Sunday, 7 October 2012

Andy / Andy's Life

Andy died aged 60 around September 15th, 2012. He wrote a blog Andy's Life, which centered on his battle with cancer as well as his former employment with Southeastern Railways in England. Andy came across to me as a gentle soul who enjoyed his time with the railway, sharing stories from along the line with us. He appeared to have overcome cancer last spring, after another bout of radiation therapy on April 1st. However, he suffered a fall at the end of May, just before the last posting on his blog. He had been admitted to Pembury Hospital in Tunbridge Wells. Judging by further updates on Facebook, Andy never got over that setback, and finally came to the end of the line in September.

My sympathies, on behalf of the community, to Andy's family and friends. I'll miss him.

only me!
Andy in the New Forest

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Ray White / Dad's Tomato Garden

Ray White, who wrote "Dad's Tomato Garden" was called to his Heavenly home today (May 9th).

He fell from his bed after posting his last post Monday and broke his hip. Surgery was planned Tues, but was later post-poned for health problems. He was alert and talking earlier this morning, but passed away as he slept, while family were with him. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Lavern. He is survived by his two children, Jim and Mary.

Ray, who was known to all of us at the old AOL J-Land as 'DAD', started his journal on August 28, 2003, nearly 9 years ago and had since written thousands of posts. He wrote a journal for years on AOL and then went to Blogspot with the rest of us journalist when AOL closed it's journal program down. Born on September 2nd 1913, He was recognized as America's oldest blogger in 2006 and continued writing in his blog right on up to only a couple of days before his death.

He once said that his purpose in starting his Journal was, " to help others all around the world to produce a good home grown tomato." He was passionate about tomatoes and grew between 50 and 75 plants each year, riding a golf cart in his later years to check on his beloved plants. Dad was a true Southern Gentleman. He never sold his tomatoes, but gave them away to neighbors and friends.

Though he began his journal as a help to others to grow tomatoes, it evolved into so much more. Dad enjoyed watching birds and provided them and the little squirrels who scampered about his yard with food and water. He even shared these pleasures with all of his readers by setting up web cams in his back yard! But best of all, his blog drew you in to it. It was a place to go and feel at feel as if you were actually sitting on the front porch there in the cool morning air of the Tennessee mountains with Dad, sipping a cup of his good old coffee, while listening to the birds chirping. Dad always made you feel at home and at peace.

He wrote a post to his blog everyday except Sunday, always saving that day for His church meetings. If you look on his profile , you will see that his favorite book to read was...The Bible.

He ended one of his last posts this month with this...

"This is going to be all for today, I would like to come back in the morning, because I love you. Live For Others Every Day, It’s The True The Better Way"

Rest in peace DAD. You will be greatly missed by all.

With thanks to Carlene Noggle for writing this tribute

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Frances Lawson

Frances Lawson has passed away this morning, at 6 am. Her granddaughter, Krysten, who kept us up-to-date over the past few weeks and months, announced the sad news today.

Frances was a kind and thoughtful person, who was part of the J-land community in spite of not being a blogger. She would comment, be in touch by email and for those in the States even by phone.

Last October, she was diagnosed with cancer, and in spite of chemotherapy, it spread rapidly. Latterly, it affected her to such an extent that she was unable to live independently, and her care was taken on by the hospice in Pittsburgh, Texas. This morning, she was granted blessed relief, as the expression goes, and passed away out of pain and suffering.

My short tribute does not really do Frances justice, as she had a positive influence on the lives of so many. As her Facebook account is now deleted, I do not have a portrait.  But the image that was on her FB account remains with me, and will always.

Frances, rest in peace. Although we did not meet in life, we may yet do beyond.

A bright star has gone from the Lone Star state.


Addition: this photograph shows Frances and her husband, the late Donald Sr Lawson.
Picture supplied by granddaughter, Krysten.