Down the Ballot

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Remember Ben Westlund

This was originally published on Facebook as a note on March 11, 2010

When I heard about Ben's passing I was on a bus heading back to Portland from Spokane. We were heading towards a small rural town called Lind, Washington (a kinda town Ben would have liked) It is home to an annual Combine Demolition Derby. Lind also has one store, one bar and grill and all are named like "Jim's store" or "Sam's Grill". Ben would have gotten a chuckle from the town and probably would have wanted to stop and learn more about it.

It was then that I realized Ben Westlund had rubbed off on me a little bit. Our conversations always started in different places and always ended on either something one of us had seen on National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, or shows like Oregon Field Guide. He loved sharing knowledge he had picked up and he always had so much of it. For that I'll miss my chats with Professor Westlund.

I'll miss his jokes even the corny ones.

I'll miss soup spoons. (you don't want to know...)

I'll miss being charged various amounts of money for borrowing every day items like pens, paper etc.

I'll miss talking about Jackson Browne albums.

One of the stranger things I think I'll miss is the way, when he would get really into something how his glasses always seemed to find themselves resting at the same spot on his nose time after time. He could carry on any conversation, any presentation and those things would just rest there. It would get to points where he wouldn't even need to be wearing the glasses and there they would be on the tip of his nose.

Like many of us, I'm going to miss Ben Westlund, but as Dr. McCoy was famous for saying in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, "He's not really dead. As long as we remember him". Remember Ben in any way you want, but be sure you remember him.
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