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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Tears for Maggi

This was a very good day.... until I received some news that hit me in the chest like a sledgehammer. Can't really reiterate afresh what I wrote earlier tonight to Liberty Post so with that as the context, here's to you Maggi...

LP forumer 6bg posted this afternoon that Maggi had died and... just couldn't believe it. After getting confirmation I lay on my bed and buried my face into the pillow, crying my eyes out for at least half an hour this afternoon.

She died toward the end of February but today was the first I'd seen it announced anywhere. Longtime Freepers (and those of us still Freepers at heart from the old days) will remember Maggi, better known by her screenname MouthOfSouth. I imagine any one of us would have something about the impression she left on a lot of people during her life both online and off.

She was a fierce advocate of property rights, especially of farmers and ranchers: not long before we'd first met she had just come from the Darby pro-farmers rally in Ohio. This was also the lady who, armed with a camera and telephoto lens, on most weekends did surveillance on the federal agents in Andrews NC who were searching for Eric Rudolph: she may not have approved of what Rudolph did, but she couldn't trust some of the antics of the feds out there either.

Maggi was not a partisan. She simply believed in what the Constitution stood for. Democrat and Republican alike were subject to her wrath if they deviated from its precepts. That was made obvious by her online presence: Maggi's acerbic wit and wisdom was certainly unique in a forum that, at the time anyway, prided itself on having unique individuals. Her knowledge of pop culture was profound, but that merely sheathed a style of prose that cut through all hypocrisy and nonsense. Nothing fazed this lady.

Some of us remember the sound of her voice, from when FR had FireTalk going on. If you heard her voice, whatever you imagined her to be like in real life, that was her. I'll never forget the first time we met and immediately being infected by her charisma. She was one of the darned few ladies you'll ever meet who'd mastered the fine art of curmudgeonry: I imagine that right now in Heaven she's giving Ambrose Bierce a thing or two about real human nature.

But I'll always remember Maggi as the person who, for whatever reason, saw some potential in a kid who was going through some messed-up times and enticed him to come to Asheville, where he could write and learn a few things about what life is really all about. I rented a small apartment from Maggi and her sister during the year and a half that I was there. My perspective on that wild little town and its people could not have been so greatly appreciated, were it not for the insight of those two sisters. What makes it particularly sad is that, in her own way, Maggi played a critical role in the life plan that God set for me: living in Asheville put me close to the girl I'd started talking to from a Christian website. It wasn't long after moving there that Lisa and I met. A little over a year later in that apartment I asked her to be my wife. Maggi and her sister were in on the whole plot and even helped me out a bit. I'm very thankful that such a moment of my life got to include them... that's something Lisa and I will take with us for the rest of our lives.

I spoke with Maggi's sister on the phone this afternoon. There will be a service next month when Maggi's ashes will be interred in the family plot. Her sister said that it was cancer, but that the last two years of Maggi's life were some of the happiest she ever had. I know some of what happened in that time and, trust me she was really blessed with the time God had left for her. And, it should be said that she went down in true Maggi style: fighting to the last.

Anyway, thought it should be made known to her friends both here and on FR that a great person from our own, and a dear friend, has passed away. I'm not much for words regarding something like this, but I hope that mine in this circumstance did some honor to all the good that Maggi did for me and a lot of other people. She will definitely be missed.