Thursday, February 14, 2013

Farewell, Gus.

It may seem like a long time ago. But back in July 2009, I started this blog. And I didn't come out of nowhere. I was helped along the way by some great people back in "The Homeland", Orange County, California.

In particular, there was someone who inspired me greatly. In fact, he inspired me to start this blog when I moved here in 2009. And he taught me so much when I lived in OC and witnessed firsthand what he did.

Yesterday, Gus Ayer passed away. And I'm still in shock.

He sacrificed his own re-election campaign in Fountain Valley to try and elect Debbie Cook to Congress. He was the mayor and a city council member in Fountain Valley.

I could always count on Gus to make me laugh and to cut through the bullshit and tell it to me straight. He was my mentor and in my innermost circle of friends. [...]

This is a significant loss for progressives and environmentalists in Orange County.

Just to let you know what Gus worked on in the 2012 campaign cycle: Sandy Genis elected to the Costa Mesa City Council Jill Hardy elected to the Huntington Beach City Council Diana Carey elected to the Westminster City Council Helped to defeat Measure Z in Huntington Beach Worked on the anti-Charter initiative in Costa Mesa Worked on saving Coyote Hills in Fullerton and won at the ballot even though outspent 10-1. Worked on defeating an anti-open space initiative in Orange and won!

Gus's last project was defeating the Poseidon desalination project in Huntington Beach and we will be carrying on that fight now with a vengeance and in Gus' memory.

Gus often seemed like an unstoppable force for positive change. I won't ever forget how he masterminded a longshot campaign against a long-time "tea party before tea party was cool" Republican Member of Congress. His candidate, Debbie Cook, held that powerful OC Republican incumbent to just 53% of the vote, and she did so with no national Democratic assistance. Gus ran that campaign like a pro. And he showed me how a campaign could be run well and run without the kind of cynicism one often finds behind the scenes in big ticket campaigns.

Gus was also on the ground floor of the Netroots. I first met him on Daily Kos. He was also a pro at online rabblerousing. And when he saw a void that needed to be filled in Orange County, he started OC Progressive. And he invited me to join his new project. That was the launchpad from which I started this blog.

It's hard to think of a world and a blogosphere without Gus. He was a mentor to me in California, and he inspired me to start my own rabblerousing here in Nevada. He will be sorely missed.

Farewell, Gus.

You may have known him as Aeolus, I just knew him as Gus. He worked tirelessly for progressive efforts thru out Orange County and California. He was a force to be reckoned with, he liked fighting the man, he liked being the underdog and he loved being a thorn in the side of those who wanted to do harm to our environment. he liked a good fight.

And he loved big. He had an amazing family, he was so proud of his sons, his adopted and biological. And he just had a way of making you feel welcome. I always knew if I need someone to talk to I could call Gus.

We lost more than a friend today, we lost so much today and I would write more I think if I could just stop crying. But I wanted to mark this loss somehow, I needed to. [...]

You were one in a million Gus and I know so many others who will miss you just as much as I will. You were like a Father I didn't have, I'm sure you were to so many. I just can't wrap my mind around the fact I won't see you again.

Farewell, Gus. You may be gone, but not forgotten. And really, you're not completely gone. Your legacy lives on, even in places you never expected.

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