Re-blogging Mark Bialczak’s post simply wasn’t enough. I need to write out the pain. Our good friend, Paul Curran, has passed away.
I “met” Paul Curran when I was a tiny blogger with less than 100 followers, and he began commenting on my posts. His comments were always worth reading – often funny or witty, often sympathetic, and always long. Lordy, Paul’s comments constituted posts all by themselves!
In preparation for writing today’s memorial, I pulled up all of Paul’s comments on my blog – there were 73 pages of comments! I’m still crying.
His very first comment on my blog was on March 21, 2014, on my post about naming my new SPCA puppy. Paul wrote:
Hi CM! First time here – I bopped over from OM’s site. Cody’s a great name for a dog. I’m 100% with you!
(In reviewing the comments on that post, I note several other names of bloggers who have since disappeared. Now I’m crying harder.)
Paul became a frequent visitor to my obscure little blog, and I began to wonder just who was this Canadian gentleman? His comments were appearing on other bloggers’ posts, too – to the point that it seemed like he was simply everywhere! And everyone else seemed to already know him.
A number of bloggers were encouraging Paul to start his own blog, but he never seemed to want that. He seemed content to comment on ours. But the time came that even Paul began to seek the recognition that the rest of us bloggers want. As I began to get award nominations, it became clear that certain writers were being neglected, so when I created my silly Cordelia’s Mom Enthusiasm Award, I made a point to recognize Paul:
[ADDENDUM: And a special thanks to Paul, who is one of my faithful readers and commenters, but who doe not have a blog of his own (yet).]
Paul’s response? Well, here it is:
Umm, I don’t have a blog to post it to. How come nobody ever gives dedicated readers an award? That’s what I’d like to know. Huh? Huh? Sheeesh, I’m low maintenance (you don’t have to read my blog in return), I give thoughful commentary (sometimes) because I don’t have to run off and tend my own blog), If you don’t like my comments you can delete them (unlike other bloggers who can post what they want and you can’t do a thing), and you don’t have to give me any recognition or even awards. Sigh. Ours is the life of the unappreciated. **small sniffles** I’ll be OK. Really.
How can you not love someone like that?
Since Paul did not have a blog of his own, I asked him to please, please, please guest post for me – and he agreed! It might take some time, however, between his health problems and his old computer, but he would send a draft to me. I was beside myself to think that someone so talented would be willing to share his words on my site.
But there was Paul’s darn integrity. At about that time, I thought it would be great fun to create an alter-ego who hated me, but told no one I was doing that. I merely set up the Not CM site and let her rip. Other bloggers, including Paul, came vehemently to my defense. Because these particular bloggers had become on-line friends, I decided to email each of them and let them in on the little secret. Paul was incensed and replied that he could not respect someone so devious as me and was withdrawing his agreement to guest post.
Say what? Between Paul’s comment and that of a family member who also hadn’t realized Not CM was fake, I had to come clean. I was too embarrassed to admit my deviousness on my own site, so I did so on another blogger’s site. Unfortunately, that site has since closed and I can’t link to my earlier post. Suffice it to say, the post was as guilt-ridden as they come. In order to totally appease my upset readers, I even added a Disclaimer to the mirror blog.
Suddenly, Paul Curran was on board with the whole concept of the mirror blog – and he really got into it. While Paul’s comments had always been noteworthy, his sparring with Not CM was epic:
You know NCM, you should have parked at the back of the lot away from all the Mommy-mobiles and parked at an angle so you took up two spaces. It would keep your pretty car scratch free.And it would telegraph clearly that you think you’re better than everyone else. Which is precisely why you are NOT CM. She is kind and caring and gracious.
Not CM hated Paul Curran.
Finally, Paul’s first guest post arrived – Blue Lightning. From the moment that post published, every time I pass a semi on the road or read a story about truck-driving, I think of Paul Curran.
Every single Paul Curran guest post garnered at least twice the views and comments of any of my own posts. Everyone loved Paul. I admit that at times I was a wee bit envious. Even today, his guest posts often are viewed more than any of my posts. Jealousy aside, I must admit that Paul Curran was one of the best story-tellers out there, and I’m humbled that I have so many of those stories on this site.
And let’s not forget Paul’s Peacekeeping Bears, who kept Mehitabel, Vlad, and Shadowpaws in line. I never expected Paul to agree to join the collaborated posts, and certainly never anticipated that he would come up with such awesome characters of his own. I didn’t even know he had teddy bears! Those posts brought so much joy and fun into the lives of all of us who wrote them, as well as everyone who read them.
I could go on and on with tales of Paul’s contributions to our blogging world.
But it’s time to let the rest of you speak.
Please share (in the comments section, if you wish) your most treasured memory of Paul Curran. May this post become the Bloggers’ Memorial to Paul Curran.
Go for it, my friends!
I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org