my victories and my failures during the years I’d been gone. That night you helped me start down the long path to adapting to my new life. Now, I find that I have no proper words for the gratitude I feel. So, I’ll say it with a picture. Julius, this is what you helped me accomplish. I love you. Farewell… DC McKenzie

“Night Riders” by Matt Simner

~*~
A portrait of Julius Rockwell commissioned for a party in his honor.
Painted by the inimitable Erin Pollock, who has a heart like the sun~

"Portrait of Julius Rockwell" by Erin Pollock, 2014

—End Transmission—

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