Saturday, July 05, 2008

In Memory of Lolorb

When I heard around noon today that Lori Bonatakis, aka Lolorb, passed on, I have to admit I picked up a phone a bit groggy from just waking up, having stayed up late the night before watching the fireworks in Boston. Let me tell you, that grogginess wore off in an instant.

I've been email and BMG buddies with Lori for at least a year now. I've learned so much from her, that I can't imagine what it'll be like for this community to continue without her presence. She's one of the few who was best at not accepting conventional wisdom, able to challenge any preconceived notions. She was one of the best in coming prepared, knowing her facts. She was one of the best in addressing important issues that no one in the community would have known about, if not for she. In essence, when it comes to the Massachusetts grassroots and netroots community, she was one of the best. Period.

She was passionate, fiery and wouldn't back down. She'd challenge the old school and new, if necessary. She was a hard worker who made a difference. She was also loyal and ready to help a friend.

I remember when I was going through a hard time in a campaign I was involved in. A large, regional newspaper outed me at the end of an article, saying my favorite interest listed on what was presumably this website was "hot guys." There were still plenty of people I knew, including family members, who I was not out to yet. It was a real low point of my life, so I took my site down temporarily to try to keep my profile low for the rest of the race. Well, Lori was so worried about why my site wasn't working, she emailed three times in around 24 hours listing all the different ways she tried to get on. I finally told her what had happened, and here's what she had said to me, this past February:
I'm assuming the context of the article was about your blog and the work you do politically. To toss in a line like that in there is beyond contemptible.... For me, you are a shining example of the power of youth and intelligence. Don't let the assholes of the world get you down -- they aren't worth it.
The kind words and sage advice I got from her and a few others during that period helped me get through those days. That's when I ceased to think of Lolorb as a prolific member of this community and started to think of her as an ally and a friend. I only got to meet her in person a few times, but I'm proud to have been able to have the chance. Her causes were just and I intend to do my best to carry on in pursuit of them.

2 comments:

Ari Fertig said...

Well said. Thank you so much for sharing that with us Ryan.

allergictoshrubs said...

Ryan, thanks for sharing your memories of Lolorb. You've, indeed, captured her!

Mayaash

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